Why do so many families go out to dinner on holidays, birthdays and such instead of gathering together around the dining room table?
It may be the seeming strain of pulling together an entire dinner on deadline, with everything expected to be perfect and on the table simultaneously.
Thats why readers appreciate it when a Wood County resident can offer the Cooks Corner column a simple, foolproof recipe that either looks elegant or tastes delicious.
Today we have a recipe that does both.
Marty Almanson is almost embarrassed to share it, frankly.
Its so easy; theres nothing to it! she told her friends, when they suggested her pretty pale green dessert dish.
The name of the lemon-flavored dessert emphasizes its sheer simplicity: Four Cans and a Tub, its called.
I serve it in a trifle bowl and it really is beautiful, said Almanson. I think its really a spring-y kind of thing.
She notes that it would be ideal for a festive Easter dinner. And its also the perfect ending to a meal for anybody who is still celebrating St. Patricks Day this weekend.
For myself, I am always looking for really easy recipes. If you get called for a potluck or any kind of a last-minute function, this is something you can put together so easily.
Seriously. It takes maybe 10 minutes to make. It may be my quickest recipe.
The lengthiest part might be draining the cans of pineapple!
She acquired the recipe just two or three months ago.
I got it from one of my child-care moms, Amanda Giesige, said Almanson, who provides child care in her Bowling Green home located conveniently about a block and a half away from Bowling Green Christian Academy.
Amanda is a great dessert person. She, a lot of the time, will make something and bring it over and have me taste it. I know if shes got a dessert its going to be good.
She also knows Almanson is always on the lookout for a good recipe.
My husband is on the board at church. Periodically, well have a board meeting and incorporate a dinner and the spouses are included.
For the last such dinner, Almanson was signed up to make the dessert.
I made this, she said of Four Cans (21 oz.) and a Tub, and everybody really liked it.
A county native and Eastwood graduate, the former Marty Frobose is a long-time member of the Middleton Township Homemakers, the group which hosted the all-Cooks Corner dinner featured in last weeks column.
I think I started with the club fairly close to 25 years ago when she was a new mom.
It was shortly thereafter that she started babysitting part-time, while her own children were at home. Then it snowballed to full-time, for the last 15 or 20 years.
Now son Josh is 27, and playing professional basketball in Switzerland, and daughter Emily, 25, is married and a new mother herself.
Eight-month-old baby Wesley, who has made Almanson a grandmother, is the hugest blessing of my life! Everybody always commented there was nothing like being a grandparent and now I know thats really true!
Soon enough, Wesley will be able to join the rest of the family in enjoying Four Cans and a Tub.
Smooth, light and airy, its a very child-friendly dessert as long as the child in question likes pineapple and lemon flavors.
When Almanson makes the dish, she always uses Cool Whip and usually opts for Dole brand pineapple. If you want a smoother consistency, use all crushed pineapple instead of the one can of chunk.
As for the sweetened condensed milk, store brands seem just fine.
Somebody said they had trouble finding the lemon pie filling in a can at grocery stores, Almanson warned. You can find cherry, but not lemon.
Amanda said she found it at Wal Mart.
Its a non-negotiable ingredient, for Almanson. Im a lemon girl. I love anything with the flavor of lemon.
FOUR CANS AND A TUB
1 large can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 large can of chunk pineapple (drained)
1 large (21 oz) can of lemon pie filling
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 16 oz. tub of Cool Whip
Combine all ingredients and chill in refrigerator.
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