Mondays–V2E41–Picnic Reunion

Does anyone on go picnics anymore? Like when you take a blanket and a basket of food and sit in a quiet meadow somewhere like “back in the day.” If you’re like me, the answer is probably “no.” The closest thing for me is an outdoor get-together somewhere that has a pavilion and concrete picnic tables. But I do have a genuine picnic basket so that makes it a picnic right?

My mom’s German family immigrated to the St. Charles area of Missouri during the middle 1800s along with many other families from the Hanover area of Germany. Many of the families intermarried and because of that, I am related to quite a few of the older families in St. Charles. It’s not unusual to be talking to someone and comparing families to realize that a couple generations back, we are related.

My mom and dad on the bottom left, circa 1960

My mom was one of eight children and by about 1965, there were over fifty people in our family; Grandma and Grandpa, eight kids and their spouses and thirty plus grandkids. When we were small, we’d have our annual reunion in the large front yard of my grandma and grandpa’s farm.

But grandpa passed away in 1970 and grandma sold the farm a couple years later. Since that time, my aunts and uncles took turns hosting a summer family reunion at one of the local parks. As the aunts and uncles have claimed their heavenly reward, one of their children takes the turn and hosts the picnic reunion.

This last year, we’ve lost my aunt and uncle, my brother and the husband of one of my cousins. So our numbers are gradually shrinking, but mostly, we are still a healthy family and most of the aunts and uncles (except of course the outlier being my mom and dad who died young) lived to be in their 80s or 90s.

But, back to the reunion. This year it was held at one of my cousin’s homes on eighty rural acres outside Hermann, Missouri. It was a beautiful day, perfect for sitting outside in a lawn chair sipping a glass of wine, soda or a beer and talking with people you have known all your life but probably really don’t know at all. We all contribute to the food; usually a ton of fried chicken and salads, and of course, desserts.

This year, I decided to bring a “No Bake Twinkie Cake” adapted from thecountrycook.net.  I enjoyed it so much and judging by the fact that my 9″x12″ pan came back almost empty, so did many others. So I thought I’d share the recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it too!

No Bake Twinkie Cake

Ingredients:

7 or 8 Twinkies
2 or 3 bananas
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 box Sugar-Free instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk (I used whole milk because that’s what I have on hand, but you can use just about any kind of real milk–not the other “milks”)
1/2 tub Cool Whip Lite topping
Optional: Maraschino cherries, cut in half, chopped nuts

Directions

1. Remove Twinkies from wrapper and cut in half lengthwise
2. Place sliced Twinkies in 9×12 pan, cream side up
3. Layer banana slices on top of Twinkies in a single row
4. Spread crushed pineapple on top of banana slices
5. In a separate bowl, combine instant pudding mix with 2 cups cold milk
6. Whisk together until combined and allow to thicken slightly
7. Pour pudding over crushed pineapple, spread out evenly
8. Spread whipped topping over pudding layer
9. Cut Maraschino cherries in half and place in rows on whipped topping layer
10. Sprinkled chopped nuts on top

Keep refrigerated until served and refrigerate left-overs (if you have any left).

In case you’d want to print the recipe, I’ve included a downloadable PDF. Just click here: No Bake Twinkie Cake

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