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Mom’s Cranberry Salad

Mom’s Cranberry Salad

I printed this last year, and it is so good and so simple I am sharing it with you again. It’s probably my favorite Thanksgiving food.

1 1/2 C cranberries (They have these at Sultan Center; wash, pick over and cook until soft)
1 1/2 C water

add 1 Cup sugar and boil one minute
add 1 small pkg lemon jello (I use raspberry or cherry or strawberry because I like red)

When all is dissolved, add:
juice of one No. 1 can of crushed pineapple (Mom’s recipe says a #1 can – use one of the small cans.)

When cool, add:

diced pineapple from can
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Stir, put into mold or bowl and refrigerate until firm.

One small buffet mold. How easy is that? 🙂

(This recipe is from the 1950’s. I double everything, Pour into mold for the holidays, or into a crystal bowl from which it can be served without having to unmold.

Here in Kuwait, I can’t find crushed pineapple, so I buy the chunk pineapple and cut them to be smaller sized. You can’t do it in the food processor because it gets too mushy.

The cranberry salad is in the center of the photo:


November 12, 2007 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, ExPat Life, Holiday, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Thanksgiving | , , | 5 Comments

Cranberry Chicken on a Cold Day in Pensacola

It is cold this morning in Pensacola, and yesterday, too. I am thanking God; I feel so much happier and energetic when it is a little bit cold. It’s a good time of the year to feel energetic; I have a LOT to do!

This is a great recipe for busy days. You pop four ingredients into the slow-cooker, plug it in, set it on low and you are done. The smells will alert you that something delicious is on the way. When you are ready to eat, quickly cook up some rice or noodles – either work just fine – and serve the fork-tender chicken with some of the sauce – totally delicious!

Cranberry Chicken – Slow cooker

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (16 ounce) bottle Catalina salad dressing
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 envelope onion soup mix

1. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the salad dressing, cranberry sauce, and onion soup mix over the chicken.

2. Cook on Low 4 to 6 hours.

The first time I made this, I didn’t have Catalina Dressing on hand, but not to fear – it is also easy to make:

Kraft Catalina Salad Dressing
1 cup sugar
2 Teaspoon salt
dash paprika
1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon celery seed
1/2 Teaspoon dry mustard
grated onion to taste
1/2 cup vinegar
2/3 cup ketchup
1 cup vegetable oil
Place all ingredients into blender and mix. Store in jar in refrigerator.

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Recipes | Leave a comment

More Side Dishes – Salads to Give Thanks For

For me, the cranberry salad is mandatory – but not for you! If you want to give it a try, the Sultan Center has cranberries in the frozen section. Frozen is good enough. I have even made this with jellied whole cranberries from a can, but that is sheer desperation.

Mom’s Cranberry Salad

I must have given this recipe to nearly 100 people by now – it never fails to make a big hit. In Tunis, and in Amman, where fresh cranberries were no where to be found, whole cranberry sauce dissolved down worked wonderfully. It’s amazing what you can do when you are motivated! Note – I use raspberry or cherry or strawberry jello instead of lemon, because I like it to be red for the holidays.

1 1/2 C cranberries (wash, pick over and cook until soft
1 1/2 C water

add 1 Cup sugar and boil one minute
add 1 small pkg lemon jello (I use raspberry or cherry or strawberry because I like red)

When all is dissolved, add juice of one No. 1 can of pineapple (Mom’s recipe says a #1 can – use one of the small cans.) When cool, add diced pineapple from can, and 1/2 cup finely diced celery and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. Refrigerate until firm.

One small buffet mold.

(This recipe is from the 1950’s. I double everything, Pour into mold for the holidays, or into a crystal bowl from which it can be served without having to unmold)

Mom’s Roquefort Dressing

This recipe is so BAD for you. So much salt! So much fat! So incredibly rich and delicious, and so simple to make. They have REAL French Roquefort right now at the Sultan Center. No, I do not work for the Sultan Center. Momma says if it isn’t real Roquefort, don’t bother.)

1 pint sour cream

1/2 teaspoon each:
garlic salt
celery salt
paprika (red powdered paprika, best from Hungary)

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb Roquefort cheese

Mix all ingredients together except Roquefort, then carefully fold in cheese. Serve with green salad, but in a separate serving bowl so guests can control how much or how little they want to use! This is also good as a dip with fresh raw vegetables. Oh, so rich!

