My sister-in-law sent out a Facebook message to the family who plans to be present at Thanksgiving this year at her house. It said: “OK everybody we are starting to get into the Thanksgiving mood! So, here is what we want to know. What is that one special dish that you just have to have at Thanksgiving? The one dish that makes Thanksgiving special for you?”
The conversation that followed was filled with silliness, which is typical of Smart family communication. However, everyone was able to name a dish they would like to have on the table.
Most are the traditional recipes, and frankly, I’m not sure why we keep asking. We could make a Smart Family Thanksgiving Menu to use each year with these repeating family favorites.
With both my sister-in-law and me being from West Texas, the fare we have “trained” our family to expect leans in the direction of our own roots: Turkey, ham, sage dressing, green bean casserole, broccoli, cheese and rice casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top – all recipes our mothers taught us and passed down for the next generation.
My choice dish is something that I remember being a part of many of my childhood Thanksgiving’s. My mother only made it on special occasions and that made it extra special to me. When I make it now, it brings back lovely memories of past celebrations.
Many Jell-O salad recipes include a mixture of fruit, gelatin and cottage cheese. This recipe is a bit different. It may take a little longer since melting cream cheese and marshmallows takes time, but the end result is definitely worth it.
I’ve made it with and without the pecans (another southern favorite) depending on whom I am serving it to. You might even want to try your favorite nut in place of mine.
Lime Jell-O Salad
1 3-ounce box lime Jell-O
1 cup boiling water
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
8 ounces Cool Whip
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
Dissolve Jell-O in water in a double boiler. Add cream cheese and marshmallows; heat until dissolved. Cool mixture in the refrigerator.
Add pineapple, mayonnaise, pecans and Cool Whip.
Pour into serving bowl. Refrigerate until set.