“I’m just a little girl caught in the middle
Life is a maze, love is a riddle…”
Through the wondrous power of technology, okay Facebook, I “chatted” with my Aunt. She goes by many names but today I will call her Aunt Chiquita. In this awesome photo that she created, she is in the middle, between my mom and my Uncle Bridge. I love this photo because this is how I always picture them together – making light of everything and laughing. She is one of my mom’s sisters who I adore and consistently makes me laugh. She was my hair stylist whom I entrusted to give me a perm in the late seventies. Remember those? That was not fun for a 10 year old. She speaks a hundred words a minute in conversation and writes with adorable child-like silliness. Actually, it’s funny but all my aunts and uncles do too. It’s rather amusing. I can picture her crinkling her nose and giggling as we exchange messages.
During our chat, she sent me pictures of her cute grandkids getting ready to eat some fruit salad. Yum I love fruit salad but this is not regular fruit salad. Hang on. This is Filipino Fruit Salad. Leave it to the Filipinos to take something relatively healthy and then turn it into something crazy good or pleasantly confusing.
There are basically 3 ingredients – Fruit Cocktail, Nestle Cream and Condensed Milk. Trying to soothe my conscience, I cut the cream and condensed milk in half. Maybe next time, I’ll sub the cream for a dash of almond milk instead. I also added fresh cut apples, pears and grapes. Aunt Chiquita said that adding mandarin oranges works too. I think my dad likes it with Nata de Coco but I went without. Some Filipino recipes I looked at had Cheddar cheese mixed in there too. Whaaaaaaat? I don’t quite understand why so I left it out.
When I served it to Karina as an after school snack, I asked if she liked it. Her response was “no” as she scraped the bottom of the jar, practically slurping every last bit. I asked her again and still she said “no”. Later in the evening, I found her picking up another jar and scurrying away to her room. I’m thinking it’s one of those desserts you’ll hate to admit you love. Quite possibly, it may be addictive in its own right.
Serves 6 – 8
1 large can (825 grams/30 oz) Fruit Cocktail, drained, reserve about 1/2 cup liquid
1/2 can (7.6 ounces) Nestle Cream, or 1/2 cup
1/2 (14 ounces) can Condensed Milk, or about 1 cup
1 apple, cut to small bite size pieces
1 pear, cut to small bite size pieces
1/2 cup grapes, cut in half (optional)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained (optional)
I love how food connects us over the miles. It makes me feel closer to family. Thanks Aunt Chiquita for reminding me how delicious this is. My first attempt and it won’t be my last.