Grandma’s Cranberry Fruit Salad

If you are a lover of the sweet and sour then this recipe is going to be a little bit of heaven for you! This was my grandmothers recipe; I don’t care if someone you knew made it, in my head and on this blog it was my grandmothers. My grandmother was a strong, amazing woman. She was in the U.S. Air Force where she worked in Radar in the mid 1950’s; which is also where she met and fell in love with my Grandpa, who also served in the U.S. Air Force.

This is the stunning woman that was my grandmother…


She died when I was in high school, of cancer.  I took it very hard, I still take it very hard, as I tear up thinking  about how amazing and endless this woman’s love was.  She had the best kind of love, the tough kind, that forced you to get up off your duff and do something with yourself, forced you to think for yourself and say what was on your mind.  I learned from her, you NEVER give up.  NEVER GIVE UP!  If she had given up, I would have lost the last 11 years of life with her.  She kicked cancers ass for 11 years!  When she spoke it was usually powerful and intentional.  The last Thanksgiving that I got to spend with my grandmother she was bed ridden, she didn’t get to prepare the meal as she always did, and so it was up to all of us to take on a portion of the meal and get’er done.  I was tasked with Cranberry fruit salad.  I ran back and forth from the kitchen to her bedside where she would tell me the next ingredient and how much.   I have made it every year since.  There will not be a Thanksgiving that goes by that I don’t make this recipe and think about how amazingly powerful she was. I wish that she could have met my Daughter, my daughter keeps people on their toes just as Linda Jean did, Em is so much like her;  Feisty and wicked smart.

This is the Cranberry Fruit Salad that she taught me to make:

  • 2 large bags of Ocean Spray Cranberries – washed and picked through, remove all the mushy ones


  • 1 large can crushed pineapple – drained (or you can use fresh / I go back and forth between fresh and canned just like my grandmother did)
  • 2 large cans of Mandarin oranges, drained and chopped into little pieces
  • 1 cup of pecans – chopped into pieces (I usually use more than just a cup of pecans… because can you go wrong with toooooo many pecans???)  I prefer the ones from my mom’s yard that she has hand shelled just for me 😉

photo 1

  • Then you whip up some Whipped Cream about 3-4 cups (you have to say it like Stewie from Family Guy because it is funnier that way)
  • Last you add lots of sugar, to taste, start with about a half up (or a substitute, I use Truvia Baking blend if I have diabetics that are going to be munching on this because of the natural sugars and added sugars it can be a lot)
  • Let it rest overnight, this lets all the flavors marry nicely; although my daughter and I just start eating it immediately, because we love the tartness of the cranberries!

photo 2I have played with this recipe for years, one year I added pomegranates, that was an amazing flavor addition, but the seeds in the perils make for an odd texture when you are eating.  I hope you love this as much as my family and I do.

Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you have and spread lots of kindness this holiday season!




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