Food and traditions go hand in hand. We often associate holidays and other special events specifically to a certain meal or dish. Birthday means cake. Thanksgiving means turkey. Even the not so happy times call for food. Down with a cold? Chicken soup.
One of my family’s traditional foods is a dish that I have been making since my kids were little. They love my fluffy salad and to this day expect it at our family gatherings. It is made with simple ingredients and takes only a couple minutes to put together. Even as adults, I find them piling it on their plates, and going back for seconds.
I thought they’d grow out of it as adults, but I also thought they’d grow out of watching cartoons, too.
It is definitely a dish that was developed in Utah, because nowhere else in the country do people eat so much Jell-O.
The salad itself doesn’t have to use the exact ingredients listed. If fact, you can make it any flavor you want. My family prefers orange, but they also like when I use raspberry gelatin and fresh raspberries. The possibilities are as endless as the flavors of Jell-O.
Belle’s Fluffy Salad
1 small box orange flavored gelatin (dry)
1 (8 ounce) tub of whipped topping
1 (16 ounce) tub of cottage cheese
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 (8 ounce can) mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows (optional)
Mix together the gelatin and whipped topping. Add the cottage cheese and blend well. Add the pineapple, oranges and marshmallows (if desired) and carefully fold them into the mixture. Chill for about 2 hours before serving.
Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author and novelist. Her website is at talesofthedinnerbelle.com.