43 In Articles/ Recipes

Congealed Salads & Strollers

If that title doesn’t make you wonder I’m not sure anything will. The fact of the matter is these 2 things just so happen to be on my mind lately.

I’ll start with the Congealed Salads.

I’m an anti-texture person {as in, I have an aversion to textures in foods that I think would be better smooth}. I like my yogurt creamy without “fruit on the bottom” or anywhere for that matter. I like my oatmeal cookies without the raisins. I like my chocolate chip cookies & brownies without the nuts. You get the picture. So, you can also imagine that “Congealed Salads” are probably pretty far from my radar screen. It tends to be the one dish I usually avoid at Thanksgiving and those “Quarterly Church-wide Covered Dish” meals. Well, I’m proud to announce that I’m growing up and I have potentially turned into Aunt Bethany {you know, from Christmas Vacation– where she brings a jello mold clad with cat food}.

While I was recovering from the birth of the last child, my friend Tami brought us a delicious dinner and with it was a congealed salad. Living in the deep south, I imagine a meal is often thought incomplete without a congealed salad or white acre peas. Being a “transplant” I’ve become aware of these type things. Anyway, the salad was orange in nature and looked fairly harmless, I didn’t see too many “chunks” and I thought I might try it… so I did. And it was absolutely delicious. And guess what? The girls loved it too. So the other day I went searching for the recipe, I knew it had pineapple, orange jello & cool whip but I couldn’t remember the rest. I found it. The pineapple in the salad was “crushed” and had it been “chunked” I may have wimped out. Anyway, when I was searching for the “Orange Buttermilk Salad” I came across a recipe for a “Strawberry Pretzel SaladI’m sure I’m the last person on earth to try this delectable, but just in case I’m not have you ever heard of such a concoction? You must try it. It’s not nearly as gross as it sounds, in fact it’s delicious. The crushed pretzels and butter make a salty yummy crust which is topped with a sweetened cream cheese layer, and it’s all topped with the “congealed” strawberries! Mmmm! The only thing I would do differently is go for fresh strawberries rather than the frozen sliced ones. They were in syrup and that combined with the jello was too sweet. Y’all try it!


The next topic that has been on my mind lately is STROLLERS. Well, actually leaving the house has been on my mind lately and with three very little ones in order to accomplish “leaving the house” a stroller is necessary. I’m not talking about leaving the house to go shopping or anything that would require taking all 3 in public just yet. I’m talking about taking my 3 children out of the house to go for a walk. Morgan starts preschool next week, but will only go 2 days a week, which leaves 3 more weekdays at home with mommy. I’m sure the time I’m allowed on my own with the baby the 2 days she’s at school will be used for more urgent needs {like grocery shopping} rather than walking. So, I started to look online for a stroller that would accommodate 3 children. I could use my sling & a double stroller but I after just a couple uses I’ve been made aware it’s not intended for exercise use.
I’ve come to the conclusion that in order for me to leave I will have to…
a) find a stroller that all 3 can ride in


b) find someone who will walk with me and push a stroller with one child while I push a stroller with 2

In my search this is what I found…

Seriously, how hard would you laugh if you saw me pushing this thing down the street? It really looks like I could fit three 7-year olds in it. Not to mention the fact that I think the children would need some counseling if I made them ride in it. And it would only look more “normal” if I wore a helmet while pushing it.

Then there’s this one…

Which isn’t really that bad, but… we’d have to draw straws before the walk to determine which of the 3 would get to ride shotgun hood ornament. And from the looks of it, it’d have to be the Raiger and it’d take a handful of pacis to get her in there.

Maybe I’ll just TRY to get up early and walk by myself. That sounds much more enjoyable at this stage of my life… and it’s certainly a lot cheaper… those strollers cost $785 and $700 respectively. Yeah, I’ll just walk by myself. It’d probably be better for my mental health anyway!

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  • the brown's
    August 13, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    first, the congealed salads: YES, i have had the strawberry and pretzel salad, and YES, i LOVe it!! i might just have to whip one of those up–except i would be eating it alone bc nathan is VERY much an anti-texture person. but maybe Dylan would like it? [ok, sorry– thinking out loud.]

    and the strollers, i am about bent over laughing at those 2 options. i would laugh out loud if i passed someone that was pushing either of those. the first one looks like it’s made for outer space!

