Holiday Green Jello Salad

Green salad was at every holiday meal my mom was involved in. I can’t remember a holiday at her house, or anyone else’s for that matter where this dish wasn’t present. She loved green salad and if no one else was making it, you were guaranteed she would. It had never been any other color until her later years when she started substituting cranberry or cherry jello for the lime. When I was younger I preferred mine with pecans in it, and surprise cream cheese chunks that didn’t completely dissolve into the mix. Now I am a puritan in the nut arena. I also prefer to eat this made with cranberry jello, and cherry is a close second.

I don’t make this in my kitchen anymore. It was more of a tradition at my house rather than a “craving” for me, you know, one of those things that you were expected to put on your plate but kind of pushed around. However, this is now a part of Ron’s holiday traditions so it should be his cookbook version that appears in this post.  Thus is not a dish he pushes around his plate.  He loves it!

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Not Your Ordinary Strawberry Shortcake

My grandparents always had a vegetable garden. Not just a backyard garden, I swear they had at least half of an acre. When I was a kid I thought they had a farm instead of a garden. Planting season was a family affair in the spring. My grandparents had 6 children and 14 grandchildren. I recall heated conversations about which tomato plants needed to go in the ground and how many. I don’t know how many ever got planted, I just know there was enough for the entire family to get their fill. No summer meal was complete at anyone’s house without juicy ripe red or yellow tomatoes and hot buttered corn on the cob.

Planting weekend usually ended with a crappie fish fry. Except I don’t recall fish being fried, I remember grills being covered in small fish and the rush to get the little ones to cram pieces of white bread down their throats when they swallowed a bone. That was supposed to make sure no bones poked through their throats. Bless their little hearts.

The best part of their garden was the strawberries they would grow. I could never eat the fresh ones since I would break out into hives whenever I tried to eat them, any strawberry really. But once they had been macerated or frozen I could eat them. Lucky for me, their freezer was always full of frozen strawberries.

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