Diane Prather: Savoring strawberries and salads

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This week's first recipe can be used as a dessert or salad.

Its main ingredient is one of my favorites -- strawberries. The recipe serves 12 to 16 people, so it's a good one to take to a potluck. If you want to serve less people, cut the ingredients in half and use a smaller dish.

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"Strawberry Gelatin Mold" calls for: 2 (10-ounce) packages of frozen strawberries; 2 (6-ounce) packages of strawberry gelatin or 4 small (3-ounce) packages; 4 cups boiling water; 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple; 4 bananas, mashed; and 1 pint sour cream.

Dissolve 1 large package of gelatin (or 2 small packages) of gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water. Add 1 package of frozen strawberries, 1/2 of the crushed pineapple, and 2 mashed bananas.

Pour into a 13-by-9-inch pan or glass casserole dish. Chill until set.

When set, spread the sour cream over the top. Then prepare the remaining gelatin and add the ingredients as for the first layer. When the mixture has cooled, pour it over the first layer and chill.

I've wondered if fresh sliced and sugared strawberries might work in place of the frozen ones, but I haven't tried them.

The recipe comes from my cookbook without a cover and was contributed by Tayeko Namura of Las Animas.

This time of year, I'm always looking for salads to be served with barbecued steaks, hamburgers and sausages. I've seen several recipes for "Layered Salad." This one also comes from my old cookbook and was contributed by Cecily Garnsey from Englewood.

"Layered Salad's" ingredients are: 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce; 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach; 4 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped; 1 bunch green onions, chopped with tops; 1 pound bacon, crisply fried and crumbled; 1 (10-ounce) package of frozen tiny peas, thawed; 2 teaspoons sugar; salt and pepper; and 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese.

The dressing is made from 1 1/2 cups sour cream and 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise.

Wash, drain and tear lettuce and spinach into pieces. In a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish, using half of the ingredients layer: lettuce, spinach, egg, onion, bacon and peas. Sprinkle with 1-teaspoon sugar and the salt and pepper.

Mix up the dressing and frost this layer with half of it. Make another layer on top of this, repeating the directions for the ingredients as before. Frost the top layer with the rest of the dressing and then garnish with the Swiss cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Serve by cutting into squares. The yield is 10 servings.

The salad stays fresh for several days because the dressing seals the lettuce.

Other ingredients (optional) include water chestnuts, sliced tomato, and celery.

Send your recipes and comments to me at Box 415, Craig 81626 or call me at 824-8809.

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