06 November 2009

Now, let's talk Thanksgiving

A blog that I really enjoy is Kelly's Korner. Every Friday, she has a "Show Us Your Life Feature." Up until now, I haven't participated; I've just found some great ideas for recipes and decorating. Since I'm in a holiday spirit today, I thought I'd participate in this one: Thanksgiving Recipes and Traditions.

Thanksgiving for my family is a little different than the typical family. My mom and her best friend, Bonnie, have owned a restaurant, The Cherry Laurel, for almost 20 years. (Wow, that makes me feel old.) Our families are super close, and you rarely hear of the Ingram's going anywhere without the Wilson's, and vice verse. We do all of our holiday's together. And it's so much fun.

For our families, Thanksgiving means cooking. Cooking for dozens and dozens of people. The day before, Bonnie's daughters, Ashley and Allison, and I join our mom's and their employees for hours of cooking. It's exhausting. Last year, I made 16 pie crusts. And it was my first time to ever make pie crust. I usually make the apple pies and a good portion of the casseroles.

Although I love everything on the table at Thanksgiving (well, everything BUT the turkey), I don't know that it'd be Thanksgiving with Strawberry Pretzel Salad.

I know what you're thinking. Why would you ever put salad on your Thanksgiving plate?! Well, let me tell you, it's not salad. For those of you who grew up with grandmother's who had to have a salad with a meal, you know that salad usually means something sweet-ish with Cool Whip, Jell-o pudding powder and marshmallows. And this is a kicked-up version of that salad. Kicked-up because it's salty and sweet, which I L.O.V.E. And even though it's sweet, you still eat it with the meal, not dessert. But since it is sweet you can eat it with the meal AND dessert. It's so good that you'll want it twice. Guaranteed.

Just a disclaimer: this recipe has been published in every church cookbook since 1943. Or sometime around there. I wish I could say that you're getting a Cherry Laurel secret, but you're not. The secret is that we use church cookbooks every now and then. And they rarely disappoint. Those church ladies know how to cook! Especially if it involves Cool Whip in salads.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
2 C crushed pretzel sticks
3/4 C melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1 C sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 6-oz. pkg strawberry Jello
2 C boiling water
2 10-oz. pkgs frozen strawberries, partially thawed

Mix first three ingredients and press into the bottom of a 9"x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees, 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Beat sugar and cream cheese. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over pretzels. Mix Jello in water until dissolved. Add strawberries. Stir Jello and strawberry mixture and set aside for 10 minutes. Pour over cream cheese. Chill until Jello is completely set.


Kickin' Kari said...

I just saved this recipe. I'm excited to try it! Thank you for sharing!!

jenniedub said...

Just saw your post on Kelly's website. My mother in law makes this and it is SOOOOOOO good. I am glad I finally got the recipe and will have to print it! :)

jenniedub said...

Oh and congrats on your recent wedding! How exciting!!!! :)

betsyp said...

I freaking LOVE strawberry pretzel salad!! It's so ridiculously good. I knew you had good taste! :)

mustard seeds said...

We have that too and I loooove it.