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Here is a dainty dessert that used to be a salad

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When my mother first made Seafoam Salad at our house when I was in high school, I thought it was dessert. Over a couple of years it migrated from a first course to a last course, and now I would make it for after dinner.

If you pick up 8 ounces of Tofutti cream-cheese substitute, anyone can enjoy this light and fluffy lime-and-pear dessert. If you have some pretty decorated cookies, they would go very well with this fruit-and-cream dish and your coffee--perhaps Starbucks Veranda Blend, which is made with their Blonde Roast coffee.

My mother got the recipe for this dish from her friend Kit Pingrey, who must have been living in Guam, possibly as a military wife (unless she was a man in the active military). I don't remember meeting this person, so perhaps someday I will get more information about him or her.

I recommend chilling this dessert in individual parfait or sundae glasses to display its delicate green color.

SEAFOAM SALAD

From Bernice Needham and Kit Pingrey, 1969

Ingredients:

1 standard can pears, about 15 ounces
1 package lime gelatin dessert mix
2 packages cream cheese, 3 ounces each, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons cream or half-and-half
1 cup whipping cream, whipped and refrigerated

Drain the pears in a sieve and place the juice in a small saucepan. Put the saucepan over low-to-medium heat. When it has heated but not boiled, place the gelatin mixture in a glass bowl and pour the juice over it. Set the bowl aside and allow the gelatin to soften.

Meanwhile, sieve the pears or pass them through a food mill. Reserve the mashed pears in another container.

Place the cream cheese and the cream in a mixing bowl and beat them on low speed until they are smooth. Add the melted gelatin mixture. Place this in the refrigerator and chill until the gelatin has begun to set.

When the mixture is firm, but not set, fold in the mashed pears and whipped cream. Transfer the dessert to serving dishes (such as parfait glasses) and replace into the refrigerator until the dessert has set thoroughly. Garnish and serve.

I buy gelatin dessert mix at Sprouts in Tucson, where they have some that are labeled organic. However, any gelatin mix will be fine.

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