    [BTW–if i lived near you, i’d get up and meet you for an early morning walk!!]

  • Anonymous
    August 13, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Darby,

    okay, could Morgan just walk beside you and help you push a double stroller? I know Lily want really get in the double anymore and this is what she does. It only works well on sidewalks though.

    Love you,
    Alison B.

  • Hillary Dunham
    August 13, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    OK, Darby- strawberry pretzel salad is like a delicacy in my family. We have it every holiday and it is everyone’s favorite! I’m so glad you’re in the know, now.
    And for the strollers, have you seen the sit and ride or sit and stand? Something like that.. Anyway, 2 kids can sit in the back facing you or they can stand facing forward and there is a seat in the front. My oldest is too big for the nice double stroller I bought (thankfully at consignment) and didn’t want to ride in it after I squeezed him in there. I am looking for one of the others right now and will let you know if I find a good one-

  • Becky Brodbeck
    August 13, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    We love the strawberry pretzel “salad” but we usually serve it as a dessert…its a family favorite! Those strollers had me LOL!! way to maintain a sense of humor! Love ya!

  • Kendra White
    August 13, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    pretzel salad complete Thanksgiving dinner in my house… oh girl I love it! Also, I am saying a wagon may be a better idea than a stroller:)

  • Anonymous
    August 13, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    could you push the double stroller and wear a baby bjorn (or something like that)? That might be a better idea and much less expensive than a new stroller.

  • Caroline
    August 13, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    I seriously almost peed my pants because of that first “stroller” (if that’s what they want to call it.) You DEFINITELY would have to wear a helmet while pushing it, just to complete the look!

  • simply seleta
    August 13, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Oh this was my dilemma just about a year and a half ago. I sooooo feel your challenge.

    If it’s relatively flat, would you consider letting Morgan ride a trike [they usually ride so slow at that age]? I vaguely remember one of mine triking it on slow leisurely walks. Followed by a melt down at some point during the stroll.

    Peg Perego makes a killer 3 seater stroller but it’s quite pricey. I’ve always loved Peg’s products. Very well made and durable. Here’s one for 99 bucks, but I have no idea the age. I’m sure there are many pre-owned ones out there!


  • The LaBouffs
    August 13, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    I’ve been having the same issue..with the stroller thing, not the congealed salads. (I’m not a huge fan of the congealed salad even though I was raised in South Ga, btw). I am due next month with my 3rd and my oldest is 2 and 1/2 and then my 2nd is 15 months old! Sooo, now that I’ve seen the options out there (thanks to you)….looks like I just won’t be leaving the house!!

  • The Rauths
    August 13, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    i was laughing out loud at those strollers…nice research! oh and the pineapple salad- our house mom made those in college and i always loved them! happy {peacefilled} walking!

  • Jennisa
    August 13, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Hey you! Check out my friends post about her cool stroller… https://www.mycharmingkids.net/2007/06/can-you-guys-see-this-photo-of-stroller.html It’s called Phil and Ted’s Stroller, Sport, and can be found here: https://www.letsgostrolling.com/phil-and-teds-sport-buggy-stroller-with-doubles-kit.html

    Hope I was helpful! 🙂

  • Jennie-Marie
    August 13, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Ok D, just go ahead and invest in one of the bye-bye buggies that holds like 6 kiddos. then you can take all the neighbors kids for a ride too. That cracks me up. And you just need to take a little road trip to D-rock for some Strawberry pretzel salad, its a staple at most of our lunch spots.

  • Anonymous
    August 13, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Darby you made me laugh out loud – thanks 🙂

    Maura Gomez

  • Beth G.
    August 13, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Darby, I have the Phil and Teds with the doubles kit and LOVE LOVE LOVE it… best to get on ebay. Then maybe Morgan can walk with you or something.

    Your first stroller is SO funny!! I think Jon and Kate + 8 have that stroller!

    Really… I would try and go walk earlier. Infact, you have given me a great idea 🙂

  • The Pavliches
    August 13, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    You are so funny! That first stroller is a riot! Let me know if you would like any suggestions. You are doing great!

