In "P.T.A. Interpretations of Food" 1928, 2-Marion Reynolds King 1893-1958, FAMILY: MATERNAL LINE (BOB) on December 18, 2009 at 7:40 am

1 lb. marshmallows
1/2 doz. oranges
1 coconut
Whipped cream

Cube marshmallows and oranges, soak over night. Next day add 1 grated coconut and serve with whipped cream.

Mrs. J.R. Findley
Maxey’s P.T.A.

Note.–Nuts may be sprinkled over the whipped cream if desired.

(Editor’s note: Ambrosia may be the food of the gods, but it ain’t in any of Bee / Momma / Grandma’s cookbooks. This recipe comes from “P.T.A. Interpretations of Food,” a 1928 cookbook owned by Marion Patterson Reynolds King, Bob / Daddy / Granddaddy’s mother. Uncle Sonny passed it along to us this summer in Florida … held together with plenty of duct tape.)

marion king cookbook cover 3

  1. I only remember ambrosia with apples, oranges and coconut. My mother and grandmothers made it as well.

  2. BTW…the ambrosia recipe that I remember Aunt Bee and Grandma always made is as follows:

    10 lb bag of oranges, sections dug out with juice
    4-5 apples (preferably red delicious), peeled, cored, and grated
    1 cup sugar (or more if desired – do it to taste)
    1 jar of maraschino cherries, drained, cherries cut in half (optional)
    1 cup coconut (optional)

    If memory serves, the recipe came from the Garris household in Round O. Some add pineapple and whipping cream, but we never did.

    Every Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, Grandaddy would spread out newspapers on the den floor and on the little brown table I used to color as a child. Grandama was a real stickler for making sure the juice didn’t go everywhere. He would then sit in front of the TV for HOURS, with a large white bowl, a serrated spoon, and bags full of oranges. He would then proceed to dig out each section with the spoon while Grandma would holler through the window every 10 minutes….”Howard are you done with those oranges yet?”. After about 3 hours of digging, he would give her the full bowl, covered in juice, and ask if anyone wanted a hug. He would then haul all of the orange rind carcasses out to our compost heap for our garden, with the dogs following close behind him. Mom would always insist she have a separate bowl without the sugar, so Grandma would leave the sugar for the last ingredient and would separate Mom’s out. She would eat on that jug of ambrosia for a week!

  3. I’m happy to also report, that Steve and Mom have picked up the tradition and dig out the oranges for me! Now I have two juice covered soux chefs in my Christmas kitchen!

  4. Mary, that story is so funny. And thanks for the more accurate recipe! Sounds like it is more like what Aunt Julie remembers, too. Now, a question for the ages: Is ambrosia a DRINK or a FOOD? I’ve always been confused on that. 🙂

  5. Ambrosia is actually a dessert. Although it has juice in it, the consistency is not that of a drink.

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