Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mrs. Linda's Cranberry Salad: Pretty and Particularly Palatable

Christy Jordan doesn't know what she's started, putting Southern Plate on Facebook.  Or maybe she did.  Does.  I knew her when her fans weren't numbered in the hundreds yet.
Truth be told, she helped start my blogging career, such as it is.  You see, comments I'd posted in response to her status attracted the attention of Cindy (of Sweet Tea With Cindy fame) and Mrs. Diane.  I consider them Facebook Fambly; they've become more than friends via an electronic device.  They're souls I care about.

Annnyway, Cindy sweet-talked me into writing a guest post for her Front Porch Fridays.  A week later Mayree's debuted.  Mrs. Diane, observant Southerner that she is, connected a slew of like-minded souls all fans of Southern Plate, together on Facebook.  We're kind of an assorted lot spanning the globe from Alaska to the tip of Florida.  And last week she started an informal group "Thanksgiving First".
Sharings of Thanksgiving mishaps, blessings, and recipes have been going on in abundance in there.  It's delightful.

Earlier in the week Mrs. Linda mentioned her cranberry salad.  My mouth started watering, imagining the flavors worked together.  I knew it had to be made in my kitchen.  I did.  I made it.  It's a full week before Thanksgiving, so I'll be eating it morning, noon, and night for a few days but ohhhhh, it's worth it.

I didn't take a photo of the assembled ingredients before I started.  Y'all know me by now, I'm doing other stuff too and there's not always room (you got me -- there's not always the thought) to get it all together first.  In complete reverse order of what I normally do y'all are getting the ingredients and amounts first and then watch for the directions, okay?

Mrs. Linda's Cranberry Salad
one package fresh cranberries
two cups sugar
one large can crushed pineapple
one bag miniature marshmallows
one cup pecans
one and a half cup heavy whipping cream


and drain the cranberries.

Put in food processor and pulse until desired chopped-ness is reached, stirring sides down as necessary to process all berries.

Put into container and add two cups of sugar to begin drawing juices.  I put mine, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.

I took them out once last night and stirred the sugar into the berries.  I also had a bite.  Cranberries, to me, have the tartness of a Granny Smith apple with three times the flavor.

I had business out of the house this morning.  I took the cranberries out of the fridge and left them on the counter, to warm to room temperature and hasten the 'drawing' process.  I remembered to put the KitchenAid bowl and whisk in the refrigerator in preparation for whipping the cream.

Pecans!  Mrs. Linda says to use at least a cup of pecans in this.  This is a cup of pecans lagniappe.  And my little nut chopper.  Mama has one.  Her's was purchased with S & H Green Stamps the year after I was born and is made of glass.  We found this one at Dirt Cheap, sans lids.  I love it.

Open and drain the pineapple.  I'm not exactly sure if the pineapple needs to be drained.  There was less than a cup of liquid and more than enough marshmallows to soak it up.  I'll see if she won't comment and let us know for sure.

 Those cranberries are beautiful!  Add the drained crushed pineapple to them and stir 'til blended.

Can you see what a fine job the little chopper/grinder thingie does of making the pecans uniformly sized?  I can't imagine cooking anything with chopped nuts in it without running them thru this contraption.

Whip the heavy cream.  I should have probably used the whole pint of it but wanted to keep some for the ganache on one of the chocolate overload cakes going out this weekend.  I used 12 ounces in the KitchenAid with the whisk.

It takes very little time to get nice thick cream.  I did not have a bite, although I seriously thought about it.

Putting the paddle on the mixer, add the cranberry/pineapple mixture a spoon at a time, on the lowest speed.

This Artisan model has a VERY slow slow speed and incorporated the fruit into the whipped cream just beautifully.  Add pecans and mix just until blended.

It's so pretty!  I wasn't expecting it to be this festive!!! I know that's a bunch of exclamation marks going on there but really, I was surprised at how colorful the stuff is.

Take off the stand and add marshmallows, stirring just until mixed through and through.

Take the finished product, put in a pretty bowl, set it somewhere neat in your house and photograph it.

Don't forget to water the plant you've obviously forgotten to water several times while you're in there.

This made a LOT of salad.  And I do mean a lot.  It's going to be a perfect side for Thanksgiving.  The flavor of it?  Well!  It's a cranberry salad, not a relish, and certainly nowhere close to the thick sweetness of a congealed salad.  The cranberries are tart and sweet, but not puckery tart, just wake-the-mouth-up tart. The pineapple is an incredible flavor to go with the berries, also not too sweet, with the flavor standing alone.  The pecans?  Sheer Southerness with their slightly buttery crunch.  For some reason, the marshmallows almost taste toasted.  I don't know if it's the brand or what, but their smoothness in the midst of all the other textures, and sweetness makes this an awesome salad.  I forgot that the whipped cream made it a coronary event.  The effect is has on the salad reminds me of sour cream on apple pie -- it completes it.

I wish I could get fresh cranberries in the summer 'cause this would be one heat-busting salad to have in the fridge.  As it is, though, I'm going to enjoy it the next couple of days, making it again next week.  Thank you, Mrs. Linda, for sharing it with us.


  1. Wonderful CUZ!...did u get some leaded glass from me? your Hoover guest was to make a delivery. Just askin? Love from the Mobile Kin.

  2. Soooo glad you like it and even more glad you shared it on here! I do drain the pineapple, and have served it both ways. The cranberries are usually soupy enough without the juice from the pineapples. Draining is perhaps best for the texture. Yours looks wonderful in that beautiful bowl. It does make so much that you either need a very large bowl, if it is a very large gathering (which with my family, it is) or put it in a smaller bowl and save some for later. It is great for breakfast for lunch or for dessert as well as accompaniment to Thanksgiving Dinner. You did a more than excellent job explaining the process. Thanks Mayree!

  3. This is a great combination! Great color, texture, and surely DELICIOUS! mcb

  4. I do believe I'm gonna fix this salad for Thanksgiving. AND I would like one on those delicious cakes with the chocolate piled high for dessert. Then I'll have the squash dressing we love. With those three things and a BIG glass of iced tea, I would be a happy camper, but I guess the family might want a little more. Thank you for sharing!!