Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grandma Margaret's Orange Salad {The post I never set out to write...but needed to more than I knew}


Orange Delight.

Hawaiian Delight.

I've heard it called many different things.

And I have tried different variations.

With coconut.


With mini-marshmallows.


But there is only one Orange Salad in my world.

And it came straight from my Grandma Margaret's kitchen.

My favorite place to be from childhood on into adulthood.

I apologize for not having better pictures.

And of course for the poor lighting that comes with my strange need to cook at night.

You see, I had it all put together before I thought to grab my camera and I CANNOT make it again before Thanksgiving because I will eat it all.

Just like I did with this bowl you see here.

You are just gonna have to trust me when I say that it is heavenly to the palette.

This dish is perfect for Thanksgiving.

Although I have yet to decide if it is a side dish or a dessert.

It's both I suppose because I always make room for it on my savory main course plate...yet somehow it always ends up on my dessert plate next to the pecan pie as well.

Let's pretend that I didn't just confess to having multiple desserts on a plate at one time.

Okie dokie?

Did I mention how easy it is to make?!?!

You will not regret making this I promise.

Unless you eat the whole bowl yourself.

In that case, I cannot be held responsible.

It is a risk that comes with this dish.

**I did not bother with Weight Watchers points while making this...although they could easily be calculated. I have no plans to count points on Thanksgiving Day. Gonna make it all about healthy choices and portion control but also going to enjoy this special day with my family.**

16 oz. Lite Cool Whip (or regular..depends on if you are watching your figure)
1 package of orange jello powder (you can use sugar free if you like)
1 container Cottage Cheese (I use a large tub because I like a can use less)
1 Large can Crushed Pineapple (Drained well)
2 Cans Mandarin Oranges (more or less depending on your taste..I like a lot so I use 2 cans)
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl and store in refrigerator to chill for a while.

While writing this post I found myself flooded with emotions and had to stop and regroup.

And decide if I would keep writing.

Emotions I had not allowed myself to feel in a long time.

That old familiar sting of memory and grief.

Why did I think I could just mention her in some generic recipe post and move on?

It is never that simple when it comes to her.

You see this lady has a place in my heart that no one will ever hold.

She was more to me than just a grandma.

She was a provider.

A nurturer.



She was my safe refuge in the midst of a childhood that was at times very stormy.

My parents were just kids themselves.

Teenagers thrust into a world they did not know how to navigate.

God has graciously healed and restored those relationships and I am at a very good place with both of my parents today.

In fact it is just another example of His faithfulness in my life and I give Him all the glory for it.

Both my mother and my father are very aware of this bond that existed between she and I.

And I know they would both understand and respect my need to honor her for all she gave to me.

She helped shape who I am today.

Her faith helped me to believe.

The blessings she repeatedly spoke over my life gave me a glimpse of a plan for my life greater than I could imagine.

Her faithfulness to hit her knees and intercede on my behalf saved me I know.

"God is going to use you in a mighty way one day Talysa"

I can still hear it.

I miss her everyday.

For so many different reasons.

But this is the time of year I miss her most.

This was her time to shine.

So I do what my mom, my aunt, and everyone else in my family does this time of year.

I honor her legacy of being "The Best Cook Ever" by attempting to recreate the dishes she made famous.

Food is just food.

Unless it is an integral part of a specific moment in time.

Then it becomes so much more.

Essential even.

It is why we make the same things every single holiday.

We all have our "orange salad".

That one dish that serves as a bridge to close the gap from the here and now to days gone by.

My senses rally.

The memories come.

Like flood waters without mercy.

And it is almost as though I am there again.

Watching her small, fragile, yet strong hands busily at work around the oven.

Laughing as the steam fogs her glasses.

Listening as she quietly sings her favorite hymn "What a Day That Will Be" to herself.

Wishing dessert, just once, came first so I could have a piece of her to die for coconut cake.

Reliving memories with family I may not see again until this time next year.

Standing at the sink after dinner washing ridiculous amounts of dishes.

Praying that by next Thanksgiving someone will have installed a dishwasher.

Painfully full but somehow left wanting more.

More of her food.

More of her.

More time.

Today, as I weep for a grandma that I miss immensely, I am thankful for the hope and promise I have in Christ.

That because of the faith and trust I have placed in Him, I can take comfort in knowing that I will one day be with her again.

She will be more than a memory.

She will be whole.

She will know exactly who I am.

No more of the horrible disease that robbed her of her memory of me.

Of all of us.

She will wipe those precious little hands off on her apron and I will once again hear that fiery voice say "Land sakes! Talysa Dawn, where have you been? Well next time you don't need to stay gone so long you hear? You're hungry I'll bet. Well, come on in here and I'll fix you something to eat."

And when we have stuffed ourselves full of her coconut cake...

We will load the dishwasher. :-)

What a day...glorious day...that will be.

This was one of her favorite songs. The one I most remember hearing her sing around the house. Only now that I am older and have had my mistakes covered by His grace can I read these lyrics and completely understand why they meant so much to her. She wasn't perfect...even though as I child I thought she was. None of us are. We are all just sinners in desperate need of a Savior. Extended more grace than we will ever be worthy of.

I wanted to add this video because it is exactly the way she would have enjoyed hearing it. She was a sucker for Southern Gospel. :-)

by Jim Hill
There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There’ll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

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