Over A Cup: Spring salad that’s good anytime

We’ll be branding calves at our place this weekend. It means family will be here and I have to cook up food ahead of time — and plenty of it.

In fact, I started getting ready Friday by making pasta and fruit salads and baking some kind of dessert. Early Saturday morning, I put a ham in the oven.

When we’re finished with the branding, and while the rest of the family turn the cattle out and clean up, I’ll have time to come to the house and set the table (with paper plates), slice the ham and take all of the already-prepared dishes out of the refrigerator.

Lunch for the hungry crew will be ready in a jiffy.

When I was growing up on the ranch, we had lots more cattle, so Dad needed a bunch of men to help during branding. Mom stayed in the house and cooked. We often had fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, salads, homemade rolls and pie.

And Mom never served branding lunch on paper plates. How times have changed!

Anyway, one of the salads I’ll serve Saturday is “Spring Salad.” I made the salad for the first time on Easter. It’s quick to prepare and delicious.

To make “Spring Salad” (though this salad would be good anytime), you will need the following: 1 can cherry pie mix, 1 can pineapple tidbits (drained), 1 can mandarin oranges (drained), 1 can Eagle Brand milk, 1 large carton whipped topping, 1 cup miniature marshmallows and 1 cup chopped pecans.

When I first made the salad, I wasn’t sure what size can of pineapple tidbits to use. I ended up using a small can of tidbits and a large can of oranges, because that’s what I had on hand, and the salad turned out fine. However, this time I think I’ll use a larger can of tidbits to give the salad a little more flavor.

Simply mix everything together. Put the salad mixture in a 9x13-inch casserole dish and chill before serving. It’s easy!

As promised last week, this column also features another of Karen Pruitt’s recipes. This one is for “Hershey Brownies.” If I have time, I may make these for branding day, too.

To make “Hershey Brownies,” you will need: 1 can (16 ounces) Hershey’s syrup, 1/2 cup butter (do not substitute), 4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup nuts (optional). For the topping, you will need: 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/3 cup milk, 1/2 cup butter (do not substitute) and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Cream the sugar and butter. Add the eggs, and beat. Add the syrup and flour, and beat. Fold in the nuts. Bake at 350 degrees in a greased 20x15-inch jelly roll pan for 25 minutes.

To make the topping, boil the butter, sugar and milk for 1 minute. Take off heat and add the chocolate chips.

Thanks for the recipe, Karen. Next week’s column will include Karen’s “Wackie Cake” recipe, her mother’s cake.

If you have recipes you’d like to share, call me at 970-824-8809 or write to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.

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