We were pretty sure that everyone in the country had received that recipe by now, and that somehow your little portion of Texas must have been overlooked. But the more we looked, the more we found the entire country - the whole world, in fact - has been overlooked. In quite a bit of hunting, in many classic cookbooks, at various sites online, and even extensively at the Jell-o site, we failed to turn up the definitive lime Jell-o salad recipe. So we made up our own from bits and pieces of faux lime Jell-o salad recipes we came across.

Many of you will use a non-dairy whipped topping in place of the whipped cream, omit the marshmallows because you don't like them, or change the walnuts to pecans because you're from the South. But the one thing you cannot do - even if you live in Hawaii - is use fresh pineapple in a gelatin-based salad. Enzymes in fresh pineapple keep the gelatin from setting.

The Definitive Classic Molded Lime Jell-o Salad


1-1/2 cups boiling water 1 pkg. (8-serving size) lime gelatin 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained 1 cup cottage cheese 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened 1 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1 cup miniature marshmallows


Stir boiling water into gelatin in a large bowl for at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in the pineapple and juice. Refrigerate 1-1/4 hours or until it reaches the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.

Whip the cream. Stir the cottage cheese into cream cheese in separate bowl until well blended. Gently fold in the whipped cream until smooth. Beat into slightly thickened gelatin with a wire whisk until well blended. Stir in walnuts and marshmallows. Pour into a 6-cup mold sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold. Surround with lettuce leaves, if desired. Store leftover salad in refrigerator.