  • Emalee
    August 14, 2008 at 5:43 am

    I do love the strawberry-pretzel salad. I’m proud of you for embracing the textures :). Beware of anything called “aspic”-it’s the savory version of congealed salads and I hate it. I had clear (yes, clear) gelatin with sliced tomatoes and celery at my grandmother’s sister’s house and about gagged.

    I need a walking partner here in Boston. Want to visit? We’re still looking for friends since our recent move.

  • Laura
    August 14, 2008 at 5:46 am

    I’ve made the pretzel salad before and it is one of my favorites! I haven’t made it in awhile though…you’ve inspired me to try my hand at it again.

    Love the “hood ornament” stroller…would John Martin be freaked out, or possibly love it and feel like he’s flying 🙂

  • Ashleigh Thompson
    August 14, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Like everyone else, I am laughing (at the strollers)! I have a double stroller and pushing that thing stinks. You may be more in shape than me but I’d definitely try pushing whichever one you consider purchasing first (add 3 and they are HEAVY). I love the idea of getting up early to walk alone much better than pushing all those (whining, mine anyway) lbs 🙂

    Occasionally a friend and I walk at 8:30p after kids are in bed.
    If i lived near you, we could walk. BTW, we’re headed there tonight to visit my inlaws on the way to the beach 🙂

  • becky
    August 14, 2008 at 6:01 am

    strawberry pretzel salad is super yum!! now…try it with peaches! oh my!! and now that i have been transplanted just from south alabama to north alabama, i make my parents bring me freezer bags of white acre peas!

  • KW
    August 14, 2008 at 6:19 am

    After reading your blog I thought you might like to see my friend Kim’s “Stroller Automobile” … Check out her page https://3peasinourpod.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html
    and let me know what you think 🙂
    PS… I don’t like Congealed Salads either… I might have to “grow up” as well!

  • Kellie Patton
    August 14, 2008 at 7:03 am

    I laughed so hard at those stroller pictures. As I have said before we are in the same boat – almost 4 year old, almost 2 year old and newborn. I used to run every morning before work – not anymore – the only time i walk anymore is when i push the double jog stroller and someone else pushes the single – or when Emma claire happens to be at an activity or friends’ house! Getting up early is a great plan – but it has to be like 4:30 am in my house and that ain’t happenin 🙂 I’m just thanking the Good Lord for good genes at this time in my life and nursing (exercise through the breasts is what I like to call it) 🙂 Burns lots of calories!!! Good luck with the early morning routine! Kellie

  • becky
    August 14, 2008 at 9:20 am

    oh, i was gonna say that if you are just wanting to get them out of the house, make the big girls help you push to burn off some of their energy too! otherwise i’d definitely walk alone. it is what i look forward to…alone time. i have my Bible studies from CDs put on my MP3 player and it is awesome. i’m not a morning person, so i do mine at night!!

  • Susie
    August 14, 2008 at 9:44 am

    AH! I’m not a blog stalker after all…I just made the connection…I found your blog through Laura Pavlich’s who is good friends with a girl I used to work with who is also the sister of one of my friend’s wife. Wow, now I really sound like a stalker…
    Susie, Louisville, KY

  • Melissa
    August 14, 2008 at 10:24 am

    all i have to say is OH MY!

  • Caroline
    August 14, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I already commented on the strollers, now to the congealed salads. I dont usually like them either but I do love the strawberry pretzel! My mom loves to make this one with Orange Jello and Carrot slices. My dad LOVES it. I think it is horrible. Just because they are the same color does NOT mean they taste good together! ha

  • Dona
    August 14, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Love the salad! If you can wait until I drop off LF at 8:45- I’ll be over with my double and C and I will walk with ya’ll! I looked into a 3 stroller when LF was born- it wasn’t worth it! (I’m not sure I can hang with you- so maybe I’ll lag behind with C and Paige)!

  • Sue
    August 14, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Darby, one of my friends has 4 yr old twins and a one year old. One of her twins generally rides a tricycle and she pushes a double stroller. Just another thought.

