All My Ancestors

28 November 2010

Pink Salad: 100th Carnival of Genealogy

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Mom by allmyanc

Jasia said:

And the topic for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is… “There’s one in every family!” Bring your stories of colorful characters, unique heirlooms, mouth-watering recipes, most dearly beloved pets, whatever! Interpret as you like. Every family has “special” individuals, you know, the ones with a green thumb, the black sheep, the lone wolf, the blue-ribbon cook, the story-teller, the geek! I know you have treasured recipes and amazing heirlooms you’ve yet to share! Tell us about them and become a part of history in the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy!

Though I haven’t been blogging much lately, I do want to do my part to make Jasia’s dream come true of 100 entries for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.  I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a topic and finally I decided to blog about my mother’s “Pink Salad” that usually made an appearance at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinners.

Then I noticed that the instructions read “treasured recipe.”  This one doesn’t fit that category for me.  But it is memorable.

When I started looking for the recipe for this concoction, I knew I wouldn’t find it in my mother’s handwriting.  She didn’t really save recipes except in a jumble in the top drawer to the left of the cooktop.  They didn’t survive the cleaning out of the house–she may have thrown them all away herself as she did clean out their house at least twice before we had to move dad out.  I could remember that it had Eagles Brand (aka sweetened condensed milk), Cool Whip, and cherry pie filling.  So when I did a little investigation online, I found this one at, which allows you to put in some ingredients and provides recipes with them included.  There were several variations of this salad, all with rave reviews.  Which surprised me.  So maybe it does fit the “mouthwatering” criteria.

1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed


    1. Mix together the cherry pie filling, condensed milk, oranges, pineapple, coconut, marshmallows and whipped topping.
    2. Chill for several hours and top with crushed pecans if desired.

    My mom sliced bananas into it right before serving, and I don’t think we ever had coconut in it–too many members of the family disliked this particular ingredient.  And there weren’t always mandarin oranges, but it was always large and pink and fluffy, and usually served in her large yellow pyrex bowl–maybe it was the color combo that didn’t appeal to me.

    Actually, while I am far from a health food nut and am known to say “There is no such thing as too rich for me,” this salad just seemed not worth what I knew was a decadent “salad,” and not it a good way.  I would have no problem consuming the same number of calories and fat grams if chocolate had been involved.

    But it was traditional and when I started thinking about it, it reminded me of the story I heard about some members of the Clinton family insisting to their White House chef that Coca Cola Jello salad be prepared for their holiday meal, much to the chef’s consternation.  And then I remembered we’ve had that one too.

    We do love our congealed salads at holiday times–I found this whole post on a foodie blog devoted to them.


    4 Responses to “Pink Salad: 100th Carnival of Genealogy”

    1. Sometimes it’s not the actual recipe that’s treasured, but the memories attached to them.

    2. Thank you for that insight. :-) You are right. The vision of that salad is as clear as a bell in my mind, with my granddad, who LOVED sweets, digging in multiple times. And all the planning that went into making it because the ingredients were not things we kept at home except at holiday times.

    3. In our family it was the lime jello salads. It’s amazing what you can put in one of those…

    4. In our family it was the lime jello salads. It’s amazing what my grandmother put in them…

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