Grandma's pink salad
I'm guessing pretty much everyone has a special dish they associate with holiday dinners, whether it's Mom's almond stuffing, Aunt Ev's scalloped oysters or whatever.
In my family, that dish was a concoction my grandmother simply called pink salad. To me, the highlight of every holiday meal was this wonderful mixture of raspberry Jell-O, cream cheese, evaporated milk, maraschino cherries, crushed pineapple, walnuts and mayonnaise.
When my grandmother passed away in 1994, the tradition was carried on by my father. This year he handed the recipe down to me and I prepared it for the first time for Thanksgiving dinner with my wife and her family and again for Christmas dinner.
After the initial expressions of concern about the appearance of the dish – kind of like a pink cottage cheese – the reaction was universally positive.
So here is the recipe for a lifetime of holiday memories:
Grandma Robarge's pink salad
1 6-ounce package of raspberry Jell-O
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
1 8-ounce jar maraschino cherries
1 12-ounce can crushed walnuts
Mix Jell-O and refrigerate until it starts to thicken (about two hours). Mix cream cheese, evaporated milk and mayonnaise and add to Jell-O. Cut cherries in half and add with pineapple and walnuts to mixture. Return to refrigerator until it thickens (about another two hours). Stir and serve.