November 20, 2006 Posted by | Cooking, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Recipes, Thanksgiving | 5 Comments

York Street in Duncan, on Vancouver Island

We are here! We are on Vancouver Island, en route to Campbell River! We are happy, we have exited customs, we are on the right road and everything goes smoothly. We get to the road that will take us up to Campbell River, and realize we are hungry. In Duncan, we spot the York Street Diner, and we know it is right for us. I don’t know how we know, I only know that we know.  Maybe because it doesn’t look like all the chains.



Inside, the owner has decorated with Kenyan giraffes, carved African masks and assorted items collected from travels. We feel right at home 🙂


I order a Reuben and a side Ceasar. I have to take half the sandwich with me, it is so huge, so much food.


We know we are in Canada


AdventureMan has a turkey cranberry salad with onion rings.



Everything is delicious.

We are not entirely comfortable. One reason is a big reason, our phones aren’t working. There is no Verizon service available. We never even considered the possibility. Second, we haven’t seen a bank or a place to change our money to Canadian dollars, so we enter the modern world and use our credit cards. We never use credit cards in restaurants, we always pay cash, but until we find a bank – open – we will have to make do as modern people do.

Our waitress is most kind, and helpful; she even draws a map to show us how to get to the nearest bank.

May 11, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, iPhone, Quality of Life Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving at the Sunset Inn

Back in Panama City for our annual gathering with our sweet daughter-in-law’s family, we check in at the Sunset Inn on a glorious day in late November. The view that greets us thrills our hearts:


There aren’t too many people staying at the beach, go figure, it’s Thanksgiving and families are gathering, but this is a GREAT time to be here. We have a full kitchen, so I can still roast my garlic-broccoli, make my Mom’s Cranberry Salad and make the topping for the Soused Apple Cake all while having the door wide open and listening to the waves roaring to the shore. This is one of my happiest places on earth.

These small surf boards give a lot of pleasure on smaller waves:


I thought I was back in Kuwait, overlooking the family park in Fintas:



I can see things slipping a little at the Sunset Inn, carpets not being replaced, linens getting thinner from so many washings, small repairs not being made – and I know our days there are numbered. Sigh. What they can’t replace in the personal character of the management – I can run down and beg a couple pieces of tinfoil to cover my broccoli; it is their motel, they manage it personally. There are countless soulless condos and motel rooms in Panama City Beach, but only one Sunset Inn.

December 6, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Food, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Road Trips, Thanksgiving, Travel, Weather | , | 2 Comments

Day Off From Work

It’s funny, you think when you retire you will have a carefree life, but we human beings being who we are, it turns out retirement looks a whole lot like the life we had before. Or maybe it’s because we choose the lives we get?

We are busy. We have taken on obligations. We have deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, groceries to buy, church duties, volunteer jobs – people are counting on us. It’s very much what our working lives looked like, even then, we had jobs that weren’t always fun, but had a lot of moving parts that we thoroughly enjoyed. I mostly worked in libraries, fund raising and social services; AdventureMan worked managing people and resources. Not a whole lot has changed, except the hours are better.

But it is easier to take a day off. Today I am usually at my volunteer job, but when they called last night to ask if I would be coming in, I just laughed and said “No, see you next week.” They were probably as glad as I was; less prep for them.


No, I needed today to bake my Soused Apple Cake for the Thanksgiving gathering, chop the nuts for the Mom’s Cranberry Salad, pack up the Rosettes, and get the broccoli marinating. I know, I know, broccoli for Thanksgiving? Yes. We get older, we need broccoli. I soak it in good olive oil and garlic, with a little salt, then roast it on Thanksgiving at 400° for about 30 minutes and it is tasty and delicious and you hardly know you are eating broccoli.

Soused Apple Cake
From Quail Country: The Junior League of Albany, Georgia.
If you don’t have brandy, don’t bother with this one – the brandy give it the punch, even though all the alcohol cooks off during baking. Kids hate this cake, adults love it.

4 cups cooking apple
1 cup raisins

2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg (grate it fresh, it matters!)
2 teaspoons baki
ng soda
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salad oil
1/4 teaspoon mace
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups flour
whipped cream

Peel, core and finely chop apples; put into a bowl with raisins and cover with brandy, and soak overnight. Drain apples and raisins, set aside.

