This recipe is been passed down through 4 generations in our family via my mother's side, with some slight changes made over the years, due to the grocery products now available. For instance, the original recipe used whipped cream, but for convenience and lower calories, Cool Whip is now substituted.
This salad is always on the menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house, and putting it together makes a wonderful family project that would allow children to help, too.
I would also like to mention that this salad is even better the next day, so it is delicious with the other leftovers from the holiday.
I hope your family loves this as much as mine does!
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
Now, when Marilyn says you need a big bowl, she means you need a BIG bowl! This salad makes enough to take to a very large gathering... but my guess it that it will still disappear in seconds flat.
seedless white grapes, removed from stem and washed
seedless dark grapes, removed from stems and washed
delicious apples, cored, sliced into 8th's, and then into about 1/2 inch pieces. leave skin on for color and extra fiber. (peel if you wish)
8 oz maraschino cherries, seeded, stemmed and well drained
6.5 oz, mandarin orange sections, well drained
celery hearts, cut into small cubes (leaves removed)
20 oz pineapple chunks, very well drained
bananas (4-5 medium), peeled and sliced
miniature marshmallows (or large marshmallows cut into fourths w/ kitchen scissors)
FIRST, you will need 1 very large bowl for the salad, and a medium mixing bowl for mixing dressing. (My VERY LARGE bowl is about 15 inches in diameter, and about 10 inches tall.)
Wash and drain all fresh fruits and celery. and allow to drain until as dry as possible. Drain all canned ingredients well.
Remove grapes from stems, cut in half if you wish, and add to the large mixing bowl. Cut cherries in half, if you wish (and remove stems if needed), Add all to the salad bowl, along with drained canned orange segments and pineapple chunks.
Cut up apples and celery as directed in ingredients list. Add to the large bowl(as per above). Peel and slice bananas, and add to salad bowl,
If using large marshmallows, cut them into quarters with kitchen shears into salad bowl. (If using miniature marshmallows, just add them to the salad bowl.)
Add walnut pieces to the salad bowl.
To make the salad dressing, place thawed Cool Whip in a medium mixing bowl. Add mayonaise and whisk them together, Add sugar, spices, and rum (or almond) extract. Whisk well to thoroughly combine.
Pour dressing over salad in large bowl, and gently fold all ingredients with a rubber spatula until well coated with dressing. Place saran wrap snugly over salad bowl. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.