Mama Jewel’s Blueberry Salad

Last week I was incredibly grateful to spend Thanksgiving with family who spent many years attending holiday meals with my mom and grandmother (Mama Jewell, pictured above with my grandfather, Papa John…one of my favorite photos of them!). The topic of cranberry salad came up (doesn’t it always??) as we prepared for the meal. There was lively discussion on whether cranberry salad was necessary or whether canned cranberry is sufficient (and BETTER!😆)

When thinking about my childhood holiday dinners, I don’t really recall cranberry salad but I remember that Mama Jewell made Blueberry Salad, and I absolutely loved it. I mean, Mother had to do a lot to get me to add anything else to my plate. And because grandmothers act like they do (and why we love them!), mine started making it any time I came to visit, whether a holiday or not. It’s been FOREVER since I’ve had this Blueberry “Salad”, but I looked up the recipe in Mom’s book where she wrote “Mama Jewell makes this for you!!”. 🥰

Also, as with many southern “salads”, there’s not much about this that’s a “salad”. It’s like a dessert! Which explains why I ate so much of it.

Blueberry Salad (Serves 8-10)

2 packages (3 oz.) grape Jello
2 cups of boiling water
1 can (2.5 cups) crushed pineapple
1 can (2.5 cups) blueberry pie filling
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp. vanilla

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add the other ingredients in the salad section. Mix well. Pour into a casserole dish or pan. Refrigerate until firm.
For the topping, cream together all ingredients until it stands in a peak. Spread topping over the salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

– Jewell Cameron and Gayle Griffin


(As a reminder, Mom wrote/compiled a recipe book when I was young and gave me my very own copy of it for my 19th birthday when I moved out of the house and into my own apartment. She had gone page by page and written notes to me like “Very good”, “Easy”, “Your Dad’s favorite”, etc. Now that she’s been gone 24 years, those notes are priceless to me. It’s so nice to open a book and hear her voice through her writing. I’m thankful.)

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