Fruit loop

I was sort of slap-happy last night as I slapped together my grandmother’s famous fruit salad, but boy did I learn the lesson that it doesn’t matter whether you use all the “right” ingredients. If you use them in the wrong order, something fabulous can turn into something rather ghastly.


But do I have the time/resources to redo it? Not so much. As far as I’m concerned, it’s fruit, it’s pasta and it’s Cool Whip. Therefore, it’s edible enough. 😉 But I am sure as hell not taking it to the party it was destined to go to!!!

This culinary adventure sort of loosely puts my life into perspective right now. The dreams and wishes and wants and images are put into your head and your heart for a reason. What you do with them, however, is entirely up to you. Even the bad stuff — lord knows I’ve entertained the occasional homicide scenario in my day.

But it’s how you choose to handle the things that you find when you’re rummaging around in the recesses of your mind — acknowledging that they exist, developing a plan to achieve them and/or simply shooting them down before they have a chance to help (or ruin) you — that’s your job.

And that’s where my mind has been lately. (No, not plotting homicide — perhaps wishing for someone else to do it. … LOL, just kidding!) But it’s been sorting through all of the things that have popped into it, wondering whether my destiny was staring me in the face, daring me to do something about it.

On the other hand, I admit to wondering whether this was one of those random flights of fancy that the Muse likes to toss my way to distract me. You know how the proverbial “they” always say that good things come to you while you’re busy looking the other way? Perhaps, while I was busy looking at something shiny, it was to prepare me for something else.

But the scarier, and probably more-likely, explanation, was that the universe wanted me to take on a new challenge. Of wanting something, plotting to get it and actually getting off my ass to achieve it. Because follow-through is SO not my style.

Well, that’s not true. I did try. A couple of times. Maybe I tried hard, by my own standards. But failure is not a houseguest I’m willing to entertain for long, and I ain’t running no bed-and-breakfast for it, either. It can have the occasional stay, but I’m a bitch of a landlord — no repeat visits, damn it. At least, not too many of them. 😉

But then I went and attempted NOT to try/succeed, and well, I failed at that, too. I’m happy to find new dreams. I just don’t know why certain ones insist on recurring.

I don’t know. None of us will ever achieve greatness by simply setting mundane goals. I have always believed we’ve got to dream big, and we’ll grow into them eventually. And the way life goes for so many of us, we dream small and let our dreams get bigger, incrementally. But when you do it that way, do you ever reach a point where you’re willing to just settle down where you are than fight another day?

I’m never going to stop dreaming and pushing for them to come true, no matter how out-of-reach they are. But I’m scared to let them change too much because there’s still a part of me that says, “Patience, Grasshopper.” Then again, what if too much time goes by and the dream does come true, but I’ve changed too much to want it anymore?

Well, then I guess, in that, I have my answer.

Look, I trust the universe. That’s something I haven’t been able to say for awhile because it always feels like time is running out. And I’m not in that much of a rush, truth be told. If good things come to those who wait, then I’ve got an amazing reward coming my way when it’s ready. And I don’t want it in its less-than-perfect state — let the universe work out all the kinks and I’ll take my fairy-tale ending whenever it’s good and ready.

Just keep reminding me that it’s on its way. That’s all I’m asking.

In any event, I’ll share my recipe behind the fold. The problem is that none of us in my family cook with recipes, so nothing ever turns out the same way twice. And then when you’ve got people like me who never cook, you tend to forget what someone showed you 20 years ago!

Rosmarino Salad

1 lb. Rosmarino pasta (good luck finding it — I used Orzo this time but any tiny, rice-like pasta will do if you don’t have an authentic Italian store nearby)

Lots of canned fruit (I personally prefer to get individual cans of mandarin oranges, pears, peaches and pineapples, as opposed to fruit cocktail in heavy syrup. Although I wonder whether that heavy syrup might have helped. …)

1 jar Maraschino cherries

A pinch of cornstarch

1 10-ounce tub of Cool Whip

* * * * *

Here’s how not to get the order wrong (which I did. ha!):

Cook your pasta. Drain and rinse.

Drain the fruit. Cut up the fruit into smaller pieces. Put in fridge.

Put the fruit juice into a saucepan and heat it up. In a separate bowl, wire-whisk some water and cornstarch. When the juice gets hot, whisk in the cornstarch mixture. This will thicken it into a gel that will adhere to the pasta.

Mix the juice with the pasta.

Mom likes to throw it in the fridge overnight and fold in the Cool Whip in the morning. And then she’ll add extra cherry juice to give the pasta salad a little bit of a pink cast.

* * * * *

This is the “right” recipe, as opposed to what I did, which was shove everything in the same bowl at the same time and hope for the best. 🙂

Too bad Mom’s got my Costco card, because I should have just gotten a big ol’ shrimp ring and called it a day!

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