Do you ever have those moments that you need to get something done, but you just can’t make a final decision?? The older I get, the harder it is for me to decide. Maybe it is because I am just getting “pickier.”
I make jams and jellies and this year, I decided to make my own Cranberry Sauce. It was actually a cranberry jelly, but it turned out to be a product I was proud of. Both of my grandmother’s made jellies and preserves. My “city” grandmother really enjoyed making peach jelly, syrup, and preserves. My “country” grandmother canned everything, and helping and watching both of them, I gained a love for preserving food. My Aunt (from the country grandmother) carries on the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving at her house. She and my mother asked me to bring a variety of jams/jellies home for them, including the “homemade cranberry sauce” for our Thanksgiving dinner, and she asked me to make a cranberry salad.
For nostalgic purposes, I didn’t want to search the internet for a recipe. I took out one of my “city” grandmother’s old cookbooks that was just salads and began searching. Every recipe I found had aspects that I found delightful, but none of them were exactly what I wanted. I found one that was close to what I wanted:
CRANBERRY APPLE SALAD
1 qt cranberries
6 apples, peeled and cored
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 sm can crushed pineapple
1/4 c. chopped nuts
1 pkg miniature marshmallows
2 c. heavy cream, whipped
Grind cranberries and apples; add sugar. Let set for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; freeze. NOTE: Chilled evaporated milk may be substituted for heavy cream. Yield: 12 servings.
This recipe was found in “Favorite Recipes of America- Salads” 1966; Recipe was submitted by Norma Stuart, Altoona, Iowa
Well, it was close… but I homeschool three teenagers, I am peri-menopausal, and most of all, I.AM.TIRED. My food processor is broken, I didn’t have a quart of cranberries hiding in the freezer, I just was not in the frame of mind, or the mood to cut and chop fresh apples, my wonderful husband had just bought me 2 lbs. of pecans and it was an insult to only use 1/4 cup, I didn’t have a small can of pineapple, and I was NOT whipping cream on that day!! So, I took the original ingredients and tweaked them a bit to fit what I did have on hand and this is what I created:
LORI’S CRANBERRY SALAD
1 jar cranberry jelly or 1 can jelled cranberry sauce
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 can apple pie filling, mashed
1/2 c. sugar or sweeten to taste
1 l6 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 (ok, I used 3/4) c. chopped pecans
1/2 pkg mini marshmallows
tub of whipped topping.
Mix together all ingredients except whipped topping, place in your favorite bowl or casserole dish, and chill. Serve with whipped topping.
Print this recipe here: cranberry salad printable
What did I like about my version: It was quick and easy. The spices in the apple pie filling was a huge plus. It was yummy good, and I have enjoyed the left-overs everyday since Thanksgiving.
What could/would be better: It would have been much healthier with the fresh fruits and cream.
THINKING OUT OF THE BOX: I have this crazy idea that this would be the most awesome Chicken or (left over) Turkey Cranberry Salad. Leave out the sugar, marshmallows and whipped topping and add some shredded or diced chicken and maybe a Tbsp of finely chopped red onion. MMMM, I can just taste it now…
And how much are my mom and aunt enjoying those jellies/jams? Well, I guess we will find out at Christmas… if I actually remember to take them, that is…