Sweet Moments with Dream Whip
I always associate Dream Whip Whipped Topping Mix with my grandmother. She’s been gone since 1988, but I never fail to think of her when I pass by the Dream Whip boxes in the supermarket.
General Foods developed Dream Whip in 1957, so it's quite possible that she used that product the whole time I knew her. I don't recall her ever whipping up a little carton of cream or using Cool Whip after it was introduced in 1966.
For holiday dinners she always brought a bowl of her Waldorf Salad: apples, raisins and pecans mixed into the whipped topping, and just a hint of mayonnaise flavor. Her pecan and pumpkin pies (that were slightly burnt around the edges during her later years) were garnished with dollops of Dream Whip.
General Foods published Sweet Moment Desserts (44 pages) in 1963. The featured ingredients were Jell-O Pudding & Pie Filling (the kind you cook, not instant) and Dream Whip.
It's a handy little cookbook in that the recipes fit into quite a few of the dessert categories. There are recipes for pies; a section called "Puddings Plus" that includes nice variations and add-ins for plain puddings; a section of special desserts for company (think Cheesecake, Chocolate Bavarian and Coconut Pecan Torte); Frozen Desserts; and it finishes with a chapter on sauces, toppings and fillings.
The recipes in this older booklet provide a nice balance between the current trend of finding all the ingredients for an entire dessert in one box and cooking strictly from scratch. Much of the time the new "quick and easy" recipes and methods provide me with about the same amount of satisfaction as I get from driving through McDonald’s.
While I'm not ready to chuck all convenience foods entirely, lately I find myself reaching for Dream Whip instead of Cool Whip, and preferring cooked pudding over the instant.
I take pleasure too, in the fact that I continue to use my grandmother's 40-year old electric hand mixer to whip up those packages of Dream Whip. Those are sweet moments for me as well.