Growing up, we had these great neighbors with whom we always had fantastic potlucks. Our neighborhood was really a fantastic place. The 4th of July picnic involved an all-neighborhood water fight and blocking off the street. A writer I knew even wrote about it. I’m not sure if it’s in his published works or not, but I intend to read his books to find out.
As much fun as July 4th was, it was Thanksgivings that stick in my mind. There were green salads with chickpeas in them. It seemed exotic to me at the time. (Note to self: start doing that more again). My mom would make sweet potato rolls. There was enough variations of the traditional foods that it seemed like passing the food almost took longer than eating it. The crown jewel of the meal, the thing that seemed the most impressive in that whole meal was the frozen fruit salad. It was always done in a ring mold and had canned fruit cocktail and bananas and whipped cream and marshmallows. At the time, I had no idea that this version of frozen salad existed. For some reason I associate butter mints and salted peanuts with old ladies (or ladies that seemed very old when I was very young). The addition of canned pineapple and marshmallows combined into a creamy frozen Jell-O salad solidifies that feeling. It’s both disgusting and wonderful all at the same time. One of those guilty pleasures. The nuts add a bit of crunch and texture. The mints kind of bring everything together and make it really refreshing in an unexpected way.
When I made the salad, I realized partway through my freezing that I had forgotten to add the mints. I ran downstairs to the freezer expecting that the salad would be frozen solid and there would and I was going to have to figure out a workaround, but it turned out that when we moved the freezer, someone had plugged it back into the wrong outlet and the power strip had tripped. This meant my salad could easily be saved. (It hadn’t been very long, so everything else in the freezer was saved also. Not like that other time when I suddenly had to cook 3 pounds of ground beef, some ribs and some chicken.)
When you look at the recipe, there is something written next to the word “Jell-O”. It looks like “clay”, but is probably “cherry”, but I didn’t know, so we used lemon Jell-O.
Sorry for the lack of pictures on this post.
A word of caution, this is a dessert salad. You can serve it along with your regular meal, but it is very sweet.
1 large pack small marshmallows
1 pack Jell-O (the small box)
1 large can crushed pineapple
mix and refrigerate overnight.
Crush 1 pack butter mints. Mix with 1 cup cream whipped. Add nuts. Mix with Jell-O and freeze.