As I have said before, I had an ideal childhood. I grew up in a small, lazy, southern town surrounded by lots of cousins! I had 4 cousins belonging to my dad’s sister right around the corner that I spent lots of time with. I had 2 cousins from Memphis that I didn’t see as often, but when we did it was a special treat. Then I had 3 more cousins around the corner that I always (and still do) called cousins. They are my aunt’s husband’s brother’s kids (now that’s a mouthful) and even though they are not really related, we always claimed each other as cousins! And, because we lived so close, whenever there was a family gathering, it was usually a combined event. Over the years I don’t see them as often, but we‘ve been able to catch up on good ole’ Facebook!
So it was a rare treat when several of us were able to attend a luncheon for my Aunt’s birthday (who is aunt to both families). We had my Aunt Mona, her daughter Deb, cousin Heather, my “faux” family, Aunt Peggy, her daughters Elaine and Beth and Elaine’s adorable granddaughter Kiley, SIL Niki, niece Ava and Mom who hosted us all at her home. We missed my sister Charlene and cousin Maleia!
It was an impromptu gathering, but Mom was up for the challenge! She prepared a “cold plate” for us all that would rival the Ritz. In fact, in my opinion – much better! A “cold plate luncheon” is a very old southern tradition that I’m afraid has been forgotten over the past years. Many years ago there were several fine dining establishments or tea rooms that featured a cold plate during lunch time. I’m proud to say that Mom is famous for HER cold plate luncheons! We “Gray” girls love any opportunity to entertain and this was no exception!
One of mom’s latest additions to her cold plate is this wonderful salad.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
2 cups crushed pretzels
1 ½ stick butter
2 TBS sugar
½ cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz cool whip
2 3 oz packs strawberry jello
2 cups hot water
2 10 oz frozen strawberries partially thawed
Melt butter. Add 2 TBS sugar and pretzels. Press into 9 x 13 pan and bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Cool. Mix ½ cup sugar, cream cheese, cool whip, Spread over pretzels, seal at edge. Let cool. Mix jello, water and strawberries and pour over cream layer. Refrigerate.
You HAVE to make this one day. I can just about promise that you will not be disappointed!
Ya’ll come back!
May the Lord bless his people with peace and happiness and let them CELEBRATE! Psalm 64:10