There are foods that bring me back to my childhood. Foods that my grandma’s, aunts and my mom would make for family gatherings. I can close my eyes, and can picture myself there. The dining room table filled with food, and a train of relatives carrying plastic trays and paper plates making their way around the spread.
It’s the late 1980’s. I can see the dark brown shag carpet. I can feel the gigantic homemade bows perched on top of my too tightly pulled pig tails. My uncles will soon retreat to sitting in the living room watching a hunting show on the TV, while the ladies gossip and swap recipes in the kitchen.
My grandma would almost always bring dessert. I remember like it was yesterday the first time she made this cookies and COOL WHIP Whipped Topping dessert. And if anyone would compliment my grandma and tell her you like something she’s brought, she would (and still does) immediately tell you how easy it was, and exactly how to do it.
Right then, right now, in the middle of the party. Get out a pen and paper.
“Kid, it’s so simple! I learned it from the lady on the Talk of the Town radio show!”
And she’s right, it’s so very simple. 3 ingredients and about 10 minutes is all it takes:
1 pkg of crunchy chocolate cookies
1 container COOL WHIP
Dip cookies in a shallow bowl of milk, and cover bottom of a 9×9 dish with the soggy cookies. Then cover first layer of cookies with a layer of COOL WHIP. Repeat with COOL WHIP and milk soaked cookies until you’ve filled the casserole dish. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
It’s not the prettiest dessert, but it’s incredibly tasty. And it’s super simple, the perfect dessert to let the kids help assemble.
Thank you grandma, and thank you Talk of the Town lady from Zeeland, Michigan circa 1987. I’ve come a long way in the kitchen, but this will always be a well loved and cherished dish. This and pickled beets, deviled eggs, pig in the blankets, balkenbrij and sherbet punch. Ah, food of my ancestors.
One of my favorite quotes from an author I very much admire (Michael Pollan) goes: “Don’t eat anything that your Grandma wouldn’t recognize as food.” And while Michael Pollan might cringe and give me the stink eye, I think I found a loophole in his system. Good thing for me, Grandma knows and loves Cool Whip.
What foods do you love because of tradition? I would love to hear about them.
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