Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heavenly Easter tradition

Easter Dinner

With holidays comes tradition...where you go, what you do, what you eat.  With our family a lot of tradition revolves around the dinners involved with holidays; Thanksgiving means turkey (I know that's a given), Christmas Eve means posole.  Well, Easter is no different; this past Sunday was Easter, which meant the tradition of our Easter dinner.

Growing up, Easter dinner was always the made a ham covered in brown sugar, cloves and stuff, she made potato salad, green beans and heavenly rice.  These items always worked well together to make a perfectly balanced Easter Sunday dinner.  The location and cooks may have changed, but the meal staples are the same...and the tradition continues.

Now we have Easter dinner at my sister's brother-in-law cooks the ham with brown sugar and such (I'll link it here when he posts on it in a few days) sister, Cheryl, makes the potato salad and rolls (I cannot get enough of those Parker House Rolls, they are AWESOME) it was up to me to bring the Heavenly Rice.

What is "Heavenly RIce"...well...its good, that's what it is.  Its a salad made up of sweetened rice with pineapple, nuts, gelatin and whipping cream.  Mom's recipe has no reference as to where it came from; so I decided to do some research and came up with recipes that were similar, but just not the same.  I figure it is probably a salad that was created in the 50's or 60's.  It has a similar feel to a jello salad or an ambrosia.  Its hard to explain, but it tastes awesome with ham and you don't feel bad for having dessert with your meal...because it is technically a salad.

Heavenly Rice
For printable recipe, please click here
½ C  Rice (uncooked)                     
4 C  Water                                         
¼ tsp  Salt
1 C  Sugar
½ C  Chopped Pecans
1½  C  Crushed Pineapple
1 Pkg  Plain Gelatin
¼ C  Cold Water
1 Pint  Heavy Whipping Cream
1-2 Tbsp  Powdered Sugar

In a 3 qrt sauce pan, boil the water, rice and salt over medium high heat until all water is gone.  This will have a tendency to want to boil over, so be sure to watch it and stir occasionally so the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Take off heat after the water has boiled off.

Add the sugar, nuts and pineapple to the rice.  Mix together.  Dissolve the gelatin in ¼ C water, add to the rice mixture and mix well.  Refrigerate over night.

Next day, in a cold mixing bowl whip the pint of whipping cream w/ the powdered sugar added until soft peaks form (I beat it to a point between having soft to stiff peaks, but don’t over beat it…you’ll end up making butter).  Fold the whipped cream into the chilled rice mixture.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers, this salad will keep for a couple of days; the whipped cream will start to break down after that.
Heavenly Rice
Heavenly Rice
Easter Dinner with the usual suspects...on the right side of the plate, Heavenly Rice
Everything turned out great and Easter dinner was awesome...gotta love tradition!

Enjoy the foods of your labor.  :-)


Chris said...

I had never heard of heavenly rice before. Is it just an Easter dish?

Trissi_V said...

Its not just an Easter just goes really well with ham which is usually eaten at Easter.

From what I have Googled on this recipe; there are several variations...the closest being from a church newsletter I found dated 1965. Probably a holiday salad or a big gathering salad since it makes up quite a bit.