I believe that food holds a special place in our lives and memories. You will often hear people talk lovingly about a dish or dessert that is always present during special holiday dinners or festivities. I love having traditional foods that only make an appearance during that time, as I think it adds love and anticipation. In my family there is such a dish…it’s Sunshine Salad.
Sunshine Salad first made an appearance in my life on my wedding day. On a beautiful fall morning in 1997, as I woke up in my parents home on the day I was getting married, a breakfast basket was brought down by our sweet, considerate neighbors. It was filled with juice, muffins, and this delicious fruit salad! Besides the thoughtfulness of that gesture leaving a lasting impression, the fruit salad also stuck with me…for the next 20+ years!
- 1 can pineapple tidbits
- 1 can mandarin oranges
- 1 package instant lemon pudding
- ¼-1/3 Cup of milk
- 1 Cup sliced strawberries- (fresh or frozen berries that are thawed)
- 1 banana, sliced
- Drain pineapple and mandarin oranges, reserving the juice
- Add milk to to the reserved juice, until you have 2 cups of liquid
- In a medium size bowl combine the liquid and instant lemon pudding mix and whisk or mix for 2 minutes
- Fold in the pineapple, oranges and strawberries
- Cover and chill for 1 hour
- Add 1 sliced banana just before serving
I don’t remember exactly when I started making Sunshine Salad for my family, but I’m guessing probably when the kids were 2 or 3 years old. It’s a super easy, quick to assemble dish, that I could make anytime, but I made a conscious decision to only make this at Christmas…and then a few years ago I also started making it at Easter….so that everyone looks forward to it and enjoys it. It has consistently been the most anticipated holiday food that I make..and it’s so easy…that it’s almost embarrassing. 😉
I really look at food as a source of nourishment and love. I spend a lot of time each week meal planning, and cooking and even though I may occasionally get tired of it, I hope I am providing my family with fond memories of our life and home. It’s important to me. They are not going to remember most or any of the gifts they will receive during a big holiday, but I know the foods that make up these special family times will probably always stay with them. We talk a lot about food here. 😉
I just wanted to take a minute and thank Liz Hubley who was…and still is…my parents next door neighbour…for the breakfast basket on my wedding day almost 20 years ago..and a recipe that now has deep roots in our family. xo
Sunshine Salad is perfect for an Easter morning with some bagels, hard-boiled eggs or cheese. Do you have any traditional foods you only make during the Holidays? Tell me about them and what memories you have of it.