For Easter every year, and for nearly every major holiday, my family gets together and eats. . . and eats and eats and then . . . eats some more. We’re all avid and enthusiastic cooks and a few of us are fairly competitive (ahem, not me) and always looking for the dish that will bring one (my sister’s word) “glory.”
Not following me? Okay . . . a relish platter or a green salad is one of those things that always must be on the menu, but it’s not a dish that brings anybody any glory. I should know. I bring the green salad to nearly every family gathering (I like making green salad, it’s true) but I rarely get any attention for it. When I don’t bring a salad, I bring a relish tray. (Yawn.)
On the contrary, my li’l sis Mollie yesterday brought beautiful warm, buttery bunny-rabbit rolls to Easter dinner (“Ooooh! Aaaahhh! Oh, Mollie, these are heavenly!! Not to mention adorable!”) and she also brought a beautiful double-layer chocolate cake with a rich and fudgey frosting and filling. (“Mollie, we have never–ever, ever–tasted such a delicious chocolate cake. Let’s make this cake KING OF THE WORLD, it is so good!”) Yes, TWO made-for-glory dishes, is what she brought. She’s a savvy cook, my li’l sis is. And they were so good that Mollie totally deserved all the oohs and ahhs and unashamed groans of delight that resulted. Totally. (I only wish I had thought to squirrel away a piece of the cake for a snack today. Sigh. I won’t be so thoughtless next time!)
I brought green salad. It was good. No groans of delight, however. Sigh.
Anyway. We have many favourite dishes that must be at nearly every special occasion, and Frog Eye salad is one of those dishes. I would put it up there in the “glory” category, just because if it’s not there I know half a dozen people who will have a fit about it.
I’m always surprised when I mention this euphoric dish, and get, in return, blank stares of non-comprehension and the inevitable question “What the heck is that?” Oftentimes this question is followed by this one: “Does it really contain frog eyes?”
Um, noooo, there are no fish eyes in the salad. Neither is it, technically, a salad, unless you really believe that something with whipped cream and marshmallows is a salad . . .
Which I don’t. It’s just called a salad even though it’s something else, and is called “frog eye” even though not a frog eye is in it. No eyes from any creature, truth is.
It’s kind of a confusing dish, now that I think of it.
When Anita-Clare, the writer of one of my favourite blogs, “Lover of Creating Flavours” (you can look at it right here) asked me what it was, I decided–(right then and there, Anita-Clare!)–that perhaps if this famous and wonderful food blogger didn’t know what it was, perhaps there were lots and lots and lots of people who had never been exposed to the wonders and the confusion that is . . . Frog Eye Salad. And I knew–deep, deep down in the recesses of my heart–that I’d be doing them all a tremendous favour to expose them to the richness and the creaminess and the frog-eyedness of this exquisite and wondrous and confusing . . . um . . . “salad.”
And that, perhaps it would bring me a bit of (dare I hope it?) glory. Even though my sister Anne is the one who always brings the Frog Eye. Are you totally lost yet?
Frog Eye Salad is silky and fruity and feels so good on the tongue, but you must make it so you’ll know what I’m talking about. My words cannot quite do it justice, I’m certain of that. And, for the record, it’s not even that hard to make.
Try it–it may just become a family favourite with you, too!
- 1⅓ cups acini de pepe pasta, cooked, then drained and cooled
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tb flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1½ cups juice from drained pineapple or other fruit juice
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 can fruit cocktail, drained
- 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
- mini marshmallows (as much as you'd like)
- 9 oz container of Cool Whip, or similar amount of freshly whipped cream
- Mix together sugar, flour, and salt.
- Gradually stir into dry ingredients 2 beaten eggs and fruit juices, in saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened. Add lemon juice and let cool.
- Drain all fruit well (other canned fruits can be used, too, according to your tastes).
- Add fruit and marshmallows to cooled mixture.
- Fold in Cool Whip or whipped cream.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- You're going to love me for sharing this recipe with you! Enjoy!
- Book Report: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
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