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Limiting time in kitchen; no bake recipes bring nostalgia

By Lisa Tindell

As the weather continues to heat up across the south, I can’t help but continue to think about dishes that require no cooking and very little time in the kitchen.
Although I am the only one in my immediate family that cares anything about a congealed salad, I have many friends and extended family members that do enjoy them as much as I do.
There isn’t anything that seems more nostalgic to me than congealed salad, but for the life of me I just can’t figure out why in the world they are even called a salad. The only thing I can imagine is that someone brought a lime congealed salad to a family reunion and called it a vegetable and dubbed it a salad. Sounds like something some of my relatives would have done. There may be a little cooking involved because you do have to bring some kind of liquid to the boiling point when making jello, but most of us have mastered that in the microwave, so there: no stove is required.
At any rate, there are as many different recipes for congealed salads as there are hairs on a dogs’ back. Most all of them have a couple of things in common: cottage cheese or frozen whipped topping, sometimes both.
These salads are a great opportunity to look back in time when cool dishes were a staple on the Sunday table as well as any well-respected homecoming dinner-on-the-grounds or even the once-a-year cousin fest of a family reunion.
My favorite recipes are filled with pineapple, cherries, oranges, pecans or walnuts, cool whip and the obligatory box of jello. I have even had a buttermilk version that was mighty tasty.
I hope that you’ll take an opportunity and maybe step out of your comfort zone a little and visit the recipe box of your grandmother sometime soon and try out at least one of the dozen or so congealed salad recipes she has on that little index card.
Summer is a time for food, fun, family and memories. Pull out that old Dutch-blue flowered Corning Ware bowl and stir up a fluffy dish that is wonderful whether you put it next to the potato salad (also not a salad, in my opinion) or down by Aunt Betty’s coconut cake. I hope you find a few memories as you do it and create a few in the process.

Watergate Salad
Ingredients:
20 oz. crushed pineapple
4 oz. box instant pistachio pudding mix
1 cup mini marshmallow
½ cup chopped pecans or walnut
2 whipped topping
Prepare:
Mix together pineapple, pudding, marshmallows and nuts until well
blended. Fold in whipped topping and chill.

Buttermilk Congealed Salad
Ingredients:
20 oz. can of crushed pineapple
2 cups buttermilk
8 oz. whipped topping
2 small boxes Jello, flavor of your choice
Prepare:
Heat the pineapple and juice in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil. Add the jello and mix well. Remove the pot front heat and add the buttermilk and stir to combine. Allow to cool for about 20 or 30 minutes and stir in the whipped topping. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, overnight is better.

Pink Stuff
Ingredients:
12 oz. crushed pineapple
8 oz. box strawberry jello
12 oz. whipped topping
12 ounces cottage cheese
½ cup chopped pecans
Prepare:
Drain any liquid from the pineapple and the
cottage cheese. Mix the jello with the whipped
topping until well blended. Mix the drained pineapple and cottage cheese into jello mixture. Stir in nuts (if desired). Transfer to serving bowl. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.