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Midwest Quirks Make April Fools

We all know Midwesterners have some quirky traits, right?

So, let's turn that into some harmless April Fool's Day fun! Parents, this one's for you.

While preparing dinner for your family, tell them that for dessert today you will all be eating a salad. “Woo! Salad!” Sure, some kids enjoy salads, but I think even they would be a bit disappointed to be told to expect a plate of leafy vegetables for dessert.

Then serve them “Speedy 24 Hour Salad,” a chilled mixture of canned fruits, fresh bananas, whipped cream, mini marshmallows, and vanilla pudding. Hopefully, it will be a delightful surprise, and you can assure them that it is indeed salad – at least by Midwest standards.

Midwesterners have this lovely idiosyncrasy of calling all sorts of mixtures “salads” and most of them have nothing to do with vegetables. Weird? Yes. Delicious? Yeah… um, sometimes?

Our Central Michigan University Intern, El Webb, has been cataloging a collection of Saginaw cookbooks donated by the family of the late Jean Beach (Savoring Saginaw with Pat Shek) and was inspired to craft this April Fool's joke after finding Saginaw resident Pat Duran's “Speedy 24 Hour Salad” in Kitchen Chatter Cookbook.


"Speedy 24 Hour Salad"


3 3/4 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding

1 cup Dream Whip

14 oz. can fruit cocktail

2 bananas, sliced

11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained

4 oz. jar cherries, drained

6 oz. pkg. mini marshmallows


Prepare instant pudding mix according to directions. Fold in whipped cream, fruit cocktail, oranges and cherries into pudding mixture. Add marshmallows and bananas. Chill thoroughly. Serve 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe Tester Notes:

Dream Whip is difficult to find, but it would have acted as a thickener. Instead, I used only one package of instant pudding, mixed according to package and let chill for 5 minutes. Then I folded in about a half container of thawed Cool Whip. It made plenty of binder for the fruit.


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