Recently I purchased some Louisiana strawberries from a woman vendor located on the corner of Hwy. 87 and 105. I bought a whole flat of the strawberries because that was the only way she was selling them. They were beautiful strawberries; there was not a bad one in the bunch. The next day, I washed them, cut off the stems, spread them individually on two cookie sheets and froze them. After they were frozen, I put them in a couple of freezer Ziploc bags so I could take out a few at a time as needed. There were enough to share with two friends and my visiting sister, Vivian.

I must tell you about my sister’s visit because it is kind of humorous. It was April first, a couple of days before my birthday. I was cleaning house and the doorbell rang. (Now understand although my sister lives in Houston, I had not seen her since before Christmas). When I went to the door, there stood this slender, attractive woman with white hair. She didn’t say anything, just stood there smiling at me. I thought it was a saleswoman or someone with car problems. I finally asked, “May I help you?” She still, just stood there grinning. All of a sudden, I recognized her, my very own sister, Vivian. That was a great April fool’s day and birthday surprise. The reason I didn’t recognize her is because she had been dying her hair a reddish brown and she had let it grow out to its’ natural color; white. She also has lost about twenty pounds because of health issues. She looks so different from her “old” self. Younger!!!

That afternoon, Vivian and I went shopping. While shopping, I purchased a few items for her birthday in May. Although we keep in touch by phone, that night (or should I say 4:30 in the morning) we sat up talking. We had lots of catching up and visiting to do. I am blessed to have Vivian as a sister and FRIEND. I love her beyond words can express. We overslept until later that morning and when she awoke, she hurriedly dressed to return home. She wanted to miss the time of day when Houston traffic becomes extra heavy. Besides Vivian’s birthday presents, I sent her home with half the strawberries and 10 lb. of shrimp.
This is the recipe I prepared with two cups of the sliced strawberries. The good news it is an excellent recipe for diabetics but if one didn’t know, they wouldn’t know the difference. It is one of those KEEPERS.
                                                1 (8 oz.) pkg. of Philadelphia Low Fat Cream Cheese, softened
                                                1 tsp. vanilla
                                                ½ cup boiling water
                                                * (4 serving size) Sugar Free Strawberry JELL-O
                                                ½ cup cold water
                                                2 cups thawed Sugar Free Cool Whip, divided
                                                2 cups sliced strawberries
Beat cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. When well blended; set aside. Stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in a small bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add cold water; stir until slightly thickened. Gradually add to cream cheese mixture, beating after each addition until well blended. Gently stir in 1 ½ cups of the Cool Whip and all the strawberries. Spoon evenly into 10 small dessert dishes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. Top each with a dollop of the remaining Cool Whip just before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
*Any of your favorite flavors Sugar Free JELL-O, such as Orange, Lemon or Cherry may be substituted.

About Nancy McWorter