Thursday, October 27, 2016


Mike hobbled in from Sunday afternoon’s hunt with a flare of his old Achilles’ tendon injury. He’s taking advantage of these dull, sometimes rainy autumn days to rest his leg. Since nothing much is happening, I thought I’d share again from Mother’s folder of recipe oddities.

Morning naptime
(from Aunt Margaret Walrath)

1 #2 ½ bing cherries (pitted)
1/3 c lemon juice
1 package orange Jello
½ c blanched almonds
1 3-oz bottle stuffed olives sliced
Drain cherries. Add water and lemon juice to the cherry juice to make 1 ¾ cups liquid. Heat liquid and pour over Jello, stirring to dissolve. Add rest of ingredients and pour into individual molds. Chill until firm. Serves 8.

I simply can’t imagine this combination of ingredients. But Aunt Margaret comments: “The way we eat it will only serve 5 or 6.” I guess they liked it.

Checking online, I discovered one similar recipe, the only differences being Coca-Cola instead of water and pecans instead of almonds. On another recipe combining cherries and olives, the writer commented that she liked the contrast of the salty olives against the sweet cherries.

So – Who was Aunt Margaret, you ask. You’ve never heard me speak of her, you say. Well, Aunt Margaret was married to Mother’s first husband’s brother, Ted Walrath. Technically, she was not my aunt – not even by marriage – but she was related within the extended family. They lived in a neat little house just a few doors from us on Brown Avenue when I was growing up. It was one of those houses that somehow seemed bigger on the inside than it appeared from the outside. Since they were neighbors, she occasionally walked past our house and would stop to visit. After she bought her little blue Chevrolet Corvair, I don’t think she ever had another car. She said she just loved that Corvair. And -- she was a knitter.

Every Christmas Eve, as we bustled around the house to get ready for our celebration, Uncle Ted would show up about 3:00 p.m. to wish us a “Merry Christmas.” He never stayed but a minute. (Well, he might have stayed a little longer if Daddy offered him a drink.) Mother later recalled that his brief holiday visits were special to her.
I don’t remember when Aunt Margaret passed away – probably in the 1980s – but I remember well Uncle Ted’s passing. It was during my first week at the University of Idaho in 1967. As I recall, he had a stroke or a heart attack and fell against Aunt Margaret, injuring her. Whatever the event, he didn’t survive and Aunt Margaret was hospitalized. KW

[The b&w photo above, taken during the holidays of 1935, shows three generations of Walraths: Harry Lee stands with Margaret and Ted behind Naomi holding Margot (Margaret and Ted's daughter). Margaret and Ted had another child, Harry, born in 1937.

In the bottom photo, note the beautiful red maple. We don't know from whence this volunteer came, but it's plain that it's not from the big cousin behind it.]


Hallie said...

I am in the camp with those who think this sounds disgusting. No stuffed olives in MY jello, thank you.

Kathy said...

Ha! Harriet suggested we serve it at a P.E.O. meeting. I was planning to make it for Thanksgiving and take half to her house. Best laid plans . ..