Jello is coming back! Cranberry Orange Dream

I grew up eating Jello. I love Jello. Jello makes you happy.
 My grandmother Leone, my dad''s mom was the queen of making Jello. She would make jello for every holiday and it would always be tasty, colorful and fabulous. Her Jellos had multiple layers of all flavors, and she added things like evaporated milk, cottage cheese and sour cream for texture.

 Leone Mesenbrink married Harold Seamon in the late 1920's and drove to California from Bonners Ferry Idaho. They settled in Guerneville and my dad was born in June of 1930. My grandparents were both German. I didn't get to know my grandfather Harold very well because he died when I was six years old, but I uderstand that his real last name was Rittenhause. His grandfather changed his name to Seaman to disguise his heritage in the early 1900's while immigrating to our country.

Leone was an amazing cook and baker. I still have her original recipes that were given to me by my cousin Darlene. All of the recipes are written in her own handwriting so they are very special to me. Leone passed away when I was in my mid 20's and I wish I could have spent more time with her in the kitchen.

This recipe was given to me by my Aunt Harriet, Leone's daughter. Harriet took over the beloved tradition of making Jello and we all remember Nana when we eat Jello recipes.


1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 8oz pkg cranberrry jello (or cherry)
16 oz whole berry cranberry sauce
1 1/2 cups cold water

Combine ingredients together in a large bowl per Jello pkg instructions, add cranberry sauce and place in fridge until thickened.

1 11 oz or 15 oz can of mandarin oranges

After thickened, fold in oranges.

1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c melted butter

Place graham crackers and sugar in a food proccessor and pulse until crumbly. Add melted butter and combine. Or put crackers in a Zip Lock bag and crush with rolling pin. Take mixture and spread in a 13X9 glass dish and place in freezer.

1 8 oz box softened cream cheese
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 tub thawed Cool Whip or 1 1/2 c whipped cream

Mix cream cheese, sugar together in mixer. Fold in cool Whip or whipped cream.

 Spread cream cheese mixture over frozen crust and place in fridge. Pour thickened Jello mixture over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate three hours.