Chatelaine Kitchen

Chatelaine recipe redux circa 1977: Cucumber jelly mold

To mark Chatelaine's 85th anniversary, we combed through the archives and took a few vintage recipes into the Chatelaine Kitchen for testing. Find out if this jelly mold stands the test of time!


Cucumber refresher, 1977

Jiggly jelly is the very essence of retro cool. In days of yore (August 1977 to be exact), Chatelaine featured this confection in a simple, sweet cucumber refresher. Flavoured with lime, lemon and cucumber for crunch, we wondered whether this recipe was a starter, salad or dessert! Nonetheless, we put this vintage recipe to the test. Find out what we thought.

Then: Cucumber Refresher, 1977

Prep time: 15 min

Standing time: 2 hours

85-g pkg lime jelly powder
85-g pkg lemon jelly powder
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda
1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced

DISSOLVE jelly powders in boiling water in a medium bowl. Add lemon-lime soda and lemon juice. Stir until foam settles.

CHILL until mixture just begins to congeal.

STIR in cucumber slices and chill 2 hours or until set.

Serves 6.

Note: To achieve the glamourous effect of the salad in our photograph (above), let the gelatine chill in a bowl until the mixture just begins to congeal. Then, spoon a three-inch layer of the gelatine into your mold. Leave until partially congealed. Using your fingers, set all but a dozen or so of the cucumber slices into the gelatine, pushing them in to stand on end in a circle as in the photograph. Pour in almost all of the remaining gelatine and smooth out with a spatula. Let chill or stand until set. Dip remaining cucumber slices one at a time into the leftover gelatine and arrange them in a single layer on top of the mold. Pour on remaining gelatine and smooth out. Chill at least two hours or until firmly set.

NOW: Cucumber Refresher, 2013


Cucumber refresher, 2013

The verdict from our re-test? Delicious jiggly goodness! While we do find the cucumber a bit strange, it makes for quite the presentation. We tested this vintage recipe using a modern silicon mold, but feel free to search online or at church and yard sales for chic copper, aluminum or even plastic molds.

Tip: To un-mold your jelly, dip your mold 3/4 of the way in hot water for 1 to 2 min. Place a platter on top of mold, then flip over!