kruizing with kikukat

Monday, July 11, 2011

Frog Eye Salad

I am dedicating this post, Frog Eye Salad, to my amphibious brethren out there . . . those of you who, by sheer bum luck, tend to get caught in slippery situations beyond your control.  If this sounds like you or if you know someone who has webbed feet and can jump many times his/her body length, read on . . .

We are knee-deep in what is likely the soggiest summer in Hilo in the past 15 years.  I counted more days of rain than sun, which supports Hilo's infamy as being the wettest city in the United States.  I am so glad to have retired from league tennis, as I'd likely spend more time squeegee-ing the court than actually playing.  Bejeweled Blitz is a much better pastime!

I've come to the conclusion that I am a magnet for wet places, no matter how much I keep saying I don't like rain.  My four years in Seattle were miserably damp.  I'm likely the only person who has attempted to escape the Hilo rain, only to be drenched by a sudden downpour in the parking lot of the Kona Costco.  In another botched attempt to circumvent rain, I ran off to the Hapuna Prince and was treated to an amazing show that night: thunder, lightning, torrential rain.

acini di pepe
One of the silly traditions of league tennis in Hilo is the camaraderie-building potluck after each match, which often forces one to display acts of sportsmanship long after an opponent has humiliated you on the court.  Having played league tennis on Oahu for several years, I can safely say this practice does NOT happen there.  Lest I sound like an ingrate, it is because of these silly gatherings that I became acquainted with frog eye salad.  Someone on my team brought it as a potluck contribution.  It was absolutely delicious, but inimitable, as there was no market in Hilo which carried the "frog eyes", acini di pepe pasta.
That was way back in the early years of the 21st century, and Hilo today is much different place from what it was 10 years ago.  We have a new Safeway that has an olive bar, and that same Safeway also carries acini di pepe pasta!  Ribbit ribbit. . .

 click on recipe title for printable recipe
Frog Eye Salad

     1 c acini di pepe pasta
     2 cans mandarin oranges
     1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
     1 c sugar
     1/2 tsp salt
     2 eggs, well beaten
     3 tbsp flour
     8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
     4 c miniature marshmallows
     1 c maraschino cherries, drained (optional)
Bring water to a boil and cook acini di pepe pasta for 9 minutes.  Drain.  Drain mandarin oranges and pineapple, reserving 1 1/2 c of juice.  Refrigerate mandarin oranges and pineapple.  In a medium saucepan, combine juice with sugar, salt, eggs, and flour.  Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, until thick.  Remove from heat.  Add drained pasta to sauce and mix gently.  Place in a large, covered bowl, and refrigerate overnight.  Add drained fruit, Cool Whip, and miniature marshmallows to acini di pepe mixture.  Combine gently and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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