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Classic Ambrosia

For 50 people
Many people remember this as a special dish from their early happier Christmases, and fresh fruit is hard to come by on the street. You will find a lot of creamy variations on ambrosia with cherries, sliced bananas or fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, pecans and cream cheese, mayonaisse or Cool Whip. None are as simple or keep as well as this one.

10-14 ounces fresh moist shredded coconut
1 can coconut creme or coconut milk
40 large navel or other sweet, seedless oranges one large ripe pineapple
OPTIONAL sugar (if oranges are not too sweet)is one
OR 2-3 pounds pineapple tidbits or chunks, packed in juice
2 tablespoons orange zest
OPTIONAL 4 cups pecan pieces
1 1/2 quarts poppyseeed dressing (see next recipe)

Mix the coconut and the canned creme/ milk and set aside.
Peel, seed and slice oranges into rounds. Or, if you are feeling really really generous or have quite a bit of help, you can section out the oranges, removing all the membranes and pith. It is very beautiful. Cut over a bowl to save the juice.
Peel and dice one large ripe pineapple, remove the core first (my favorite part). Or you can use 2-3 pounds pineapple tidbits or chunks, packed in juice- don't use crushed- but fresh is very very nice.
Layer it all together, sprinkling in a very little sugar if the fruit is not at its best, perhaps grating in a little orange zest. Cover, stores in the refigerator up to 2 days before serving, will keep another day after.
Before serving, either stir in the pecans if you use nuts, or serve them as a side garnish with a small spoon.
Serve poppyseed dressing on the side.

Houston Junior League Lime-Honey Poppyseed Dressing

Makes almost a quart- double this recipe for 50 people

1/2 cups fresh lime juice
1/2 cups honey
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 cups vegetable oil
3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Process lime juice, honey, vinegar, salt, sugar, ginger, and dry mustard in a food processor or large blender.
With machine running, slowly add oil in a thin steady stream. The dressing should become thick and translucent and should not separate; the sugar acts as an emulsifier in this recipe.
Remove from the processor and stir in poppy seeds.
Cover and refrigerate. Keeps up to 2 weeks. Shake before using.

Classic 1950's Pink Frozen Fruit Salad

48 servings, 9 quarts

nonstick spray or mayonaisse to coat molds
24 ounces cream cheese
9 tablespoons mayonnaise OR sour cream
few drops red food coloring
1 tablespoon almond extract
3 cups heavy cream, whipped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
6 (16 ounce) cans fruit cocktail, drained
1 1/2 cups drained maraschino cherries, quartered
3 (13 1/2 ounce) cans crushed pineapple, drained
3 (11 ounce) cans mandarin orange sections, drained
12 cups miniature marshmallows or 120 large marshmallows, quartered
3 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Oil or spray 3 12-cup bundt pans, 9 loaf pans or 27 large juice cans; set aside.
Soften cream cheese, blend with mayonnaise and food coloring, almond extract and whipped cream. Fold in remaining ingredients. Pour into selected molds and freeze.
When frozen, unmold loaves or juice cans by placing in warm water for a minute or two. If necessary, cut out bottom of can and push salad out. Wrap in foil. Keep frozen, then slice as needed.
For bundt molds, at least 4 hours before serving, unmold by running tip of knife around edges and dipping bottom of mold in hot water; invert onto platter lined with lettuce leaves. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. Mold should be slightly frozen. If you forget to take it out of the freezer, thaw by letting stand at room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

Ellen's Better Frozen Fruit Salad

50-70 servings, 9 quarts

nonstick spray or mayonaisse to coat molds
4 (1 pound 4 ounce) cans crushed pineapple
2 (1 pound) cans peaches, diced or sliced
2 cups white seedless grapes halved, or 2 (1 pound 4 ounce) cans
1 1/2 cups fresh pitted or maraschino cherries, cut in eighths
OR1 1/2 cups loose pack frozen strawberries
OR 1 1/2 cups ground raw cranberries
1/2 pound (30) large marshmallows, quartered
2 teaspoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional)
1 envelope (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
2 quarts heavy cream, whipped
OR 10 pkgs dessert topping mix, whipped;
OR 1 qt heavy cream and 5 pkgs. dessert topping mix
3 cups mayonnaise
For serving, 50 lettuce leaves for salad or 6 cups whipped cream and 50 cherries for dessert

Drain fruits; save 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice. If peaches are not diced, cut peaches in 1/2 inch cubes. Combine fruit, marshmallows and ginger. Place in refrigerator to chill.
Soften gelatin in cold water.
Heat pineapple juice to boiling. Add softened gelatin; stir to dissolve. Add orange and lemon juice, sugar and salt; stir to dissolve.
Chill gelatin until mixture starts to thicken, about 45 minutes. When mixture starts to thicken, stir in fruit mixture and nuts. Fold in whipped cream and mayonnaise.
Spoon into quart cylinder cartons (paper, plastic, or metal) Cover and freeze.
To serve, remove from freezer and thaw enough to slip out of carton. Cut in 1 inch slices.
To serve as a salad, place square on lettuce leaves.
To serve as a dessert, top with whipped cream and garnish with cherries.

Simple Icy Frozen Fruit Salad

12 servings, 9x13 pan

2 cups water
1 (6 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
4 bananas, sliced
OPTIONAL 1 cup berries or mandarin orange sections
OPTIONAL 1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 (10-16 ounce) package frozen loose pack strawberries

Dissolve sugar in the water. Add orange juice, lemonade, bananas, crushed pineapple with juice, strawberries and mix well.
Pour into 9x13 inch glass pan. Freeze until solid.
When ready to serve, let it sit out for about 25 minutes before cutting into squares.

Creamy Canned Fruit Salad

120 servings

1 #10 (100 oz) can Pineapple Chunks in juice
1 #10 (100 oz) can Peach Slices - drained
6 (16 oz)OR 1 #10 cans Mandarin oranges - drained
10 bananas Sliced
10 Apples, cored and chipped into the pineapple juice
3 pounds seedless grapes, rinsed
Creamy dressing
3 3.2 oz packs of instant vanilla pudding
4 1/2 cups whole milk
12 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 1.4 cups sour cream

Drian the pineapple juice and use the juice to cover the cut up bananas and apples until ready to mix. Mix the other fruits, set aside. Mix the sauce ingredients, stir into the drained fruits. Keep covered and refrigerated intil ready to serve.

Canned Fruit Cocktail Salad

100 servings

2 #10 (100 oz) cans Fruit Cocktail - drained
1 #10 (100 oz) can Pineapple Bits - drained
1 1/2 bags of small marshmallows
3 pints sour cream
1 pound chopped walnuts

Mix and chill.