By Beth Heeschen
The Fourth of July. The celebration of the birth of our nation. A time for patriotism, fireworks, parades, slow pitch softball games, and water guns. A time for fire flies in mason jars, sparklers on the lawn, waving of flags, and musical tributes. Picnics filled with grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken. Overflowing sides of potato salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, seven layer salad, and watermelon.
AND… the absolutely essential, must-have… patriotic red, white, and blue dessert. There are many forms this dessert can take. Iowa, in the 1970’s, favored the layered Jell-O mold approach. Yes, LAYERED PATRIOTIC JELL-O MOLD. The white layer was some sort of cream cheese concoction. It’s the stuff nightmares are made, that we ate by the bowlful. Fortunately, the Jell-O Company expanded on this theme in the 1980’s, and invented the flag Jell-O mold, which they dispensed for free in your neighborhood grocery store. So thoughtful of them. It consisted of red Jell-O for the mold, Reddi Whip for the stripes, and blueberries for the stars. It was truly a thing of beauty. I however, flunked Jell-O making 101, and am not real big on making desserts anyway.
I needed something fast, easy, and red, white and blue. Enter the magnificent, easy-to-prepare, looks impressive, Fourth of July Trifle. Everybody, and I mean everybody loves this.
EASY 4TH OF JULY TRIFLE:
1 store bought angel food cake, cubed 1” squares (or make your own)
1 box large instant vanilla pudding, made according to package
1 container Cool Whip, defrosted
1 large container strawberries, washed, dried, and sliced
1 large container blueberries, washed and dried
3-4 sliced bananas
Begin by putting a light layer of prepared pudding in the bottom of the bowl. Top with cubed angel food cake (It is important to keep in mind, at this point, that a trifle is a layered desert, and you want to get the maximum effect from the size dish that you are using). Next: a layer of pudding, a layer of sliced strawberries and bananas, and a layer of Cool Whip. Follow up with a layer of pudding (lightly spread to keep the layers intact), and a layer of blueberries and bananas, followed with a layer of Cool Whip. Repeat layers for a red, white, and blue effect. End by spreading Cool Whip on top of cake (like frosting), and topping with sliced strawberries and blueberries.
A Plus: You can make this “light” by using sugar free pudding, and light Cool Whip.