Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Box Left

Part of cleaning out the cupboard was to consume all the Jell-O I found. The next step has been to consume all the instant pudding I found. There wasn't as much of that as there was of the gelatin.

The first box was banana. The second box has been this pistachio. The last box is tapioca. I prefer to make Bob's Red Mill tapioca, which is a cook on the stove method. It makes a lovely tapioca pudding and I like to eat it warm, just after being made. The Jell-O brand will be cold although I could nuke it for warmth. I find tapioca to be one of those wonderful comfort foods, like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, and when you're having comfort food, to finish the meal off with comfort dessert, well, that make the meal more special.

I can't remember what year this was released to the general public. It is one of those items that my grandmother seized upon as being perfect for cooking. It also helped that a couple of recipes came out in 1974, right after the Watergate break-in, which used the pudding as a base ingredient.

Watergate Salad


  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. In a large bowl, mix together pudding mix, pineapple with juice, marshmallows, and nuts. Fold in whipped topping. Chill.
See? It's ridiculously easy.

This is the Watergate Cake.


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 (1.3 ounce) envelopes whipped topping mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut


  1. Mix cake mix, oil, eggs, soda drink, and 1 package pudding well, about 5 minutes. Fold in coconut and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Cool.
  3. To Make Icing: Combine dream whip, milk, and 1 package pudding. Beat until thick. Spread over cake. Sprinkle nuts and coconut on top.
Knowing that I don't care for pineapple or coconut, both ingredients were left out of the salad and the cake. It wasn't until I was making this for church events that I encountered the versions that contained pineapple and coconut. Some people would put the colored miniature marshmallows in their salad, particularly around Easter.

So I'm sitting at supper last night, eating my spaghetti and having my pistachio pudding and remembering the boxes of this that were in my grandmother's pantry. It was a staple of her cooking. It's much better if I put aerosol whipped cream on the top of it rather than eat it straight.

I was looking at my bundt pan when I put the Dutch oven away. My grandmother lived for bundt pan recipes and Watergate cake was something she always made. Heck, I made it, for years. I'm sure the recipe lingers, sans coconut, in my recipe box.

I'll make the tapioca pudding over the weekend and that will be it for instant pudding. I probably won't purchase any more instant pudding unless I need to take a cake some where and something in a cook book catches my eye. I won't say my tastes are more sophisticated. They are just different now.

Winter is poised to return over the weekend. What could be better than tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and tapioca pudding?

Beverage: Water


No comments:

Post a Comment