Fresh fruit tossed in a bright citrus dressing with just a hint of cinnamon is a great, easy to make dish when you’re feeding a crowd. It’s always one of the first dishes to go on my buffet table. Whether you’re hosting a holiday party, family reunion, block party or tailgating, this fruit salad will be a fan favorite!
A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of hosting my son’s drum line for dinner. Providing these hard working kids with a good meal before the Friday night home games has become somewhat of a tradition. It’s always fun, fast and loaded with laughter. It may seem a little daunting to have 28 hungry kids and their director over for dinner but it’s actually quite easy, especially when you’ve got so many willing parents to help. On the menu was pasta with sauce, meatballs, garlic bread, cupcakes along with my fruit salad.
The percussionists arrived promptly at 5:30 and a line quickly formed and snaked through my kitchen. They piled up their plates with food and then things got quiet. You know something good is happening during meal time when you only hear “umms” and “may we have seconds, Mama Mullins?” Of course they got seconds, since I planned for these sweet people to have as much food as they wanted! I specifically wanted to make something fresh and full of flavor and knew my fruit salad was just what was needed. It’s a great mix of fruit (I always chose what goes in by what’s on sale) with a citrus dressing sweetened with honey. At the end of the meal, I think they agreed since there were just two little grapes left in the pan.
As you can tell from this photo, this is a special group. They are the perfect mix of all things that are good and positive about high school. These young men and women encourage each other and build each other up. When they are together, there is NO judgement. They work hard at their craft, their studies and strive to be leaders in their communities. They have a wonderful leader in Chris, their director and he’s every parents dream when it comes to someone being involved in your child’s life.
So, here’s to the drum line – they are the best of the best. Also, here’s to the parents of these great kids who spend tireless hours volunteering for our school. As an added benefit, I get to make lots of new friends with the moms and dads. So, I guess you can tell, I love this group…they are my kind of people.
Fruit Salad For A Crowd
- 3 cups red seedless grapes
- 3 cups green seedless grapes
- 2 cups cubed pineapple
- 2 cups cubed cantaloupe
- 3 cups quartered strawberries - washed with caps removed
- 2 pints blueberries
- 1 and 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Wash grapes and blueberries. Set aside to drain.
- Place all fruit in a large tin foil baking pan and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together orange juice, honey and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Pour dressing over fruit and gently toss with large spoon. Cover fruit with plastic wrap and place in fridge or cooler until ready to serve.
- When purchasing fruit, buy what is on sale. I always use grapes because they tend to be on sale and add volume to the salad. Plus, most everyone likes grapes.
- Stay away from “odd” fruit. This salad is meant to feed a crowd, so you want the ingredients to be something that most people will like.
- Melons that are pre-cut can be found in the produce cooler section. I often buy what’s on sale and then cut into small pieces which will fill out my salad.
- Apples are a great addition to this salad. Make sure you place chopped apples into cool lemon water before adding to the salad to deter browning.
- Metal pans – I buy my from either the Dollar Store, Costco or Sams. I buy several large ones at a time and keep them on hand until needed.