Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Salty and Sweet Summertime

Growing up in the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, I have extremely fond memories of summertime. If my brother and I weren't running around in "The Woods" behind our house, I spent the days cruising my bike down the hill (though I can not remember as much pedaling back up that same hill later ... ) towards our pool, where I'd go to practice for an hour, break for a pizza lunch and then hang out with friends for hours, flipping around on rafts and (likely) annoying the lifeguards.

This guy was popular back then.
So was flannel.
Later, as little 13- and 14-year olds, we thought we were so cool when we could dive down to the bottom of the "deep end" during Sharks and Minnows, and we'd chuckle at the younger kids who had to have their moms there chaperoning swim time. We'd "lay out" (i.e. pretend to get a tan without really knowing what that even meant) and gossip over the latest pop-star magazines.

Truth: I had my first post-Limited Too "grown-up" shopaholic moment at the pool as a kid flipping through a JCrew catalog and seeing their new strappy blue plastic flip flops. How fun! They would match my newest swim team Speedo!!

Today, summertime is much different. While I crave the sunshine and lazy days spent poolside, I am much more interested in not messing up my straight hair with the GA humidity while en route to work, and in planning upcoming vacations to places that are far away from our Atlanta chlorine.

This doesn't mean I still don't try to recreate those carefree summer days, though. The neighborhood BBQs stand out in my memory, and one dish in particular comes to mind as I think of those fun cul-de-sac parties. I don't know to whom to credit this one (Mom, any idea?) but thank you, thank you, thank you for making this at those gatherings. It's a standby of mine today for a Fourth of July party, and after making it again yesterday, I remember why I love it so much.

Pineapple Pretzel Salad
Courtesy of one of our true Southern lady neighbors
Serves 12

2 cups crushed pretzels
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
16 oz. light cream cheese
2 cups confectioner sugar
16 oz. light Cool Whip, defrosted
16 oz. crushed pineapple with syrup
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Combine pretzels, sugar and butter, and press into the bottom of a 9x13 dish with a fork. Cream together cream cheese and confectioner sugar, folding in Cool Whip once blended. Pour on top of the pretzel bottom.

Bring pineapple and cornstarch to a boil. Let cool, spread over the filling and refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares and serve.

Note from KJM: While the recipe is really best once it sets up overnight (or all day), you can make it a few hours ahead of time, too.



mrs.mfc said...

Ohhhh Jordan Catalano :)

That Pineapple Pretzel Salad sounds delicious!! My mom makes a Strawberry Pretzel Salad and I just loooove it. I think I'll try this recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

Rob Fine said...

I love Jared Leto \m/

He's still popular now, but better known for his band 30 Seconds to Mars.

Unknown said...

Hahah I knew the Jordan picture would incite some fun reminiscing out there :)

Mrs. MFC - I have heard the strawberry one is popular! I hope you like this version too!

Maryanne said...

It was either Mrs. Childress(5 girls) or Mrs. Melius (3 boys).

Unknown said...

Mom - good memory :) Kudos to one of those two ladies!!

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