---1 (20 ounce) can chilled crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, drained, but juices reserved
---1 (14.5 ounce) can chilled sweet Bing cherries or dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup, drained and chopped, but syrup reserved
---2 small (4 serving size) cherry flavored Jello (not sugar free)
---1 (12 ounce) can chilled Coca-Cola (you may not use it all)
---1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts,
optionalTopping, cottage cheese, or sweet salad dressing mayonnaise (like Miracle Whip), for garnish,
---1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
---2 cups of thawed Cool Whip or whipped cream
Drain the cherry syrup and pineapple juices into a saucepan. Set the fruit aside in the refrigerator to keep chilled. Bring fruit juices to a boil, remove from heat and whisk in the Jello powder until fully dissolved. Transfer to a 4 cup glass measuring cup and add enough Coca-Cola to equal a total of 4 cups of liquid. Stir in pineapple, cherries, and nuts and transfer to a 9 x 13 inch pan. Allow to fully set for at least 3 to 5 hours or longer, preferably overnight - do not stir!
For the topping, cream together the cream cheese and sugar; stir in the Cool Whip or whipped cream, until well combined. Spread over top of jello before serving, or dollop over top of individual servings.
Options/Hints: In a pinch, a can of cherry pie filling may be substituted. Chill the fruit cans in advance if you have time - it will help the gelatin to set. Do not use fresh pineapple. Other compatible liquids may be used, including other cold drinks like Dr Pepper, or Cherry Coke.