Even though my mom's age and socioeconomic position suggests otherwise, neither she nor any of the other women in my family ever jumped on the jell-o ring mold, marshmallow as a component in salad bandwagon. My mom never really called on many pre-packaged processed foods as ingredients, probably because we lived way out in the country and treated a trip to the grocery store like a bonafide trip to town. So thankfully, she didn't make the jiggly, light green, sweet stuff that often spookified the savory end of our covered dish suppers and Holiday tables growing up.
That's not to say I wasn't exposed to creamy Waldorfs, Angler's Delights, and Ambrosias brimming with the incredibly odd combination of mayonnaise and marshmallow. Oh no, I definitely had them. I just never understood why people liked them.
Recently though, in preparation for our PBS series' upcoming "A Chef's Life Holiday Special," I researched my region's most treasured Holiday foods. And time after time people gushed about how nothing said Christmas like ambrosia. For a girl who believes the wise men took gold, frankincense and sausage biscuits to baby Jesus, this ambrosia worship was shocking!