Frog Eye Salad, a tradition

There are some recipes our family uses in celebration of different seasons and holidays. Frog Eye Salad is an Easter dinner tradition. I found the recipe years ago in a school generated cookbook. The school collects recipes from the families of students attending, and compile the recipes into a cookbook and sell them to raise funds for specific items or programs at the school.

Where the name Frog Eye salad comes from I do not know as there are no frog eyes in the recipe. It is a sweet tropical pasta fruit salad. There are three parts to the recipe: the sauce, the pasta and the fruit. I do variations of the recipe depending on what is in the cupboard at the time. I will put my variations in parenthesis to show the difference from the original recipe.

The Sauce:

1 Cup of Sugar 2 Tablespoons of flour 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1-3/4 Cups of Pineapple juice ( I get the juice from the cans of fruit I am adding, or if I am using fresh pineapple, after blending the pineapple I strain the juice into a cup ) 2 eggs beaten 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Combine sugar, flour and salt, stir. Beat eggs then add to pineapple juice. Add the juice/eggs to flour mix, stir well, cook over moderate or medium heat, stirring the mixture until it thickens. I like the consistency of thick gravy. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, can be fresh or bottled.

The pasta:

The type of pasta is Acini de Pepe or pearl pasta. Same pasta two different names.

16 ounces of pasta

Cook pasta according to directions until al dente. Really soft pasta does not hold up in the pasta salad. Drain.

In an airtight container mix the pasta and the sauce together and refrigerate until cold.

The Fruit:

3 – 11 ounce cans of mandarin oranges, drained 2- 20 ounce cans of pineapple chunks, drained 1- 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained

(I will substitute fruit cocktail for a can of mandarin oranges or one can of pineapple. The pineapple makes the salad. One fresh pineapple is substituted for all the canned pineapple chunks and crushed. I also drained Maraschino cherries to add color to the salad for July 4th. )

1 – Cup of miniature marshmallows (I consider these optional, if I have them I use them. If I do not it does not distract from overall taste.)

1 – Cup of coconut (This is listed as optional, but I consider it a main ingredient. The flavor combination of pineapple, oranges and coconut are what give this salad character. )

Fold the fruit, marshmallows and coconut into the pasta, until well blended and refrigerate until cold.

If kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this salad can keep for up to a week.


Seasonal Traditions

Photo by Milford Hughes on

My family has recipes for every season and holiday. This past Christmas, both my daughters asked that I write down all our traditional family recipes for each holiday. They also threw in requests for my bread recipe, cinnamon rolls and others.

I love to cook. During the holidays, I would have all my children join me in the kitchen to cook the meals. My sons enjoyed cooking as much as the girls. I did not have much money for gifts, but we could celebrate and have fun in the kitchen during the holidays. The foods we cooked did not have a written recipe, but was a pinch of this, a bunch of that, just so of this. They would watch and help. The measurements of how many hands of flour would change as they grew older. When they try to make the foods today, they call mom for instructions or to verify the instructions, what temperature to cook at, etc.

I also have recipes from their grandmother on their dad’s side of the family. Some of her recipes were from her maternal great-grandmother. A couple of the recipes for canning, say to “grind” the ingredients. I remember my mother using an old hand cranked meat grinder to make pickle relish. There were different blade patterns for different functions.

I am hoping next year to give these cookbooks of recipes and pictures to my children and grandchildren as gifts before Christmas. My children all love to cook and try new recipes. My grandchildren are starting to learn. It will be a nice legacy not just from me, but from generations back of their family.


Soup to Warm the Soul

When it is cold outside, I like to warm up with homemade soup. One of my favorites is potato soup.

First I peel some potatoes.

I dice the potatoes and place in a pan.

I add enough water to cover the diced potatoes.

I add a clove of garlic minced or crushed and an onion diced

I place a cover over the pan and cook on low to medium heat until the potato pieces can be cut with a spoon.

Now to make the soup creamy. I add 2 cups of whipping cream or milk or half and half or evaporated milk. My favorite is whipping cream.

I add 1 cup of sour cream and stir.

Next for the pot is 2 cups of shredded cheese. I love sharp cheddar cheese. Sometimes I mix in 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar and 1 cup shredded swiss.

I shred the cheese so the cheese blends in with the liquid easier.

Cook on low heat until the cheese is blended in with the soup.

This is my basic potato soup recipe. There are times I will add bacon bits, diced ham or diced bell peppers to give the soup a different twist.

Ready to serve. Season to your desire.

Cold weather always brings out the potato soup.

Stay warm.