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Mystery Meals: Strawberry Congealed Salad

When I decided to do this “Mystery Meals” series years ago, there was one recipe that I knew I’d have to face one day. The recipe that made me want to gag and 100% had to be in my grandmother’s mysterious box of jotted down recipe scribbles. I knew I had to do it and yet, I had in the back of my mind, just not and never telling anyone but that is not how this little game works. So, today is the day that I try my grandmother’s Strawberry Congealed Salad which has baffled me since family meals of the 80s.

This pink monstrosity came out for every Christmas and Thanksgiving and to my grandmother’s credit, most of the family seemed to like it but I just could not get behind it. The basic concept sounds delicious… strawberry Jello, pineapple and Cool Whip. That’s great and I remember asking for a spoonful before the final ingredient was added… cottage cheese. Why in the world would you add cottage cheese to a dessert? Don’t get me wrong. I love cottage cheese. It’s one of my favorite snacks but it is not a dessert. I eat mine with salt and pepper because it’s savory.

I know what you’re thinking. “Bailey, people all over the world eat cottage cheese with fruit all the time.” You are correct and those people are wrong. I was going to give you people the benefit of the doubt and purchased one of those cottage cheese with fruit snack packs to try along with my pink goo. All I can say is how sorry I am for your taste buds. Ha! It tastes like a mistake or a concoction that would be used as a punishment for a game at church camp.

And Grandma, I love you and your cooking is still legendary but this was a mistake. Hey, we all make them and this might have been your one but good grief is it awful.


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