quick Christmas saLad

This is a salad recipe that I forget, then remember, then make three times in one week. It's called Ambrosia.

It's an old recipe that I got from a little typewritten recipe booklet that was put together by the "Epionean Club." When Scott was an ophthalmology resident, the wives of the interns and residents belonged to the Epioneans. I don't remember the origin of the name, but the group was led by the wife of one of the faculty members. She was from Georgia and was large and elaborate and friendly to everyone and her Ambrosia Salad was at every gathering.

It's so easy to make and perfect for a little get-together at home like the one we had here last week or to take to a potluck party. (Note the Jigglers jello in the picture. I made them so Scott would have something he likes.) I included it when I took dinner to a friend the other night, and, since she loves coconut, she just loved the salad. 

The salad is delicious with fresh oranges, and I use them sometimes when I know they're good, sweet oranges. I usually buy a can of pineapple slices and cut them up instead of using tidbits because my dad says that the tidbits are made from the leftovers of the pineapple - the core and sides - and the whole slices are the best part of the pineapple. Just a little tidbit I knew you'd want to know :)   

You can find many varieties of the salad on the internet from basic to elaborate. It's also known as Five-Cup Salad. This is the recipe I like best: 


1 cup canned pineapple tidbits
1 cup (1 large can) mandarin oranges
1 medium bottle maraschino cherries
1 cup coconut
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
1/2 cup sour cream

Drain the pineapple, mandarin oranges, and cherries. Whisk together the whipping cream and sour cream but don't whip the cream. Combine all ingredients in large bowl with lid and refrigerate overnight or at least about 3 hours. (Don't stir too much or the maraschino cherries will turn the salad pink.) Serve in a pretty serving bowl.