Sunday, November 23, 2008

I know you have one, too...

I suspect every American family has a holiday recipe which includes a very unwholesome ingredient made by Kraft Foods, General Mills or some other corporate food producer. Maybe it’s something with lime green jello in it, or a cake mix full of preservatives. Perhaps Lipton soup mix is a main ingredient or it has marshmallows on top. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s a throwback from the 1950s and family members refuse to give it up.

In our family, that dish is Artic Freeze, a creamy, tart frozen concoction with walnuts and whole cranberry bits in it. I serve slices of it on a plate with a serving of homemade fresh cranberry sauce. If I omit it from the Thanksgiving menu, there’s a lot of whining around the table. Most of the ingredients in the dish are okay. It’s a blend of whole cranberry sauce, cream cheese, shredded pineapple and walnuts. Not too bad, so far, right? The killer ingredient? COOL WHIP. According to Wikipedia: “Cool Whip is made of water, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oil (CPKO), sodium caseinate, vanilla extract, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60 (glycosperse), and beta carotene.”

Cool Whip is pretty creepy used by itself as a dairy-like topping. (I always think of it as soft edible plastic.) But when it’s blended with all those other ingredients it actually looks and tastes like real food. I have in the past substituted real whipped cream for the Cool Whip. It was okay, it worked with the recipe, but it just didn’t have quite the right texture.

It would be a bad thing if I ate Artic Freeze everyday, but I’m sure once a year is fine. So I’m off now to add the ingredients to my Thanksgiving grocery list. And I'd love to hear about your favorite recipe, too...

Happy Thanksgiving!

14 comments:

Cecelia said...

Sadly, our family has dwindled down so small, that we have just started going to a cafeteria to eat. The kids get pizza and fried chicken, and we all eat different things. (I'm never happy about it because restaurant food just doesn't taste like what my mother, grandmother and great aunts, and other people in town, used to cook.)We used to have two rooms with 4 tables full of people. Now, we only have 5 people with another one helpless in a nursing home. After we eat in a cafeteria, we buy a buy and go have dessert with my aunt at the nursing home. We have 2 children, my daughter, and my sister, and that's it. It seems like a sad time.
We used to have some traditional dishes like red roast and red gravy, turkey with cornbread stuffing and gravy, ham, rolls, ambrosia, canned English peas, canned cream corn, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, canned spiced peaches, stuffed celery and deviled eggs, chocolate pie, waxey pecan cake, bakeless cake, apple pie.

willow said...

I'll have to admit, Artic Freeze sounds pretty good. I had a cranberry jello salad concoction from the '50s that I used to make. It had ground cranberries, walnuts, jello, pineapple, etc. I actually replaced it several years ago with plain sauced whole cranberries and no one fused!

willow said...

...uh...that should say fussed. ;^)

Karen said...

In our family it would have to be the french fried onions that go in the green bean casserole. Everything else is pretty much from scratch. Our family is down to just a few, too. Almost all the elders are gone.

Ann said...

In our little family we do the whole turkey feast. Marshmellows on the sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup and fried onions on top. Hey, it's only once a year :)

laura said...

One starving dark New Year's Eve in Key West I took a scoop of something I thought was mashed potatoes; turned out to be Cool Whip with walnuts, grapes, and marshmallows suspended in it. It was one of the best things I ever tasted! I think the hosts thought I was pulling their legs, but I really enjoyed it--it was entirely alien to me, and unexpected.

Leslie said...

Sharon, I LOVE arctic freeze!! You're right- it's one of those recipes my mom pulls out on the holidays and we love it! Thank you for the reminder. :) Love the painting, too- I knew what it was when I saw it before I even read the text!

June said...

Someone gave my blog the Butterfly Award and I have passed it on to you because I love your blog. June

Robyn said...

I did have to laugh. We all have our guilty pleasures. Mine is a dip made with French Onion Soup Mix in Sour Cream - neither of which I can find in Italy. Sigh.

Can't get canned cream corn either :( and that is essential for a quick Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup.

And yes please, I'd love a slice of your Arctic Freeze.

Eleanor said...

I am sure Artic Freeze is just delicious! And once in a while, I am sure the old body can cope! This weekend I made a lemon meringue tart (pie in US) and it was sinfully sweet, but wonderful! The memories of family and previous occasions just flooded back.

Alison said...

Great post and I love your squash family sketches too.

Aarti Harish said...

Wow...this looks so delicious...!!

mARTa said...

I'm just catching up on my favorite blogs today. In our family it's jello beet salad with pickle juice! 3 flavors of red jello mixed with the water but substitute 1 cup pickle juice; mix in crushed pineapple and sliced beets, chlll, top with 1/2 cool whip 1/2 sour cream and garnish with sliced green onions. It's the best!

Sharon said...

Marta, I have to say, that dish sounds scary!