Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Grandmother's Ambrosia

Ambrosia (Wikipedia): In ancient Greek mythology, Ambrosia is sometimes the food and sometimes the drink of the Greek gods, often depicted as conferring ageless immortality upon whoever consumes it. It was brought to the gods on Olympus by doves, so it may have been thought of in the Homeric tradition as a kind of divine exhalation of the Earth.


Everyone who's eaten it will tell you that my grandmother made the best Ambrosia (I personally believe my grandmother made the best anything).

This is grandma - Mattie Turner. I called her Granny.
I wish I had access to my external hard drive, it has the more "real" pictures of her, she was at a wedding here.

I'm a picky eater (even more so when I was young) and because of the look of the texture I never ate any (that I can remember. That's not to say it wasn't fed to me when I didn't have a say about what I ate) At that time I didn't like coconut (now I LOVE it!). But the thing I always remember about her Ambrosia is the container in which she made it...

....the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. I've told this to people before and it totally grossed them out. What I tell them is "You don't know about the cleanliness of that house!" You could have eaten off of any surface in the house and been in no danger. If you took off a piece of clothing, it got washed. Guard your tennis shoes or those are getting washed too. My aunt had a pair of Keds that my grandmother had beached so many times they had holes in them. The refrigerator was also cleaned with this mindset. So, if you wanted some Ambrosia you just got a bowl and the ladle and dug in.

A call to my dad produced the recipe:

  • Apples (dad recommends Fuji apples - not necessarily what Granny used but he say they taste the best)
  • Oranges (do these first so the acid keeps the apples from turning brown)
  • Pineapple (fresh not canned)
  • coconut (dad says back in the day she shredded it fresh but later on used Baker's)
  • Maraschino Cherries & some of their juice
  • Fruit Cocktail (dad says he doesn't like to use it but Granny did)
  • Sugar - 1-2 cups (aaaaaawwww YEAH!) [dad has arguments about sugar as well, but this is not dad's recipe we're talking about here and Grandma's have free reign to use sugar]
Just plop it all into the container of your choice, stir and let it all marinate together for a little while, then eat. Yes, I know there are no measurements. Grandma's don't need measurements!!! Just keep putting stuff in 'til it looks good. A nice light pink color.

I think this blog will be a great way to drag all off my grandmother's recipes out of my dad's head. I asked him once about her recipes and he just pointed to his head and said "They're all right here." I looked at him and mimed a pen and paper and said "Uh... Write. Them. Down." I'm still waiting.. My mom (divorced parents) has been working on a scrapbook of recipes for me for 3 years now. Maybe at Thanksgiving or Christmas I will share her cornbread dressing with you (lame excuse to make it) and you've seen the results of her Carrot Cake (yes I know i didn't give you the recipe - that was a long post that day and I'm still getting the hang of this blogging thing.).

 This is the Davis side of my family. Granny is on the far left. The lady sitting in the chair is her mother Sarah Jane. I've got a couple of piles of stuff to go through to unearth a recipe for "Grandma Davis Cake" that I want to make and share.


  1. Haven't had any in a LONG time. *secretly plots to make some when alone at the house*

  2. **Update: made this for Christmas Eve dinner at my Aunt's this past year and learned a few things: Peel the apples. Peel the membrane off the orange sections (this is the most time consuming part). I don't remember putting pineapple in but this is almost 6 months later. Yes on the cherries. Yes on the sugar. Yes on the coconut.