Lum: On the trail of the green goo
December 28, 2016
Every now and then my friend Hilary brings home a little plastic carton of what we call "green stuff," or "green goo," which she buys at the deli section of City Market. The green goo is a disgusting, sweet concoction made up of who-knows-what — we say, "Oh, ick, this is terrible," and then scarf it down.
About a month ago I put green goo on the shopping list, but Hilary came home empty-handed. City Market was out of goo.
They were out the next day and the next; and, of course, the longer this went on, the more we were champing for goo.
The only ingredients we could really identify were pistachio nuts and some possible form of marshmallow but that was enough for Google to go on. Up popped "Pistachio Delight," "Pistachio Fluff" and "Pistachio, Marshmallow, Cool Whip Salad."
There followed several variations of this decadent recipe: 1 package pistachio instant pudding (I didn't know it existed), 1 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, 1 cup miniature marshmallows and 1 16-ounce tub of Cool Whip, thawed. Mix together in that order and refrigerate overnight.
Through some kind of chemical reaction, the marshmallows melt into goo and the pineapple bits feel like nuts — it would make a great "name the ingredients" party game.
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I began experimenting immediately and nailed it on the second try (the first, too many marshmallows), telling the story to anyone who would listen, making them try it and find out they liked it.
Meanwhile, Hilary and I were invited to my friend Bruce's house for an annual dinner prepared by his winter tenant, Laurel, a gourmet cook who casually serves up a labor-intensive, mouth-watering spread for a dozen or so guests.
Ribbons of hand-peeled carrots, scores of hand-trimmed pearl onions, melt-in-your-mouth stew meats cooked for hours if not days, pomegranate seeds in the salad, poached pears in a pool of butterscotch sauce — that gives you the idea.
It happened that on the day of the party my shopping list included a quart of ice cream, a jar of butterscotch sauce, a can of Reddi-wip and a tub of Cool Whip. I had a hankering for the first three items and was going to make more goo with the last. Hilary had called to confirm these, thinking I was taking them to the party, and I, thinking that she was just asking about the list in general, said, "yes, yes" and thus we arrived and Hilary bestowed her surprise package upon Laurel, who had the grace not to mention it.
Now even I know better than to bring food to a gourmet dinner, and these particular items were a huge slap in the face to the cook. To make it worse, Hilary went off to Mexico and I didn't find out about it until a week later. OMG, did Laurel think I thought that jar of butterscotch sauce would be better than hers? A tub of COOL WHIP? Gads.
We celebrated Christmas Day at my place. Hillery and Bruce, still recovering from Bruce's fall, begged off and holed up in Leadville but my daughter Skye came from Carbondale and my granddaughter Riley and her wife Colleen from Seattle.
After dinner, with great ceremony, Colleen unveiled a surprise for me. Having heard the story from Skye, she had made — guess what — a big bowl of green goo, the dessert that will not die. She had refined her recipe with maraschino cherries and it was even better than the others.
Su Lum is a longtime local who thinks you should try it. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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