20 November 2007

Fruit Salad Mish-Mash

This evening before I leave for Thanksgiving break, one of my classes met for a pot-luck movie night. Our professor's wife made the main dish: lasagna. Other students brought bread, wine, and dessert. I couldn't be left out in the food making, of course. My contribution: fruit salad.

As far as party food goes, fruit salad has become a rather ubiquitous side dish, so I wanted to do something special to spice it up. Undertake a quest, if you will.

Step 1: recruit as many fruit salad recipes as humanly possible in half an hour's internet and cookbook trolling. I had originally planned to allot a few more half hours to this task, but the sheer numbers enlisted in the online fruit salad recipe army made step 2 a lot easier.

Step 2: amalgamate said recipes into something otherworldly. I had the germ of an idea from Kids Cooking: A very slightly messy manual: make this into ambrosia (how lofty is that?) by adding a sour cream/marshmallow/cocoanut mixture. Other recipes online seem to echo my slightly messy manual, including one that can't help but remind me that there really isn't all that much cooking to do with most fruit salads. Time to crack open the spice jars (and some fireweed honey from this year's Maryland Renaissance Festival) and get experimenting.

Step 3: fully realize my kitchenette's impracticality as a fruit salad laboratory. One 2 x 3 countertop workspace gets really, really tight when you've got to break out the mixing bowls in multiples. I tried six variations on sour cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract, nutmeg, allspice, marshmallow fluff, cocoanut nectar, and fireweed honey. The winner scrapped the vanilla extract, fluff, and cocoanut, which overpowered the fruit with too much sugary-sweetness and not enough punch.

Step 4:

Fruit Salad Mish-Mash

Things bought at the store:

1 lemon

½ teaspoon all spice

¾ teaspoon nutmeg

1 ½ teaspoon fireweed honey

Things nicked from the dining hall:

¾ cup sour cream

4 gala apples

2 navel oranges

4 bananas

½ cup strawberries

  1. Zest and juice the lemon. For zesting, grate the skin down to the white, but do not use the white (the pith) as it is simply not good tasting. Juice the lemon into the serving bowl.
  2. Blend sour cream, spices, honey, and lemon zest together until creamy.
  3. Peel and cube fruit into even sized chunks, starting with oranges, then apples, then bananas, adding each to the lemon juice in the bowl as you finish.
  4. Gently mix everything together and refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving.

Step 5: Enjoy!

1 comment:

AJ Star said...

normally i am NOT a fan of mixing fruit with creamy stuff...like that southern orange salad thing...but this actually looks and sounds really good. plus the photographic evidence of all the hard work you put into deciding on the right combination for the cream part makes me far more comfortable with this. looks delishhh!!!