Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Temptations: WaterGate Salad

Last weekend I hosted an all-women get together for friends from my Sunday school group.  This was the first time I was involved in any volunteer activities with this group, and understandably, felt totally like a fish out of water. The highlight of this event for me was a promise of girls' time out, without kids or husbands, and live cooking demonstrations for 2 secret dishes. The guest list, menu and activities were all planned by willing volunteers who devoted a load of time working out the details. My responsibility was barely to make sure that I provide the space,  disposables and co-ordinate parking space....

Wait...did someone say parking?
"How many people are coming", I asked. My driveway can easily accommodate 5 cars, and I'd thought that'd be plenty of space. I had requested the guests to carpool, and my guesstimate was around 10-15 women and 4 cars. 

"We have a confirmed headcount of 33 women, and some of them have visiting guests. Taking into account all the surprises, we'll be at about 40 to 45-  and 15 cars; you don't worry, we have it all under control.": is what I was told by the organizers.

That blew me off.  I am well known in my family as being a regular worry hog. If I can, I'll hew and hem about the sun coming out in the morning. And here I was, about to host 40 ladies, some of whom I'd never met, with no fore-thought or planning at all. A said that he'd take care of the parking issues- and he did. Then I worried about my house being not clean enough- so A spent all of Friday evening helping me clean and move furniture to my satisfaction. The morning of this get together, I shifted my focus to worrying about hospitality. "What if we don't have enough food?"

"Food is not your concern today," A said. "You are not the only responsible person in this group. I'm sure people who got chosen for that aspect of your meeting are capable enough."

"But this is my home- I can't let guests leave without something to eat."

"You will make tea for everyone," A said. "That's your contribution to the food committee. And you don't have time to make anything now. The ladies will be here in less than an hour"

But I just couldn't let it go. I couldn't. There are a couple of things that I can put together in  literally a minute, but I needed the ingredients. I sent A out for some grocery shopping- had to threaten him with tears actually. But he went. And I made my friends some black bean salsa to go with tortilla chips, and low-fat Watergate Salad for dessert.

Low-Fat Watergate Salad

This is a stock picture off of Google- will replace it soon.
Didn't have the time that day to take my own!

My low fat Version
Cool Whip Lite1 tub (12oz)
Sour Cream fat-free 1 tub (15oz)
Vanilla Yogurt fat-free 1 Tub (28oz)
Jell-O Pistachio flavor instant pudding 2 pkg (3.4oz)
Crushed pineapple in juice 2 cans (20oz)

  1. Mix Cool Whip, sour cream and vanilla yogurt together till a uniform mixture forms. 
  2. Add the Jell-O pudding powder. Blend well with a flat spatula- make sure no powder lumps form.
  3. Add crushed pineapple and juice all into this, mix together and chill before serving.
My 2 cents: Everyone loves it. This is the easiest, dump-everything-together, no-fail dessert that I've found so far. I didn't think this was a recipe meant to be posted on a blog, but every time I make it, I get asked the recipe. I got so many how-to-requests that day, that I decided to write it down. 

The above proportions are for a large quantity- I served about 35 ladies, and still had enough for some take-home bags. To scale down, mix equal amounts of Cool Whip, sour cream with twice the yogurt and 1/2  measure of pineapple.

 I have substituted the Cool Whip quantities with substitutes over a period of time to come closest to the original version which uses only Cool Whip, Jell-O and pineapple. Try that too, if only once, and compare with my low fat version (that original recipe comes at the back of the Jell O pudding box :-)). Tell me how they compare! I personally have no regrets with these substitutions- and neither did my guests!