Today is my mom’s birthday!
According to lore, her birth was perilously close to April Fool’s Day — and the doctor asked Grandma if she wanted her firstborn to enter the world in March or April. She chose March, obviously, and Mom’s birthday caps off a blustery month for us here in Maryland.
As one of the most caring, thoughtful people I know, Mom never misses an opportunity to let her family know how much she loves them — so I can’t neglect to do the same. You’re awesome! We love you! Rumor has it the sun will be returning after a soggy weekend, so I hope Mom enjoys your day until we can celebrate this evening.
And let’s talk about strawberry pretzel salad.
The timing of this post is far from coincidental . . . because this is Mom’s signature dessert. It falls into the category of foods that look weird but actually taste fantastic, mostly because this dish balances sweetness and saltiness in an exquisite way. If you’re a strawberry fan, you’ll love it all the more.
Mom whips up strawberry pretzel salad for most functions, especially our annual July birthday party. My dad, sister and I have birthdays within five days of each other, and our big blow-out in late July wouldn’t be the same without this family favorite.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Strawberry pretzel salad
Recipe adapted from Mom and AllRecipes
2 cups pretzels, crushed
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar; mix well and press mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set. Serve and enjoy!