My family has an amazing, long-standing tradition of confusing children about who they are actually related to. Case in point: this recipe. Which my real aunt, Jojo, reminded me was a favorite of my fake great aunt, Olga. Yeah, you read that correctly… she was not just a fake aunt, but a fake great aunt. My mom and every other adult around me called her “Auntie Olga,” and I was probably 10 or 11 years old when I learned that Olga was actually not my grandma’s sister (also: not my grandpa’s sister). Olga was always at family gatherings and gave me $5 for every birthday and Christmas — this is primarily what I remember about her, but she was apparently also known for bringing this pudding & fruit-type “salad” to events. And while I imagine she may have had actual, blood-related nieces and nephews and other relatives out there in the world, they were not in my family.
So here, just in time for Easter, everyone’s favorite bright green salad, in honor of one of my several Fake Aunts.
There are all kinds of variations of this online, but I found a recipe in the 1992 CAIP Cookbook (which I believe was a recipe collaboration from my real aunt’s office at the time) that seems to include all the essentials, and only one ingredient that was not formulated in a science lab.
*I learned while searching for this that “Ambrosia salad” is actually something different, and it includes more fruit, no pistachio pudding, and a variety of dairy products.
I was never a huge fan of Pistachio Delight, but pistachio pudding has always been my favorite. I recently came across a really good and fairly easy homemade pistachio pudding recipe on the website Joy the Baker (<— click there for the recipe). If you love the taste of real pistachios, I highly recommend it. It tastes just like the amazing pistachio ice cream at Mitchell’s and Jeni’s (for those of you in Ohio… and if you’re not in Ohio, you should come here and try our ice cream!).
BUT… although pistachios have a little natural green pigment, you are not going to see that bright familiar color when you make it from scratch. I added a few drops of food color, but was not brave enough to go all the way to Screaming Mint Green. For that, you’re probably going to have to buy the boxed stuff!