Saturday, May 22, 2010

How America Eats?

Yesterday, I wanted to make something for the library bake sale, but I didn't want to spend the evening with the oven heating up the house, so I found a recipe on Epicurious for No-Bake Chocolate Cookies. Rolled oats, sugar, whole milk, butter, cocoa, coconut, marshmallows, vanilla--decent enough ingredients, except for the marshmallows, but I knew that without them there wouldn't be the "glue" necessary to hold everything together, so, hoping that no one I knew would observe me in the checkout lane, I selected a bag of Kraft Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows and put them in my cart.

The cookies turned out OK--more like the homemade candy I remember from my formative years in the Midwest than cookies, but I liked them well enough. (After sampling one, Norman Posner asked if they came with free insulin injections.)

Tonight, as I stood in my kitchen holding the remains of the bag of marshmallows and wondering with on earth I was going to do with them (they're too little for toasting and making s'mores), I noticed a recipe on the bag for something called "Watergate Salad." Curious--and old enough to remember Watergate--I looked at the ingredients:

1 cup JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 can DOLE Crushed Pineapple, in juice, undrained
1/2 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans
1-1/2 cups (1/2 of 8-oz. tub) thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

In what perverse alternative universe do these ingredients make something that can be called a salad? And--perhaps an even more frightening question--what else is on the menu if this is the salad?

1 comment:

  1. I can tell you what else is on the menu... JELLO! Jello salads, no less. Full of shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, shredded cheese, (even cottage cheese), canned Mandarin oranges, canned peaches and pears... not always together, but sometimes together indeed. My formative years in the more western Mid-west introduced me to these strange food assemblages, and to Watergate Salad. I grew up on regular helpings of it, innocent and unaware of its namesake. I wouldn't "choose" to eat it today, but if fed a spoonful, I'd probably set off on a lovely trip down memory lane...