Lickin’ Good Salad

A molded salad from a well-constructed house.

An early mention of this recipe appeared in the March 26, 1949 edition of the Ames (Iowa) Daily Tribune in Ellen Landon’s “Feminine Features” column:

* * *

Want something special in a salad? Mrs. Sadie H. Lehan, house mother at the Delta Upsilon fraternity house at 117 Ash, has a recipe for “Lickin’ Good Salad” which the boys at the house and friends who eat it agree is “lickin'” good…

* * *

You’ll need these ingredients.

1 box lemon Jell-o, 1 cup boiling water, 1 small bottle maraschino cherries cut fine, 1 small can crushed pineapple, 1/2 cup nuts, 1 package Philadelphia cream cheese , 1/2 pint whipping cream or condensed milk. Pour the water over the Jell-o and allow to congeal slightly. Then whip the Jell-o and the cheese (leave the cheese out of the refrigerator until it is fairly soft) together. Add cherries, pineapple, and nuts. Add whipped cream last and mold. If you wish, you can use the juice of the cherries as part of the liquid.

I hope none of you have the trouble we did the first time we made the salad. Intending to use condensed milk instead of whipping cream, we opened the can of milk only to find that it was sweetened condensed milk, and would not whip. It was about 10 p.m. and too late to go to the store for cream; but even so we could tell that Lickin’ Good Salad would rate a choice spot in our recipe file.

* * *

Mmmph. Delta Upsilon. That’s the fraternity of Kurt Vonnegut, Linus Pauling, and James A. Garfield, among others. Interesting story–here’s the highlights. In 1834, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts had two secret Greek organizations. By cooperating internally and supporting their own members, honors lists were populated primarily by members of these secret societies. (Hard to imagine a time when frats conspired to excel academically, isn’t it?)

Thinking this was unfair, a group of students came together to form the Anti-Secret Confederation (ASC). Chapters started at other schools, and by 1864, the seven existing chapters changed the group’s name to Delta Upsilon. By 1879, secret societies had changed in operation, and Delta Upsilon went from being anti-secret to just non-secret.

Which brings us to the Iowa State chapter. In 1905 (the same year Iowa State lifted its policy requiring students to live in dorms), a club called The Colonnades formed on the Iowa State University campus, devoted to demonstrating that it was possible to excel both in academics and extracurricular activities. They took their name from the colonial-style house they obtained near campus. Core to the club’s ideology was that the members would be able to maintain a connection with their alma mater after graduation, and with that as part of the goal, the original Colonnades resisted the idea of affiliating with a national group.

By 1908, that feeling had changed among some of the members. A group of Colonnades split off and would come to be known as the Colonials .The Colonials petitioned for membership into Delta Upsilon for years before finally being accepted in 1913, making this the 101st anniversary of Delta Upsilon at Iowa State University. So… happy birthday? I brought you a salad!

Construction soon began on another colonial-style house, this one at 117 Ash, the address mentioned above. It was designed by Alexander M. Linn, a Delta Upsilon brother, and completed in 1930. In 2010, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places for the significance of its architecture.

Delta Upsilon Chapter House, 117 Ash Ave., Ames, Iowa. By Dagwin57 on Wikimedia Commons (CC license) (cropped).

From a box sold in East Moline, Illinois.

Lickin’ Good Salad

1 pkg. lemon Jell-o
1 c. boiling water
1 pkg. Philadelphia cream cheese (3 oz.)
1/2 pt. whipping cream
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1 green pepper, chopped fine
1 bottle maraschino cherries, chopped
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained

Mix Jell-o and begin to congeal. Mix whipped cream and cheese. To Jell-o add nuts, pepper, cherries, and pineapple. Fold in cream mixture and put in molds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked:*