Ambrosia (Hadassah Cook Book, 1972)
This kid is really something. He's clever, he's creative, he's so darn funny all the time. He's confident in directions I have always dreamed of but never managed to reach myself, and he has a way of pulling people out of their shells - it's both encouraging and inspiring. And he's smart as a whip - always curious about absolutely everything, since Day 1.
Yesterday, he turned 9, and a few days before his birthday, he helped me make a test recipe related to a new-ish interest of his: Greek mythology. We were talking about ambrosia, the food of the gods, and he was wondering what it was - I said the old myths are vague on it, but back in the 60s and 70s, there was a pretty liberal definition of the word "salad," and one such salad from the time was called "ambrosia." So naturally, we were on a quest to find a recipe.
Unsurprisingly, none of the Weight Watchers cards or diet cookbooks had anything close - I'm guessing the swaps we have nowadays that would make it more Point-friendly were either unavailable or not worth the effort. So we had to branch out a bit. Luckily, I have plenty of other cookbooks from the time period!
My first thought was the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery - an incredible compendium with lots of history and cultural notes as well as recipes.
Their recipe was fancier than what I was picturing, and a bit basic for what I wanted my son to help prepare, so the quest continued. We found a few other versions, including one made into a pie filling, in other recipe books, but ended up making the one from the Hadassah Cook Book, a Jewish ladies' group from Rochester, NY (with a small addition we liked from other recipes - more later!).
The recipe could not be simpler - perfect for an eight-almost-nine-year-old boy who's starting to be curious about cooking and helping out in the kitchen. We assembled our ingredients, several of which were Passover leftovers, and I'm glad they were able to get used up.
The recipe gave us an opportunity also to use my new Tupperware! A friend from a midcentury recipes social media group I belong to shared that Tupperware was re-releasing vintage patterns as a tie-in to the new season of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which I haven't seen yet but have certainly been meaning to. So I got a set of the bowls, plus the starburst canisters which are SO lovely!
Would you look at that?! So colorful. The pink and yellow Passover marshmallows added a nice pop to it - and the ingredient we added was some chopped maraschino cherries, which several of the other recipes included and we felt would add both color and texture.
After a few hours in the fridge, we gave it a try.
He liked it! But he didn't love it. It's definitely a unique recipe, and the sweetness of all the fruit and coconut is still no match for the tartness of the sour cream. When I made the recipe in the WW app, I said it would serve 6, but really, that would be a very generous serving - we didn't even finish the little bowls he dished up for us.
I'd make it again, but I'd swap maybe some light vanilla or Greek yogurt for the sour cream, to make it perhaps a little less tart (and also fewer Points!). With yogurt, Noah said he'd give it a second chance. Challenge accepted!