Thursday, September 6, 2012


When I needed a salad to take to Carol's the other day for our salad luncheon and an afternoon of Farkle, I decided to check out my the Best of Ruby Jones cookbook.

People in Arkansas, especially  around Pine Bluff, knew of Mrs. Jones' Cafe.  She opened her first cafe in 1949.  (It was in the 80s that I first experienced Mrs. Jones' Cafe, thanks to my daddy.  Later I stopped there with my family.)  She arrived at the cafe every morning at 4:30am to make 16-18 dozen rolls and biscuits.  Then she made the pie crusts and then 40 - 50 pies.  Her homemade pies were "to die for". 

Did I mention she was born in 1902?  She is no longer living and her cafe has been replaced with another business, but every time I drive by there going to southeast Arkansas and northeast Louisiana to see extended family, I think about the time my daddy and I stopped there and had lunch.  I am so glad that I have her cookbook.  I should use it more often than I do.

She had several pages of salad recipes, but since I have been on a "peach kick" lately, when I saw the recipe Peach Jello Salad, I knew I had to give it a try.  

The first thing I noticed was that it had crushed pineapple in it, but no peaches, just peach jello.  Well, she did call it Peach Jello Salad, didn't she?  I had the crushed fact I have about 6 or more cans....I found it on sale at the commissary at Fort Leavenworth for 50 cents a can earlier this summer and stocked up.  I did have to go buy the peach jello though.  

Would you believe the nearby grocery store only had one brand and then only 3 boxes of peach jello?  Fortunately, for me, it was the sugar-free version but the smaller box.  So I had to buy two boxes.  Hope whoever came after me didn't need the bigger box. (I saw a lot of peach sugar-free jello at Wal-mart today.) 

I am sure Mrs. Jones didn't use the sugar free peach jello or Splenda or no-sugar-added Cool Whip like I did, but I do try to watch my sugar intake, you know.  I'm sure she didn't use fat-free cream cheese either, but I did.  (See note below.)


1  cup water
1  large (20-oz) can crushed pineapple (I used the pineapple in its own juice)
1  cup sugar  
1  large box peach jello
8 - oz cream cheese (softened)
5  tablespoons milk
8 - oz  Cool Whip 

Heat water, pineapple and sugar over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil.

Remove and add peach jello.  Make sure you stir til the jello dissolves.

Pour into a bowl and cool in refrigerator for an hour.

Whip softened cream cheese with milk until smooth.

Add to cooled jello mixture.

Fold in Cool Whip.
Return to refrigerator til ready to serve.  Better to make the day before.

Personal notes:  Some recipes do not set up when you use fat-free cream cheese.  Mrs. Jones ended her recipe with "fold in Cool Whip."  She didn't say how she served it at her cafe.  I decided I would serve mine in a large bowl that I have.  

If you wanted to be able to cut squares of it to serve, I would suggest pouring it in a 9 x 13 - inch glass dish and then maybe garnishing each square with a peach slice to serve.  I would definitely not use the fat-free cream cheese if this is how I wanted to serve it.  

For our purposes, it worked fine in the large bowl.  Everyone spooned out the amount they wanted and added it to their plate of other salads.  There wasn't a lot of it left.

If I were serving it at a dinner table, I would dish it up in footed custard dishes.  The consistency with the fat-free cream cheese works well this way. 

The bottom line is the taste is so good, it is definitely going to be one I will be making again.  

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