A week or so ago, I took a break from my usual reported stories on health, lifestyle and dating issues to write a personal essay about losing my mom — and finding her again in my four sisters. The essay went live today – Mother’s Day — on MSNBC.com. Here’s a link.
As I mentioned in the piece, my mom was quite a character. She loved to laugh, loved to cook and especially loved gathering her five daughters (and their husbands and kids) around her. Family get-togethers at the Mapes house were raucous affairs: barking dogs, squawking birds, screaming kids, clanging pots and pans, loud laughter, a blaring TV, and somebody inevitably pounding on that one lone bathroom door.
I miss it like crazy. I miss her like crazy. Thanks to the cookbook Viva gave me in 1998, though, I’m able to at least conjure up some of the wonderful dishes she served up for her “girls” during those infamous family dinners. Today, in honor of my mom and mothers everywhere, I thought I’d pass along Viva’s recipe for what my sisters and I used to call “Moldy Green Salad” when we were little.
Back then, none of us would touch this light green concoction save my sister Mary, who was always pretty fearless. Since we’ve gotten older, though, we’ve all learned to love “MGS” and it’s now a regular part of our holiday lineup. You may want to add it to yours since, as my mom notes in the cookbook, “it goes good with turkey.”
Molded Green Salad “Mary’s favorite recipe”
Note to readers: My mom would usually include a brief notation as to who liked what with each recipe. One of my favorite notations, under Margaritas, simply reads “Mark likes.”
1 small package lemon Jell-O
1 small package lime Jell-O
Dissolve above in 2 cups boiling water. Stir well and cool. Mix together in a large bowl:
1 # carton cottage cheese
1 # can crushed pineapple
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup whipped cream (unwhipped)
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon horseradish (note: I never include this)
Dash of salt
Add cooled Jell-O to above mix. Mix well. Pour into rectangle Pyrex pan. Let set in refrigerator overnight. Serve with ripe olives on bed of lettuce.
And, of course, lots of love. My mom always did.