Sunday Dinner: Fruit Salad

It may be the oldest Baptist church in South Carolina, and if it isn’t, I’m sure someone will let me know!

Welsh Neck Baptist Church, located in Society Hill (which is in the eastern third of our state, about 20 miles or so from the North Carolina line), is one of the oldest Baptist congregations in our beautiful state.

According to their cookbook “Heavenly Delights,” a group moved from Delaware to the Pee Dee section in 1737, built a church the following year near the banks of the Pee Dee River, then some 20 years later in 1769 erected a second building. Another move came between 1797 and 1803, when the church moved to its present location. Another building, the current one, was built at the same location in 1929-1930.

The congregation of about 150 has been served by Rev. Eric Sloan since 2008 and has services on Sunday morning and evening and on Wednesday evening, plus the Sadie Wilson missionary circle, and Vacation Bible School.

Sandie Edwards, a member of the church, described Mrs. Martha Sumner, the contributor of today’s recipe, as “a wonderful lady and a wonderful cook.” Over the years, I have used a couple or so recipes from Welsh Neck, and I’m sure you will like this one also.

Mrs. Sumner’s husband, William, was career Army, serving two tours in Vietnam and one in Korea. After retiring from the military, he worked with Coker Seed in Hartsville and a couple of other places, but is now totally retired. He classifies his current job as a “piddler.”

Martha and William have four children: Tom, Joy, Katie and Billy, and most live in the area, convenient to come home for Sunday Dinner! Mrs. Sumner enjoys sewing, especially making clothes for grandchildren. Another interest is art; she both paints and collects.

Mrs. Sumner created this recipe and serves it almost always at Christmas and Easter, and it is so good one could almost serve it as a dessert. This recipe is (a) easy to make, (b) tastes really good, and (c) keeps well. It is pretty served in a glass bowl on the buffet. Mrs. Sumner didn’t say in her recipe, but it will probably serve 12 or so.

Make this easy-to-assemble dish soon, and whether you serve it as a salad or try it as a dessert, you will join me in thanking Mrs. Sumner for her creation and sharing it with all of us for … Sunday Dinner.

Fruit Salad

Place in a bowl in this order:

  • 4 bananas, cut crosswise
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (spread over bananas to keep them from turning dark)
  • ¼ cup sugar, sprinkled over pineapple
  • 2 cans drained mandarin oranges (discard juice)
  • 1 6-oz. package Birds Eye frozen coconut, thawed (sprinkle on top)
  • 1 10-oz. jar maraschino cherries, rinsed and drained on paper towel

Place cherries evenly over coconut. Seal and refrigerate. (Note: May be made 24 to 36 hours ahead of serving.)

Have a recipe?