If you want to get your nose all out of joint about the name, it’s technically called pistachio marshmallow salad. I didn’t know that the year my husband got sick and I had to make the green stuff to take to his family gathering. He had bought the ingredients to make the salad before the flu felled him in his tracks, so I zipped glibly off to Google for a recipe. My search for “green stuff” turned up some very interesting and definitely unsavory ideas about what to put on a holiday table. None of the options contained pistachios or marshmallows.
I didn’t grow up with green stuff. The holiday fruit dish my family ate was called frog-eye salad–yeah, I know that sounds appetizing in its own right. Most of the ingredients are similar–fruit cocktail, pineapple, miniature marshmallows, and whipped cream. But the “frog eyes” are tiny round acini di pepe pasta, about the size of tapioca grains. I could eat my weight in frog-eye salad and still want more. Green stuff is smoother, sweeter,, fluffier. To me, it tastes good, but only in small doses.
I’ve since learned how to make green stuff, and my daughter and I mix it up every year before Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s easy enough to put together, so it would work for potlucks or other occasions, but for us, it’s just a holiday food. There are loads of variations, such as using seasonal fresh fruits and berries or different canned pie fillings. Some people refrigerate the salad in pretty Jell-O molds or Bundt pans so it comes out in fancy shapes. But for my husband’s family, it’s traditional to fix it exactly the same way every time.
1 3-ounce box dry instant pistachio pudding mix
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 15-ounce can fruit cocktail, drained
1 heaping cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup coconut (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 large container Cool Whip (or 1 pint whipping cream beaten with 1/4 cup sugar)
In a large bowl, stir together dry pudding mix, fruit with juice, and miniature marshmallows. Refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.
Most of the juice will have been absorbed. Stir in nuts and coconut, if using. Fold in whipped cream and serve, sprinkled with more nuts, if desired. Enjoy!
About the Author
Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances as an editor and a braille proofreader and is a contributor of The Writer’s Grapevine Magazine where more articles like this may be found.
As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.
Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her teenage daughter, her guide dog Spreckles, and an aging family cat named Sam-I-Am.
Her website is: http://www.brightsideauthor.com.