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Jerkins' Family Favorites, Part 3

One of my dear friends, Margaret Wesley, shared this fantastic recipe for GELATIN FRUIT SALAD with my family. Margaret made something special for every church potluck, and she made you feel special when you talked to her. Talking to your children is the same. When parents make the time to be completely present with their children and give them undivided attention, it helps them develop the self-esteem and confidence they need to succeed.




2 cups boiling water

1 3-ounce package of lemon-flavored gelatin

1 3-ounce package of orange-flavored gelatin

2 cups ice cubes

1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, liquid drained and reserved

Extra pineapple juice, if needed, to make 1 cup of juice for dressing

3 large bananas, sliced

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 cup finely shredded mild cheddar cheese

8-ounce whipped topping

Salad Dressing Ingredients

1 cup reserved pineapple juice

½ cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon butter


Dissolve gelatins in the boiling water and add ice cubes. Add pineapple and bananas. Pour mixture into 9” x 13” glass dish. Place marshmallows on top and refrigerate until set. For dressing, combine pineapple juice, sugar, egg, cornstarch, and butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool and spread over gelatin. Then gently spread whipped topping over dressing, and sprinkle cheese on top.


If your kitchen is anything like mine, you have pans and baking dishes of many different sizes and shapes. This variety presents the perfect opportunity for a discussion about the dimensions, shapes, area, and even the volume of the pans.

Second Grade (MAFS.2.MD.1.1):

(try clicking on the links to see more examples and tutorials for you and your child)

  • With a piece of string and a ruler on hand, select several different pans to examine with your child. Start with a rectangular pan. Can you measure the length and the width? Record the dimensions.

  • Is this the right pan for the recipe? Try a few more pans that are different sizes.

  • Does a 9” x 13” pan have the same dimensions as a 13” x 9” pan? What is the difference?

  • Select a circular pan. How do you measure this pan? Make sure to give some wait time – time for them to think and try out a few ideas. You might try asking, would you use the diameter or circumference? Why or why not

Having string on hand will be helpful to measure the circumference. A ruler will not bend around the pan, but can measure the length of the string. Measuring lengths larger than the ruler is also important. If your ruler is 12”, practice repositioning the ruler to find the additional length past one foot. Emphasize the importance of marking the start and end of each iteration to measure the dimensions correctly.

Third Grade (MAFS.3.MD.4.8):

  • The recipe states the pan should be 9”x13”. Why does it list only two measurements?

  • How do you find the perimeter of the top of the pan? What is it?

  • Let’s find an 8”x10” pan and a 9” pan. Which pan do you think has a larger perimeter? Why do you think that?

  • How will you find the perimeter of the top of the 9” pan?

  • Why do you think the pan is called a 9” pan and not a 9”x9” pan? What shape is it?

  • What is the perimeter of the 8”x10” pan and a 9” pan?

  • Why were the perimeters the same for both pans when the sides were different lengths?

Try completing this math with paper and pencil instead of a calculator. You may compute the perimeter differently than your child. For instance, your child may have used addition, 9+9+9+9, to get the perimeter of the 9” pan while you used multiplication, 9 x 4. Compare your strategies and discuss why they work.


Thanks for reading Part 3 of the Jerkin’s Family Favorites. If you missed parts 1 or 2, check them out here: Part 1: Green Bean Bundles and Part 2: Marinated Carrots and Sweet Potato Casserole. Next week is time for dessert! Come #LEARNWITHME when I share my grandfather’s favorite recipe, Hummingbird Cake.

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