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!

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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

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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!