The holidays are all about traditions. From where people sit (big table versus kids’ table) or what you are going to eat. I mean I still beg for hash-brown casserole for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. It is a non-negotiable for me. Then you also have the people that like to buck tradition and change things up every year. Well, I have news for you... That’s a tradition, too. While planning this issue, we decided to turn some of the traditional side dishes on their ear and give our readers something new to try this holiday season. We hope you enjoy!
Corey Carpenter is the son of Tracy Carpenter a veteran contributor to Lake Wedowee Life magazine. He took the reigns for this article as well as providing his photography skills. He is a graduate of Randolph County High School and a recent graduate of the University of Alabama. He lives in Tuscaloosa. Tracy still provided the recipe!
Are there things that spark nostalgia for you? Specific things that take you rushing back to a specific place and time in your mind. Some things are just too much for me to deny a trip down memory lane. I’m an incredibly nostalgic person though, so maybe you can’t relate. If you can’t relate, I’ll try my best to explain to you how sensitive my nostalgia sensors are. Any little thing can trigger my wistfulness whether it’s a familiar smell, or an old picture. Sometimes it’s just looking out my bedroom window. It could be anything.
Cloudy gray cold days are especially a trigger for my nostalgia. In my younger years, these types of days would bring some of my favorite little moments. I remember when I was younger I would watch a lot of TV when it was cold and rainy outside and for some reason I recall a specific Campbell’s soup commercial that I’ll likely never forget. In this commercial, it’s a cold winter afternoon when a snowman comes stomping into the kitchen from the bitter cold outdoors. A woman’s warm smile greets him as he enters and the woman sets a bowl of chicken noodle soup on the table for the snowman to eat. As he eats the soup, the snow melts away revealing it’s a boy under all that cold snow. He has been warmed up. He is home and cozy and happy now. It’s the epitome of cheesy nineties commercials and I loved it. Sometimes I even long for cold cloudy days so I can be like the child in the commercial. I want a cloudy day so I can truly appreciate the comfort and coziness of coming home.
My entire life I have heard you should have some soup when you’re sick. That’s perfect because Homer and the Greeks created the term “nostalgia” by combining the Greek words nóstos (which means “homecoming”) and álgos (which means “an ache or a pain”). Nostalgia is an aching for the past – an aching for the comforts we find in our memories. If you find yourself suffering from the symptoms of nostalgia, I’d recommend some soup. It will bring your childhood snow days back to life. This recipe may not be chicken soup like my commercial, but it’ll do the trick even better. It’s from mom.
Recipe by Tracy Carpenter
8 oz. mascarpone or cream cheese
1 cup cool whip
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vanilla flavoring
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water
5 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 9 oz graham cracker pie crust
Strawberries for garnishing
Mix Mascarpone, cool whip, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until well combined with an electric mixer.
Pour into the graham cracker pie crust and spread evenly. Place in the fridge while you make the
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and water until smooth. Add 3 cups blueberries. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add butter, lemon juice and remaining berries, stir until butter is melted. Cool. Pour on top of Mascarpone cheese filling. Garnish with strawberries. Refrigerate until serving.
Notes: The blueberry filling will be thick. This is nothing to be concerned about. Adding the butter and lemon juice will thin it some. Omit the mascarpone cheese filling and use just the blueberry filling for a classic old fashioned homemade pie. Layer graham cracker crumbs, mascarpone cheese filling and blueberry filling in dessert cups for a light fruit parfait.
I have an extensive and irrational love for popsicles — frozen deliciousness on a stick. I love ‘em and I don’t care who knows. No matter the time of year, I so often find myself craving a good popsicle.
Growing up in hot Florida summers, some of my best memories are eating popsicles with my family. I remember making them with kool-aid as a kid. We would freeze orange juice in ice trays, cover them with foil, insert toothpicks, and enjoy.
Today you can buy popsicle molds in all shapes and sizes, Further, flavor possibilities are only as limited as your imagination. I had so much fun making the popsicles featured in this article I felt like my kitchen was a playground.
