Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ambrosia Salad

Isn't it funny to have an urge to make something that you haven't tasted for over 20 years!!! During my highschool days, when we would have a party we would each bring something for the buffet meal. Yes even back then we relied on home cooked food as home delivered Pizza was not an option. One friend would always bring "Ambrosia Salad" and it was delicious. We were not such culinary experts that the buffet was coordinated, it was just a lot of good food! Although I loved eating it, I have never ever made it and really didn't remember what went in it except the coconut, pineapple and mandarin. So I looked it up on the internet. There were loads of recipes to be found with differing ingredients. Many of them requested mini marshmallows which I do not remember tasting in the one my friend made. I read many recipes and tried to imagine what they would taste like and look like and discovering that "cherries and frozen Whipup" were not in my friends' Ambrosia Salad. So with a little knowledge from the internet and my keen sense of taste I mixed some shredded coconut, tinned pineapple pieces, tinned mandarin segments and some sour cream (the missing ingredient)- and hey presto - the same wonderful salad I remember over 20 years ago!!! The kids all loved it too!!

All this got me thinking about my childhood good food memories and sorry Mum but most of these memories were not your cooking. One friend whose Mum was Indonesian had us skewer the chicken for chicken satays. I watched her Dad cook them on the tiniest bbq outside and wondered what they would be like. To this day I am still embarrassed at the quantity I ate having never tasted them before! Another friend whose Mum was American created the most amazing meals -tacos, barritos, fantastic enchiladas and my favourite breakfast there was pancakes with bacon and warm Maple syrup. Remember we are talking 25 years ago and these things hadn't really caught on in Australia. I remember asking this friend if she wanted to spend the night and she rang her Mum to check, found out what her Mum was cooking and said she had to go home. I remember thinking what could taste better than a night of staying up really late and giggling!! Another friends Mum could make her own Spring Rolls and they were fantastic - you mean you don't need to buy them from the Chinese restaurant? And someone else's Mum made Samosas - delicious!
My kids probably wont have these amazing revelational food experiences as we eat such varied foods anyway. This highlights how things have changed in Australia in 30 odd years. Of course my parents generation will have seen these kind of changes even more so. It is funny to think what we will be eating in the next 30 years. At least I know we will be eating Ambrosia Salad a few more times!


Alice said...

That's funny - you must have disliked my cooking as much as I disliked your untidy bedroom.

jellyhead said...

ouch! Alice is in sparkling form!

I remember that salad, except in the version my aunt made, there were marshmallows. I wouldn't feel the same about the salad without them. After all, how often do you get to eat dessert under the guise of a salad???!

Thanks for the memories!

My float said...

Go Alice!

I've never heard of that salad, to be honest. But I grew up in a Greek family so we were lucky enough to experience lots of different foods, but very few "Aussie" type meals. The first time I ever saw pasta salad was at my aunt's house and I was nine or 10!

h&b said...

My fave salad was the one where you let a bag of peas defrost with some layering of sour cream and grated cheese and um, other stuff.

Layered garden salad ?
You could pretend it was healthy as it had peas.

I should google it too ...