Thursday, November 05, 2009

You Can Pick Your Friends, You Can Pick Your Nose, But You Can’t Pick Your Friend’s Nose…Or Your Family And Their Traditions (Edited to add Recipe!)

Well, I asked for it. Ya’ll gave me some topics to discuss, and I’ll cover them all. (Except maybe for Husband's, because I am neither a Theologian or a Philosopher.) But with the holidays coming up, Mom gave me a perfect topic to talk about. In case ya’ll didn’t see her comment from yesterday, it was only two words. It said, “Blueberry salad.” I laughed when I read it because I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to write about it before.

Families and their traditions are as varied as the fish in the sea. Some are reminiscent of The Waltons and some are more like the Griswolds. I’d like to think we fall somewhere in the middle – at least on most days.

One of our traditions that goes back for as long as I can remember is Blueberry Salad. It has been made for nearly every family holiday gathering for years.

I didn’t realize how bizarre that was until Husband started coming to our family holidays and looked at us like, well, like that. I don’t think he was weirded out that we have the same thing every holiday necessarily, but the dish itself is admittedly a bit strange.

Probably only in the south can Jell-o be a main ingredient in a recipe and it be called a salad. Because in the south, Jell-o is practically its own food group.

I’m just sayin’.

So, what’s in a Blueberry Salad? I’m listing this from memory, so I will have to depend on Mom and Curly to make sure I’m not missing anything. Yes, I have the recipe, but I don’t want to get up and go find it. And I haven’t been the one charged with making of the Blueberry Salad in years. (**Edited - the recipe is at the bottom...scroll down!**)

Ready? Raspberry Jell-o, a can of blueberries, crushed pineapple, mixed together and refrigerated until solid. Oh, but that’s not all! There’s a “frosting” that goes with it!

Oh yes there is.

The frosting is made of cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. It’s spread over the top of the firm Jell-o, then topped with chopped pecans.

And in our family, it’s not considered dessert. It goes right next to the sweet potato casserole and turkey dressing.

If you have texture issues, stay far, far away from this dish.

But hey, we own it. We are proud of our Blueberry Salad, and we don’t care who knows it. Or at least I don’t. I probably shouldn’t speak for the rest of the family.

I would love to hear some of your family’s traditions – sweet and sappy, bizarre, and positively insane. Come on! You know you have them!

Blueberry Salad

2 pkg. Raspberry Jell-o

2 cups boiling water

1 can blueberries, drained

1 sm. can crushed pineapple, drained

Dissolve Jell-o with boiling water in a 13x9 pan. Add fruit, stir. Set in refrigerator until firm.


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 pint sour cream

8 oz. cream cheese

Combine, spread on firm Jell-o mixture. Top with chopped pecans if desired.

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  1. Well, my family has always done a steak dinner on Christmas Eve and the parents have always given my sis and I matching PJs which is pretty fun! This year we added reading the Christmas story out of the Bible, which I loved and couldn't believe we had not done this in the past! We are going to start some new traditions this year, I think! Jeff's family is just crazy! Great to chat with you today!!

  2. We have to have blueberry salad at every holiday because the one time we didn't have it - more than one of the kids said the holiday just didn't seem complete without it. And in case you are wondering...we don't have blueberry salad any other time during the year...ONLY holidays. I have the ingredients on my shopping list...getting ready for Thanksgiving! Ummm! Good!

  3. Come on, Melissa! That all sounds perfectly normal and even possibly pleasant. Are you sure it's family we're talking about here? Ha! Just kidding. Steak is one tradition I could totally go for!

  4. OK...first, I say that (your post title) to my son all the time! I think my Uncle Mike taught it to me!

    Second, so glad you posted a Jell-o salad, too! I must be a southern tradition. And I greatly prefer Jello to green salads! :)

  5. If you hadn't mentioned that you are from the south, I would have assumed you were Mormon. Because us Mormons love our Jello too. :)

  6. that sounds great!

    my mom makes an orange jello salad with pineapple, marshmallows and cottage cheese ... so this combo sounds good to me.

  7. That sounds delicious! I've had something very similar to your blueberry salad-- it used blueberry pie filling and grape gelatin though. Very tasty, even if it's not "salad!"

  8. Strawberry jello salad is a norm at my family gatherings. You also can't have texture issues with it either. This sounds really good though!