Let the kids join the fun! They love to help make them almost as much as they like to eat them.
As the summer heats up, I hope these recipes will help bring out the kid in you again. So, crack out those molds and enjoy sweet, frozen goodness all summer long.
Light colored pudding mix
5 different food colors
Prepare your pudding according to directions on package. You may want to add a little more milk to make it pourable. Divide pudding mixture into 5 small bowls, adding about 1/2 cup to each. Add a couple of drops of food coloring to each bowl and mix well. I used a gel food dye for vivid colors. You can now spoon the pudding mixture into the molds. I put the mixture into five different pastry bags and filled the molds that way. If you don’t have pastry bags you can use a ziplock bag and cut the corner out. After each color is added, tap mold on counter to remove air bubbles. Cover with foil and insert sticks and freeze for about 8 hours. Run mold under hot water to loosen the popsicle.
1-8 oz can crushed pineapples
1-15 oz peaches in light syrup
1-15 oz pears in light syrup
6 strawberries, sliced
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
2 Tablespoons Tang
1/2 package of a small box of vanilla pudding mix
Drain the canned fruit into a bowl and save the juice. Liquefy the pineapples, peaches and pears in a food processor and mix together in a medium bowl. Add the pudding mix and Tang to the juice you drained from the fruit. Mix well and add to the liquefied fruit and mix well again. Pour a little into the mold and place a kiwi against the side of the mold. Then pour a little more of the fruit mixture over the kiwi and slide a strawberry against the side of the mold. Finally, finish filling the mold up with the fruit mixture. Cover with foil and insert sticks and freeze for about 6-8 hours. Run hot water over mold to release popsicle. You can also liquefy the strawberries and kiwi if you wish. Adding blueberries would be yummy, too!
Strawberry Lemon Basil Popsicles
6 medium to large lemons
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar ( more if you like really sweet lemon aid)
2 cups water
6-8 strawberries, mashed
1-2 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Combine the chopped basil and mashed strawberries together and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the lemons. Make lemonade by adding sugar and water to the lemon juice and mixing until the sugar has dissolved completely. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of the mashed strawberries and basil into to the mold. You can add more if you’d like. Pour the lemonade into the molds. Cover with foil and insert sticks and freeze for about 5-7 hours. Note: The strawberries will float to the top, so I put the popsicles in the freezer for about an hour and take a wooden skewer to push them down some.
Key Lime Popsicles
1-1/8 cup water 3/4 cup sugar (use more if you don’t like tart desserts!) 1 to 1-1/2 cans sweetened condensed milk 1-1/2 cups key lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
Mix water and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. This may take some time. You may want to mix it a while, let it sit a while and stir again until it’s all dissolved. Add the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice and zest. Mix well. Pour into the molds. Cover with foil and freeze for about 5-7 hours and under to water to release from the mold.
Banana Pudding Popsicles
1 small box instant banana pudding
2 ripe bananas
several crushed Nilla Wafers
Prepare your pudding according to directions on package. You may want to add a little more milk to make it pourable. (I added about 1/3 c to 1/2 c extra.) Mash one of the bananas and add it to the pudding mix. Chop the other into chunks and add them to the mixture. You can use as many bananas as your heart desires. Add crushed Nilla Wafers and spoon them into the mold. Gently tap the mold on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles, and insert the handles that came with the molds or cover with foil and insert a craft stick or tongue depressor. Freeze for about 5 to 7 hours. Run the mold under hot water to loosen popsicle from the mold, and make sure the popsicle has fully released or you will leave half of the popsicle in the mold.
Another recipe I like is to take frozen strawberries in syrup. Thaw them, puree’ them, pour them into the molds, freeze them. Then dip them into magic shell chocolate for chocolate covered strawberry popsicles(you may want to add a little water if the mixture is too sweet for you.
You can test taste the mixtures as you are making them to adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. (I call this quality control.)
Are you craving them yet?
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