No, not the movie.  The town.  People actually live here, and we love this fruit salad.  Of course, we were raised on church-basement potlucks where corn, jell-o, and Cool Whip were always available (not all in one dish, except that one time, but everybody knew not to eat what Mrs. Bjornstad brought).

My Aunt Bea asked me to make it for her party yesterday.  All I had was my camera phone, and I didn’t think to take pictures until I was done.  Sorry about that. This is what it looks like when you’re done.

Mmmmm.

It’s pretty easy.  I think you’ll get the idea.  I’ll give you the recipe for a party-sized batch.  You can cut it in half for a smaller group if you want to, but why would you want to?  It’s fruit salad, and it’s magnificent.

You will need:

  • A mixing bowl
  • A fancy serving bowl (we get our fancy bowls at Target, so no pressure here)
  • A rubber scraper
  • Paper towel
  • A 16 oz tub of Cool Whip, thawed
  • Two 8 oz deals of cream cheese, softened (I usually use Neufchâtel)
  • One cup of brown sugar, not packed
  • Two tablespoons of vanilla
  • 2 cups each of three kinds of fruit.  I usually use Mandarin oranges and whatever berries are in season.  Yesterday I used strawberries and blueberries.

So here’s how it works:

  1. In your mixer, beat together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla.  You can stop when it’s all mixed up.
  2. Get your fruit ready.  Rinse, drain, slice if necessary, and then try it well on a paper towel.  If you skip this step you will end up with fruit soup which, while delightful, is not what we’re making today.
  3. Fold your Cool Whip into your cream cheese mixture.  Be gentle.
  4. Get out your fancy Target bowl and start layering: fruit, fluff, fruit, fluff, fruit, fluff.  Reserve a little fruit for garnish.

That’s it. It’s best to eat it right away, because a) you don’t want soup, and b) you won’t be able to resist.

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