Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Aunt Mabel’s Honey Fruit Salad Dressing

Last weekend, Michael (The Picky Eater) and I went to visit my family in Missouri. Besides having a wonderful Father’s Day weekend with my parents, sister, and nephew, we also picked up some items Mom purchased for us at a recent auction.

My Great-Aunt Mabel moved in with her daughter, Sue, in Alabama more than a year ago. (Maybe it’s two years? I don’t remember exactly.) She left behind her house in Missouri, full of a lifetime of items.

Most of Aunt Mabel’s life was spent in Wichita, Kansas, where my Great-Uncle Bill worked for the railroad and the two of them raised their daughters, Sue and Nancy. I was still in high school the last time I visited their home, and I remember helping her pit cherries from the trees in the back yard.

My Aunt Mabel is a bundle of energy, even now, well into her 90s. She’s a straight-forward, get-things-done type of woman. Think of Grandma Walton but with more style! She’s a kind a loving person.

Mom was able to get a small cabinet for Michael to use for all of his knick-knacks and souvenirs. I got beautiful serving bowls and dishes, and an old coffee grinder!

This bowl was the one that caught my attention. A sticker on the bottom said that Aunt Mabel’s mother bought the hand-painted Royal Austria bowl at an antique shop in Oklahoma, but it doesn’t say when.

I love the violets and lily of the valleys painted around the rim.

My mom remembers Aunt Mabel using the bowl to serve fruit salad. Lucky for me, Sue sent me a collection of her recipes a few years ago. One of them was for a honey fruit salad dressing that noted it was delicious on fresh fruits.

I loved the unusual seasonings added to the honey, sugar, oil, and vinegar mixture. Who would have ever thought of using dry mustard, paprika, celery seed and grated onion on fruit, but it works! Even The Picky Eater liked the taste! I used apples, red grapes, blueberries, bananas, and cherries (of course) in the salad, and to highlight the savory influences in the dressing, added chopped celery and walnuts to the mix. But you could use any mixture of fruit that strikes your fancy.

I’m so happy to have a new summer recipe to enjoy and serve to friends and family. Best of all, I’m thrilled to have such a special bowl in which to serve the salad. It will always bring a smile, and memories of one of my very favorite ladies.

Aunt Mabel’s Honey Fruit Salad Dressing

2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1 teaspoon grated onion
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil

Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine, adding the oil last. Pour over a mixture of fresh fruit and serve.


  1. What a wonderful recipe! Those that come with memories always taste better :-). Have a wonderful evening, Linda. Blessings...Mary

  2. Linda, this is delicious. I am sharing it with all the ladies at church as a great idea for a light and refreshing summer treat. -- Barbie Jones