After Mass yesterday morning, we were off to visit family for the holiday meal. My brother’s mother-in-law, an old family friend and adoptive “grandma” of the young miss, hosted.
The main Thanksgiving fare was already spoken for in the food contributions. Lots of vegetables covered, like a bean and bacon casserole, sweet potatoes, and one of those nice corn mushes. What about a fruit salad, I asked.
Between you and me and the rest of the net, I dislike jello salads. About 80 percent of the online recipes for fruit salads seem to include “gelatin” in some form. Diluting gelatin with marshmallows or whip topping isn’t really an option. But in trolling the Allrecipes site, I did find an easy “Autumn Apple Salad II” that seemed to have lots of promise.
The family and I went shopping Wednesday night and dang if personal preferences didn’t come out in the food aisles.
“Does it have to have cranberries? I don’t like cranberries.” (This is Thanksgiving; the cran-holiday.)
“It has nuts. What if people are allergic to nuts?” (I’ll put a food advisory on the bowl.)
“Dried cherries? Can’t you substitute celery or something for it?” (No, you can’t substitute a vegetable in a fruit’s place. And besides; I don’t like celery!)
So here’s the recipe:
8 granny smith apples, cored, and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 6 oz bag of dried apricots chopped roughly
1 8 ox bag of dried, chopped dates
about 5oz of slivered almonds, lightly grilled in peanut oil
24oz of strawberry yogurt
a few (maybe 15) chopped fresh cranberries, plus some fresh ground nutmeg and some cardamom to taste
Commentary: After sitting in the fridge overnight, the dried apricots picked up some moisture from the yogurt and their texture the day after was just right. A little too heavy on the nuts, and I think pecans would be a better choice. While the pastel pink, orange, and green were a nice enough presentation, I think the pecans and dates would give it just the right visual contrast: a little bit of brown. Yogurt is definitely better than cream cheese the women of the household commented, health-wise and to add another complementary fruit flavor. The original recipe called for vanilla yogurt. No idea why I put in the fresh cranberries, but it was interesting to chop them in half and see what they were made of.
Anybody have any links to their own holiday recipes?