  • J
    August 14, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Hey Darby! I didn’t read through all your comments, so someone may’ve already said this, but I know Alicia makes that pretzel salad quite often! We’ve been the recipients at least once! And it is delicious! Good luck on the stroller…

  • Christina
    August 14, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    The congealed salad commentary is hilarious! Anyway I had a suggestion on your stroller dilemna…My daughter was riding a scooter at 3 alongside myself pushing my baby. She could go faster than when she was on a trike (could keep up w/ me walking) yet not so fast that she left me in the dust. It takes a little practice but i'd really work in your situation. My daughter has this one…


    By 3.5 or so, she was riding her bike w/ training wheels but still will occassionally ride her scooter. We live in the city & walk everywhere. I highly recommend letting Morgan have some fun & get some exercise along with you!

  • Jules
    August 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    About the stroller…I love the Peg Perego stroller where one kid rides and the other one stands. Since that doesn’t deal with #3 some quality time alone sounds like a much better option.

    I started running a couple of months ago and after gaining 3 pounds I realized that I was just doing it for some “mental health time”

  • Mverdigets
    August 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Hi there…..I’m a blog stalker – sister in law of Tara Verdigets…..felt the need to tell you about the sit and stand stroller- I have a Peg and my oldest is 4 – he loves to stand and ride b/c he can get off whenever he would like too- I know they make a double one too, but not sure if it is Peg Perego or another brand….try One Step Ahead. Good Luck- I thought two was hard….don’t know how you do it with three!

    Melissa Verdigets

  • Rhett, Megan, Claire and Ford
    August 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I have seen these “Happy Stroller’s Swiss Strolli Rider by Bibi of Switzerland” (do a quick search for them). They are like a little bike that doesn’t have a front wheel – instead it attaches to your stroller. It’s kind of hard to explain. There is a quick review and picture here: https://celebritybabies.typepad.com/reviews/2008/02/the-swiss-strol.html
    I saw them on clearance at a baby store for $90 if you are interested I can pass along that info. to you.

  • The Wilsons
    August 14, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    My vote is for the sweet walk alone for some sanity!!! I agree – it’s hard to stomach paying that much for a stroller. Besides – whatcha gonna do when # 4 comes!?!?!?!!!!

  • em and her boys
    August 14, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    laughing with tears streaming down my face – it’s the thought of Paige in the “fly” seat. oh my!

  • Finley's Mom
    August 15, 2008 at 10:50 am

    If it makes you feel any better I saw a woman walking down the street today with a stroller for 4!!!

  • Ashley
    August 15, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    i apologize as your friend of 10 years now that i have never introduced you to a strawberry-pretzel salad! (a staple at the brown house)….SO SORRY!
    You sure are funny with your congealed salad and stroller photos!

  • Ford Family
    August 15, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Just a suggestion…I have only 2 though, but it would still work…My oldest drives her barbie jeep while I push brother in stroller…the barbie jeep would hold both of your girls and then you could just stroll the baby…the sound of the jeep kinda drowns out any fussing they might be doing and you and JM can stoll peacefully!! 🙂 Best of luck!! And about the congealed salads–I am still to wimpy to give them a try!!! Shea Ford

  • L.A.
    August 16, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    hey friend! about the strollers, you should sell the 6 (is it?) that you have and definetly go for the first option, I am still chuckling. And yes the kids would need counseling after riding in that thing. Thanks for the hug on Friday, Love and Miss you!
    🙂 L.A.

  • The White House
    August 16, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Good luck with the stroller dilemna. I have a three year old, a two year old, a 8 month old and am pregnant with my fourth. I had been doing the double stroller and sling until I got pregnant and then I found it utterly exhausting. Now I just stay at home most of the time and wish I had a nanny/mother’s helper!

  • nurserachel
    August 17, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Mike and I just laughed SOOO hard, we’re practically crying over your stroller post!! You are too funny!


  • Leah
    August 17, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I LOVE SPS!! My husband hates it, though, so when I make it…I eat it all! (everything in moderation, right??) As for the strollers, I’m with you, I think I’d just get up early!!

    August 19, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Oh, this made me laugh out loud! Those strollers are horendous, but you know someone’s pushing them! Enjoy your walks alone, I know I do!

  • No.35style
    August 27, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I have made the strawberry pretzel salad and it is yummy!