Monday, May 4, 2009

Ambrosia Salad (a religious study in complicating the simple) - Hannah

Immediately when I read the religious food description for this month my mind turned to the age old, church dinner staple…Ambrosia Salad. What could be more perfect than the food of the gods itself? So I called upon Google the Omniscient to make the recipe of my ancestors known to me and my request was answered with:

2 cans pineapple chunks, drained
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 jars maraschino, drained
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 bag mini marshmallows
4 oz. sour cream
16 oz. Cool Whip
Combine sour cream and Cool Whip. Fold in all other ingredients. Chill covered for at least 2 hours.

I found myself asking: "Can it be this easy?" "Is this really all there is?" or "Could heaven (in a bowl) be more than just a mix of fakes and fruits?" Reaching deep into my culinary soul, I allowed myself the freedom to ponder these things which brought me the most burning question of all: “Hmmm, I wonder what this would taste like if it was made with REAL, non-chemically generated food products?”And so my search for truth and knowledge began with:

1 whole pineapple
2 cans of mandarin oranges (some things you just don’t mess with!)
1 pint strawberries
1 whole coconut
3 handfuls of homemade marshmallows
3 giant spoonfuls of sour cream
2 cups of whipped cream
2 pinches of fresh ginger
Dark chocolate (it is a universal truth no dish should be call god food without it)

The path that I took seeking the answer was challenging. However, it led me to the discovery of wisdom I had not anticipated, for example:

*Coconuts should not be bothered with no matter how easy Google the O. tells you it will be. It is a crap job to try to bust one of those suckers open! Buy that stuff in a bag!!!

*Marshmallow making starts out fun but ends messy. The mixture sticks to everything and my mini-mallows looked more like lumps of poster putty than pretty little puffy clouds. Tasty and possibly worth a second try but, again, I would have to say "Buy that stuff in a bag!!!"

*Whole pineapple chopping is surprisingly easy and the results are delicious! Definitely worth the minimal effort!!!

*Making all-natural, organic ambrosia salad is an expensive and time consuming (aka ridiculous) idea that is probably best not repeated!!!

But then after all the chopping, grating, dicing, cooking, baking, chilling, mixing, fixing and fluffing, it came...the answer to my burning question, the truth revealed, the quest for knowledge fulfilled!!!

Shockingly, it taste about the same. Apparently god food is not influenced by good works. Fortunately for me the truth was not too hard to swallow as it was cool, creamy and delicious. But it did lead me to ponder..."Do all paths indeed lead to the same place?"


  1. sorry this post looks sloppy. this was so nicely formatted in the preview. confusing! i don't know what happened!

  2. There have been lots of formatting complaints... but YAY! You did it! And it looks good! :) Well done, Hannah!

  3. I think this is freaking awesome! I believe you on the coconut - But I feel compelled to make my own marshmallows. A triumph worthy of Mt. Olympus!

  4. First off, I love that your fondest memories of eating the food of the godS comes from being in the house of God. Nice co-opting by the early church there.

    Here's my trick for coconuts. Put them in a zip lock bag, take it outside and throw it up in the air over some concrete.

    Clementines (when in season) could be used instead of mandarin oranges (I think they are one and the same). But you always run the risk of getting clementines that aren't as sweet as they should be. You're right, go with the canned ones.

    Ultimately I need to know how to make marshmallows. Please provide some insight.