Sunday, December 14, 2014

Save your fork

A long time ago my Mother’s best friend Ann would toil away in the kitchen in the days before Christmas.  Inevitably a tray of cookies would show up at our home. 

There was one “cookie” that I looked forward to every year.  It was an Apricot Ball something.  Recently I called my Mom to ask her for the recipe. 

Empty cookie wrappers

I would have called Ann but she is in heaven…she died a number of years ago…breast cancer and then cancer took over her lungs and the rest of her body.

I can still see her in that coffin…a pleasant look on her face.  A fork grasped in both of her hands…most people have their hands clasped together in prayer or holding rosary beads…but a fork?

Well here in Minnesota after a meal, the hostess usually clears the plates and says “Save your fork…dessert is coming up.”

For Ann being a Christian woman…she was all set for the dessert!

Apricot Balls


Ann’s  Holiday Apricot Balls

One package (8 ounces) Dried Apricots ground fine or finely cut

2 1/2 Cups Flaked Coconut

3/4 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

One Cup Chopped Nuts

Blend together, shape into small balls, roll in chopped nuts. Makes about 5 dozen.

** I found that if I chilled the mixture it was easier to work with.


I made made a batch of Apricot Balls and I also made a batch of Craisin ones that were infused with Pomegranate Juice. Both are quite tasty and as good as I remember.

Have you ever asked your guests to save their fork? 

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Anonymous said...

What a sweet post that brought back precious memories for me! I remember many holiday meals over the years where we were asked to save our fork! These apricot balls are unique sounding and I would love them. Have a great day and I love your header photo.

Georgina said...

I remember friends who had so few knives and forks we had to use the baby's forks and spoons to eat our dinner!

Country Gal said...

Lovely memory . My mum used to say the same thing then she got desert forks lol Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

DJan said...

That's such a wonderful memory, seeing Ann in her coffin smiling with a fork in each hand! It says a lot about her and yes, I always saved my fork after a holiday meal when my mom was cooking. :-)

troutbirder said...

My mom always used the same expression. I like Ann's funeral plan....:)

Mac n' Janet said...

I love it. We tucked a bag of candy in with my Mother-in-law when she died, knew she'd enjoy the treat.

Linda W. said...

That's a great story! I grew up in S. Dakota, and folks used to say "save your fork" too. Must be a midwestern thing.

Nancy said...

Oh yes, in my family we always said, "save your fork."

Thanks for the recipe

Linda Reeder said...

Back in the days when we weren't all fancy-smancy we didn't have dessert/salad forks. So yes, we "saved our forks"!
Great post! I just finished my Christmas cookie baking yesterday. Whew.

Unknown said...

Growing up in Wisconsin I only heard "save your fork" a few times but it is a very familiar and practical expression. In those days we sure didn't have extra forks such as dessert forks.. .I love the idea of putting a fork in each of that woman's hands! What a sweet idea. It told everyone who she was in life.

Shirley H.

Cynthia said...

Oh, absolutely! The best thing to hear is, "save your fork for pie!"
I love the idea that Ann held a fork in her coffin.

Red said...

What a great story! Apricot balls sound awesome. I would look forward to them too.
Here we say ,"Save your fork duke. there's pie." This is in reference to the guy who is the Queen's husband.

Harriet said...

Connie, Each day I read your blog and you often make my "memory" return to me special people, sayings and today is no exception. Although not from Minnesota I do say save your fork. I liked the idea of Ann holding forks...Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Jacqi Stevens said...

What a sweet remembrance. Bet you think of Ann every time you get a hankering for those Apricot Balls.

Anonymous said...

Now this recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing your memory of Ann. Love the fork part.

Terra said...

Save your fork is a lovely phrase, thinking of heaven and the best is yet to come. The recipe sounds delicious.

Rita said...

I even remember saving our forks at restaurants. LOL! :)

MTWaggin said...

I remember hearing that a lot when we had dinners! I adore that she had them in her hands on the way to heaven!

Shirley said...

Hey! I have made that recipe , probably in my ancient Purity Flour cookbook, the one that is all tattered and stained from so much use. Love the story about Ann, hope she is smiling down on you from heaven.

NCmountainwoman said...

Midwestern folk surely do have unique items for the deceased. I love the forks. One of our WI friends held a little bottle of peppermint schnaps in one hand and a cigar in the other. He can resume his cigar smoking now.

The "keep your fork" is a Southern thing as well. In cafe-style restaurants the waitress is likely to tell you to "hold on to your fork" when she clears the dishes.