Light Fruit Salad

A fruit salad is a colorful and delicious way to serve up fresh fruit in the summertime. I have a number of recipes I make that are variations of the traditional fruit salad, and I love them all. This recipe is a little different because it is sweetened with powdered sugar and flavored with vanilla extract. The original recipe is from McCormick, but this is my adapted version and a favorite at my house.

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Light Fruit Salad

1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup sliced peaches, sprinkled with Fruit Fresh
2 kiwis, sliced
1 cup grapes, halved
1 (8 oz.) can diced pineapple, drained
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine all fruits. Sprinkle powdered sugar over fruit then add vanilla extract; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.


Mother's Pecan Pie

I can never remember any time my mother baked one single pie at a time. She only baked in multiples, and often when expecting company she baked more than one variety, lest someone not have their favorite. Countless apple, chocolate, and pecan pies have been pulled from her oven, and I have that Pecan Pie recipe to share today.

I have wanted to share this recipe for several weeks now, but I have hesitated each time I sat down to write about it. The Pecan Pie recipe is just one of many keepsakes that came into my possession when my sister and I had the sad task of going through Mother's belongings. Mother's heart gave out, and she passed away in June.

I think of her each day, and I know I'll remember how much she enjoyed baking every time I use this recipe to bake her Pecan Pie.

Her recipe is written on an index card, and it has no directions. Many of Mother's recipes were like this. She simply remembered the instructions. I suppose if I baked these as often as she did, I MIGHT remember the instructions, too, maybe. Or maybe not.

The pecans I used for my pie came from Mother's freezer. She had her freezers well stocked with fruit and vegetables from her garden, along with these pecans she had shelled. Most of the food in her two freezers will be donated, but two bags of her pecans went home with me for baking.

Mother's Pecan Pie
(instructions are mine)

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans

1 unbaked pie crust for 9-inch pie plate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, butter, and brown sugar; mix well. Add corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt; stir until well mixed. Stir in pecans. Pour into unbaked pastry shell. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until center springs back when touched. Shield the edges of the pastry with aluminum foil for about the last 20 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning. Cool on a wire rack.

Mother's last birthday was her 89th in March. She enjoyed a party at church with family and friends. Three ministers spoke at her funeral, and all three of them referred to the abundance of food Mother always brought to the monthly potluck dinners. Someone asked me as I stood by her casket at the funeral home if anyone had her Yeast Roll recipe. I assured them that I did. Lots of people are going to miss my mother, especially me.