You know those days where you just feel like a tropical vacation would cancel the subscriptions to all of your issues? Where you just sort of want to run away and be responsible for nothing and no one? I don’t. I’ve never had one of those moments in my entire life. I have never wanted to sit on a sunbaked beach with nothing around but the sound of waves crashing. Never wanted to relax with an icy drink in my hand brought to me by a super cute cabana boy with a slim, tanned body, who I know is not just something pretty to look at, but should be respected for his mind and his hustle. Never have I ever not wanted to get up early every morning, make sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to do while I try to get myself ready and do what I can to prepare us for the evening. The very idea of not having to commute and…I can’t go on. If someone told me that I was going to be trading all of this for an all-expenses paid trip to a tropical island, I might hesitate while I decided if I really wanted to go swimsuit shopping. I’d probably try to find a bunch of excuses as to why I really shouldn’t, but I don’t think I would pass it up.
As I stare out at my snow covered yard and see my children cuddled up on the couch in matching blankets, I realize that while I would love to get away, the closest I may come for a while is probably going to be in something like the Tropical Delight Salad.
I have always been attracted to tropical flavors. Pina Colada and I have been hitting it pretty hot and heavy since I was a young girl. When picking out yogurt with my mom, I would always opt for the pina colada fruit on the bottom yogurt. It seemed like a special treat. After realizing that the red food coloring in Jolly Good Fruit Punch and Faygo Red Pop made me throw up, I discovered Jolly Good Pina Colada soda. They don’t even make it any more, but there is something about that sickly sweet pineapple coconut combination that satisfies me. Sadly this recipe does not call for coconut, but it would be a nice addition, especially if it was toasted.And now I have an idea for a roasted pineapple and toasted coconut something…cocktail? Bread? Meringue Pie? This is an ongoing problem. I start out doing something and then get majorly inspired by something completely different and get too excited to start that and want to forget about what it was I was doing in the first place. I am working harder at trying to finish things before I start something new. It’s killing me in my knitting right now. The biggest problem I have is that I have too many ideas and there is only me that can carry them out. It’s all just time and money, right?Ok, back on track. A couple of things to note. Pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple probably works better than pineapple chunks. And if you haven’t read the Jell-O package (and these are small ones, not big ones in this recipe), do not attempt to use fresh pineapple. Most tropical fruits contain enzymes which counteract the gelling property of gelatin. If you want something like a slimy soup, that’s probably fine, but even despite my protests of not caring for Jell-O, I still prefer it to be gelled. The enzymes are useful for other things, though, like tenderizing meat (mmmm…al pastor). But this is also the same thing that makes some people very sensitive to eating too much raw fruit. Also…The topping of the Tropical Delight Salad is really good. Don’t skip that step. Even if you decide you want to change the flavor of the Jell-O, or decide not to use bananas, or oranges, do not change the topping.
If you are hardcore on Jell-O recipes and want to see what else I’ve done, check out these posts. Cooked Cranberry Salad and Frosty Lime Salad. If you really want to gelatinize everything check out the Peach Cottage Cheese Loaf. (Although I don’t actually recommend making it, but you should see that this exists.)