Combine sugar, salad oil and eggs. Set aside. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and mace. Add to oil mixture. Mix in apples, pecans and raisins. Mix well and pour into an oiled 9 x 13 baking dish. Cook in 325 degree oven for 1 hour.

Cut into squares, serve topped with sweetened whipped cream. Yield 15 – 20 servings.

** I use a tiny bit of ground cloves instead of mace. I also have used all sorts of whiskeys and brandies, but my favorite remains calvados or . . . rum! It is one of my favorite recipes.

I need to get in and out of the kitchen, finish my clean up so AdventureMan can make his famous Pecan Pie – he makes it with chocolate, it looks very fancy and tastes divine. Everyone oooooh! and aaaaaahs! when they see his pecan pie. 🙂

There is a great joy in this work, knowing we will be with people we enjoy, people who are full of thanks and interesting stories. We will do a lot of catching up and share a wonderful meal. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, Food, Recipes, Thanksgiving | 2 Comments

A View from the Sunset Inn, Panama City Beach

We love this place, the Sunset Inn, a little Mom and Pop kind of motel, hard to find in over-developed Panama City Beach with its huge soulless condominiums towering over the white sands.

As we walk in the door, the view hits us and we breathe in the sea air and go “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.” The minute we walk in the door, we start to feel relaxed.


We both have cooking to do, so we get busy, but busy with glances at the view, and trips to our balcony to breathe. It is COLD, with a cold wind, but so gorgeous, so breath-takingly gorgeous, and we are happy.

Soon, there are cranberries cooking for Mom’s Cranberry Salad and hot juice brewing for the punch, redolent of cinnamon and cloves and orange peel, wonderful smells filling our room – and that view. Life is sweet.



And then, just when you think it can’t get any better, the sun starts to set, the light goes all golden and soft and oh, life is sweet.


December 1, 2013 Posted by | Beauty, Cooking, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, Holiday, Hot drinks, Hotels, Photos, Road Trips, Sunsets, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Over the River and Through the Woods

. . . . to the co-grandparents house we go!

This is preparation week, and we are scurrying to get things together for Thanksgiving with the large family group. When we were first invited, one of the aunts told us “You’re not invited, you’re family! You’re expected!” It made us feel so welcome, and the gathering is so much fun we look forward to our time together.

Mom’s Cranberry Salad
Christmas Punch, Rum and Rumless

The world’s cutest grandbaby will be there; we are all having so much fun with him as he is in the steep learning curve phase, and pops out with language which astonishes us daily. While bathing him the other night, I was explaining about washing with soap and he said “I know.” I almost dropped the soap! He adores his BaBa, and whenever he sees me, he gets a big grin – and looks for BaBa to be behind me. LOL!

He loves going to his other PaPa’s house; he has a TRACTOR! And a Boat! The happy baby loves trains and motorcycles and buses; he loves anything that GOES.

We have so much for which we are thankful. God has blessed us mightily with family, and with friends, and with a wide and spacious place in which to live our lives. He has surrounded us with his grace, and we feel blessed, so blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2011 Posted by | Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Thanksgiving, Values | 2 Comments

Sunrise 27 December 2008


It’s another beautiful winter’s day in Kuwait. The bone-chilling cold has gone – for the moment, anyway – and the days are balmy high sixty’s (Fahrenheit) – low seventies. At night, you get to wear a light sweater. It is heaven.

The market is still full of Kuwaiti shrimp, which disappear around the 15th of January, when the season finishes. Meanwhile – a feast!

AdventureMan and I are dining on leftovers these days, sounds bad, but Christmas leftovers are the best. Flavors have time to mellow and marry, and we’d rather eat these leftovers than go out to eat!

Smoked Salmon Spread:


Cranberry Salad:

The faucet in my kitchen is fixed, thanks be to God!

Have a great day, Kuwait.

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, Cooking, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Living Conditions, sunrise series | 5 Comments

Good Morning, Kuwait

Another gorgeous winter day dawning in Kuwait, with a high expected around 77°R/25°C today, while my poor family in the US is shivering with cold. I have a good friend who had three different family members stranded in three different airports, trying to get home for Christmas, and snow accumulating up to 18 inches while she prays for their safe arrivals.


Have a sweet day, Kuwait. 🙂

I will spend the day preparing for major meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Mom, I am making your Cranberry Salad. 🙂


December 23, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, Cooking, ExPat Life, Food, Holiday, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 5 Comments