The Washington Times-Herald

November 15, 2011

Not like Grandma used to make, but better

By Joyce Bullington
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — Now I know I’m not the best when it comes to preparing Thanksgiving dinner, but I don’t believe anyone has left my table hungry. No matter how I try, my dressing never tastes like Grandma’s.

At least one thing is always overcooked. Something has finished cooking early and is not real warm at mealtime. I had to stick the turkey in the microwave one year to finish it up real quick. And there is always something I intended to make but forgot. One year it was rolls.

I have finally learned how to turn out a decent pumpkin pie, but since I don’t make pie crust I have to give Pillsbury some credit for that. After years of dressing that was too dry I think I have figured out the secret there. I’ve made noodles from scratch, but they didn’t get any higher marks than the frozen ones so I don’t bother anymore. My husband told me last year that he likes my sister’s sweet potatoes better than mine, so guess what she is bringing this year?

I’ve tried new recipes throughout the years. Some went over better than others. My family seems to like the traditional food like Grandma used to make, so I think this year I’ll keep it simple.

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a cranberry salad that I absolutely love, so if no one but me eats it that’s fine. Most people either love or hate cranberry salad. I can tolerate the canned gel version that Grandma served, but this one is so easy to prepare and so much better. I haven’t added the apples because I don’t like that they turn brown so quickly. If you have a big crowd, chances are the salad will be eaten before the apples turn, but since I usually end up eating it for a week I prefer to leave the apples out.


Cranberry-Pineapple Salad

 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained

2 pkg. (4-serving size) or 1 pkg. (8-serving size) cherry or raspberry flavor gelatin

1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce

1 medium apple, chopped

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Drain pineapple, reserve juice. Remove 1 tbsp. crushed pineapple; set aside for garnish. In medium saucepan combine reserved juice with water to make 3 cups; heat to boiling. Add gelatin; stir at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cranberry sauce. Pour into large bowl. Refrigerate 1 1/2 hours or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites).

Stir in remaining pineapple, apple and walnuts; stir gently until well blended. Pour into medium serving bowl.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Garnish with reserved crushed pineapple and additional apple slices just before serving. Store leftover gelatin in refrigerator.