Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Orange Jello Salad




Orange Jello Salad

Dorcas Annette Walker


Now that the holidays are over I often find myself wondering what to do with all the oranges that have accumulated from school sales and church handouts with candy Christmas Sunday. So this week I made up a batch of Orange Jello Salad using up some of my oranges. With all the colds and flu going around this is a great way to build up a vitamin C barrier against all the germs.


Oranges always bring back memories of past Christmases when every year we’d head out of the cold weather to Florida where my parent moved after I got married. I always looked forward to the warm sunshine as a welcome break in the middle of winter feasting my eyes on the green grass and flowers blooming after being surrounded by a bleak landscape. I’ll never forget the fascination my toddler daughter had when she discovered an orange for the first time. Dawn carried it around the entire time we were there smelling and playing with the round orange ball that barely fit in her tiny hands. Despite all the Christmas toys she received, Dawn always returned to play with her orange. After my mother died we went back once more to Florida during the spring to visit the hospital where she had worked for so many years giving a picture and plaque in her memory. The state seemed so empty without her presence. Even the sunshine didn’t feel as warm as before. Florida had become a strange place instead of the warm homecoming that I had always associated it with. As we were traveling back home I suddenly smelled a sweet fragrance through the open car window. Within seconds we were surrounded by blooming orange groves on either side of the interstate. Thousands of orange blossoms danced in the bright sunshine. I sat up and took a deep breath as our kids began to chatter excitedly. Our silent car came alive with laughter as everyone began sharing incidents about grandma and past holidays. I realized then that my mother would always live in our hearts. All it would take was the sight of oranges to trigger off precious memories. So every time I see an orange my heart gives a happy skip and I smile.


The first oranges grew in Asia, but now are grown in many parts of the world. Oranges grow on evergreen trees with thorny branches producing shiny dark green leathery leaves. Orange blossoms are white and very fragrant and bloom in the spring while the previous year’s oranges are still on the tree. The fruit is green before ripening and has a tough outer skin while the inside is divided into segments (usually ten) that hold seeds called pips. Some orange trees can be grown from seeds while others can only be started from cuttings. Oranges are easy to transport due to its tough skin and can be piled into heaps or carried in containers without being easily damaged. Oranges are a very good source of fiber and vitamins, especially vitamin C.


Orange Jello Salad


Stir together in a large bowl:
1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 (3oz) pkg of orange jello
1 (20 oz) can of crushed pineapple
Add 1 (16 oz) container of cool whip and mix thoroughly.


Peel, separate, and cut into small sections three large navel oranges. (You can substitute 1 can of mandarin oranges.)


Then fold in 1 (10.5 oz) bag of mini marshmallows. Chill and then serve. You can garnish with orange peels and curls!
Preparation time is about15 minutes and this recipe serves 20.


Weekly tip: For fruit salads use fresh fruit when in season and canned fruit out of season. You can always add cottage cheese or nuts of your choice for a healthier salad!


Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: dorcaswalker@twlakes.net. For more recipes check out her Creative Mountain Cookin page and blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com

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