It seems very, very wrong to call this concoction a salad, but history in my family dictates that’s its name. Marshmallow Salad. Similar to ambrosia but served with the meal not as a dessert. SO weird, but it’s our tradition.
For as long as that mushy thing in my skull can remember, my mother has served Marshmallow Salad at holiday dinners. Marshmallow salad is also known as Ambrosia. On occasion we’d call it Sour Cream Salad. Truth is, we really never knew what to call it, other than an embarrassment.
We’re not the fanciest people on earth, but we’re fancy enough to know anything that includes marshmallows should at least be served as a dessert. You see, for some reason we didn’t serve Ambrosia as a dessert. We served it as a side dish. There it sat beside the perfectly respectable green beans and mashed potatoes. A big bowl of marshmallows, fruit and coconut winking, “Here I am, in all my tacky glory. Caught ya lookin’!”.
If marshmallow salad were a dinner guest, she’d be the sparkly, hooker-with-a heart-of-gold your Uncle Nick brings to Easter dinner every year. An embarrassing, loud, colourfully dressed dish that everyone can’t help but love.
Plus it’s sort of understood you don’t talk about either one of them in public.
I’m not sure when it happened, but I’ve taken over the Marshmallow/Sour cream/Ambrosia Salad tradition. It is now my job to smuggle it out of the house under the cover of ageing Tupperware, to all of our holiday dinners. If the neighbours ask, I lie and tell them it’s something a little more respectable than marshmallow salad. Like a 3 bean salad. Or a shrunken head.
The good news is, this dish now officially has a name. After watching me make it for the very first time, many years ago, my boyfriend took one look at the salad and named it. It’s the perfect name. The name stuck. And quickly. Like Crazy glue to a hard hat. Or sparkles to a stripper.
Here’s to strippers, hookers, marshmallows and not caring what other people do or think. Here’s to …
White Trash Salad!
10 oz. Can of Mandarin Oranges (drained very well)
14 oz. Can of Crushed Pineapple (drained very well)
1 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Maraschino Cherries (cut in half)
1/4 cup Sweetened Coconut
3 cups Mini Marshmallows (use the coloured ones for added trash)
Add all the ingredients to a bowl.
Like this. Then fold everything together. Cover it up and let set in fridge overnight.
Told ya the coloured marshmallows gave it that added zip.
And I vow here and now, on this very day not to hide the White Trash Salad anymore. I just don’t have the energy. I will carry it with my head held high to every family dinner we have.
Because it’s tradition, because it now has a really cool name and most importantly … because I like it. And even though they may not admit it publicly, so does everyone else.
Marshmallow Salad (also known as White Trash Salad)
- 1 10 oz can mandarin oranges drained very well
- 1 14 oz can crushed pineapple drained very well
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup maraschino cherries cut in half
- 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and fold together.
- Cover with plastic and let set in the fridge overnight.
Update: I just watched an episode of Sister Wives and they made “Ambrosia” for a dinner party they were having. They pronounced it Ambroeeeeeeshaaaaaaaaaa, like it was something fancy. Snort. Yet another part of their lives they should have kept secret from the public.
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