Experiencing the Fourth of July as a local can be quite an interesting task. It begins as early as Thursday with the entourage of tourists engulfing into our community of Branson West. By Friday, it is full blown pandemonium with people everywhere. Groceries, you say? Ha, you should have gotten that important chore done no later than Thursday morning! Getting on the lake, no way, we wait until the holiday is over! Except to experience the fireworks, most locals allow the out-of-towners the privilege of enjoying beautiful Table Rock Lake. We love having the guests, it’s what fuels our economy. This local stocks the pantry and goes into semi-hibernation for most holidays. I rest, snuggle with our dog, Rumor, and enjoy the time at home.
In some of my research in the last few weeks I’m reading where they say gelatin salads are going to be making a comeback. The salad I’m bringing your way is found in my cookbook, ‘Simply Yours’. It’s an extremely simple ‘fluffy’ and refreshing salad. My mother always taught me to try and keep ingredients on hand for salads of this nature. This way if you had unexpected company or you had to make a fast dish for a bereavement you could do so. It is at this point that I remind you of my youth. Most of the time there was no grocery store and the closest major one was at least 25- 45 minutes away. I also came from a conservative upbringing and you didn’t drive to town to buy a box of jello! Basically you kept the pantry stocked. I live only 1 1/2 miles from two groceries, but I still don’t like to dart out for just an item or two.
You could make this salad much tastier if fresh whipped cream was used instead of ‘cool whip’. I’m also wondering if a few nutmeats of personal choice might be a good addition.
Make this a strawberry fluff salad and strawberries in place of pineapple, banana pudding instead of lemon pudding and bananas in place of the mandarin oranges. Continue with the cool whip and marshmallows as usual. Perhaps the addition of pecans would be a good choice too. During the hotter months this can also provide perfect closer to a heavy meal. WAIT—Remove the nuts and add torn pieces of angel food cake. OR use all the ingredients in this recipe as stated and add a lemon pound cake or an angel food cake and you’ve got delicious trifles!
Remember how nice blue berries are against the lemon—
This week my nephew and niece from Kansas City are here visiting for a week. I’ve taken vacation time, and I can’t wait to enjoy their presence. We are doing lots of activities and most are either in air conditioning, on the water, or in a cave. Hopefully it will help us survive the extremely high temperatures this week.
Remember to hydrate well, and take breaks to get out of the direct sun.
A cold rag around the neck can do wonders. Re-do your sunscreen at least every 2 hours. Eat fruits and vegetables and not so many heavy foods. Keep Tylenol handy.
Lemon Fluff Salad
1 large can (approx. 20 oz.), crushed or tidbit pineapple, undrained
1 small box lemon instant pudding
1 (8 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 small carton (8 oz.) cool whip
Marshmallows if desired
Mix pineapple with pudding, stirring well. Fold in whipped topping and marshmallows and lastly the mandarin oranges (To prevent too much tearing turn in last.) Chill.