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Just like my grandmother’s Pink Stuff, our family always has a big giant bowl of Fruit Salad every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don’t know when the tradition started, or who started it, but as long as I’ve been alive, it was my mother’s task to make it every holiday. My mother passed away in 2008, leaving this tradition to me or my sister. This year I made it so have the pictures for the recipe.

What makes this recipe really stand out is…everything. The whipped cream! The coconut! The bananas! There’s just nothing not to like in this fluffy bowl of all things good. When the family was large and cousins, aunts and uncles all gathered, my mother had this huge giant bowl she made it in. Seriously. The bowl was about 2 feet wide. Maybe bigger. This recipe is for a much smaller crowd. Double or triple as needed.


  • 3 apples
  • 4 oranges
  • 4 to 6 bananas
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple
  • 1 can of fruit cocktail
  • 1 bag of coconut
  • 8 oz bag of walnuts
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1 carton of whipping cream
  • 3/4 sugar



Peel and slice your oranges into small bite size pieces.


I’ve learned a thing or two about oranges. If you peel from navel to navel, rather than around, you’ll leave less pith on the orange you want to keep. If you cut from top to bottom in small sections all the way around the orange, it’s even easier. Once I peeled the oranges, I too the extra time to completely remove as much pith from the peel itself and froze the peel. Later, I’ll dehydrate the peels and make orange peel powder. Great for cooking and teas.


Next, slice and dice your apples. If you cut your apples this way, you do not need to core them. You heard me. You do not need to core them.


Remove the seeds.


And cut into little chunks.


Mix the pineapple, oranges, apples together.


Drain your can of fruit cocktail. We don’t want any excess liquid into the bowl.


Add the fruit cocktail to the other fruit.


Mix well. And then add your sugar.


Fully incorporate the sugar over every bit of fruit. Don’t ask me if you need the sugar. The answer is yes.

The sugar is going to leach the juices from your fruit, while making them awesomely sweet, and it’s going to help prevent your apples from turning brown.


We’re going to let this sit overnight. But first, a little magic trick. Put all of this mixture in a plastic container, and then using plastic wrap, completely seal the fruit and juice. Lay the wrap right on top of it, press out all air bubbles. Do not let any piece of fruit be exposed to the air. Just like with guacamole, if the fruit isn’t exposed to air, it can’t and won’t brown. I probably could have added the bananas too, but I didn’t want them to get mushy. Wait on them for the next day. Let this mixture sit overnight with the plastic wrap on the fruit, and a lid on the container.


The Next Day

Your fruit mixture should have survived the overnight stay in the fridge without nary a browning. Mine did. Between the citrus juices and the lack of air, everything looked great!


Drain off the liquid, and put the fruit into a big bowl. Living in a camper, and having already made Pink Stuff, I was out of bowls, so used a big pan.  Gently fold in the coconut and marshmallows.


It should be looking and tasting pretty darn heavenly already.


Add your bananas.


And then your walnuts.


Whip up some whipped cream. Be sure to whip it rather stiff. You want it to hold together in all that fruit. Add a little sugar first.


Whip, whip, whip!


O. M. G. My favorite.


Help yourself to a dollop of that!


Fold the whip cream into the fruit mixture. And then…

Grab a big spoon.