Tuesday 24 May 2011

Watergate Salad

We cakers tend to use some words and phrases quite loosely; words like “nutritious," “gourmet" and "low in saturated fat."

Another example? The caker interpretation of  “salad.”

For most non-cakers, a salad usually means lettuce, carrots, maybe a radish or two. For cakers, it means Cool Whip, miniature marshmallows and JELL-O.

Take this Watergate Salad. In my family, this was reserved for Sunday meals — as a side dish. That’s right. It wasn’t dessert. It sat on the dinner table alongside the roast beef, mashed potatoes and corn.  It seems strange, I know. But as a kid, it was great. I considered it a doubling up of desserts.

If you think this salad is a little intense, just wait until you see some of the other caker salads I’ve got up my sleeve. Let’s just say you’ll never look at popcorn and Coca-Cola the same way again.

This recipe is by special request. I hope it brings back some fond memories of dinner at your Grandma’s house, Jamie.

1 can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 package instant pistachio pudding
1 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup walnuts or coconut
1 tub Cool Whip

In large bowl, mix pineapple, pudding, marshmallows and walnuts or coconut. Fold in whipped topping and refrigerate at least 3 hours. 

Pastel green, pillowy and studded with bits o' nuts, this Watergate will make you salivate.

UPDATE: A fellow caker made this and told me it turned out "soupy." The reason? He made the pistachio pudding according the box directions and then added it. Folks, don't do that. Just dump the mix in with all the other ingredients. That's what caker cooking is all about.

Source: St. Luke’s United Church Cookbook


  1. It's Green Fluffy! I love Green Fluffy!

  2. Ah, that looks like a lovely what we in the Midwest United States would call ambrosia salad, most often seen at church potlucks, wakes, and weddings! So glad you are championing the cuisine of my childhood! Actually this "caker cooking" ( love that! lol) is what most of my generation( just reaching our early 40's ;)), at least in the Midwest, grew up with. So what you know of as a Canadian phenomenon is likely simply the food children of the late 60's and 70's, whose moms worked and needed more convenience foods because they had less time prepare meals, grew up with. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    P.S. I love green pistachio pudding, so glad to see it in a recipe!
    P.P.S. Have you made a green pistachio pudding bundt cake yet? Fabulous!

    1. Hi Samantha. I haven't yet tried the infamous pistachio bundt cake, but I've seen the recipe in a number of cookbooks. I was thinking of what I should make today and now I'm leaning towards it. But me + an entire bundt cake could be a dangerous combination - even if it's a green one. Wish me luck.

  3. In my family this is simply known as "Green Salad". Oh the irony, lol. It's a delicacy that we save for Thanksgiving dinner, it's never served any other time of year for some reason. I have no idea why, it's freaking DELICIOUS!

    1. I know, right? If I ran the world, Watergate (Green) Salad would be served at birthdays, anniversaries, all holidays and every single Monday.