Ambrosia, pea salad and a PSA

By Kitsey Burns Harrison -

Kitsey Burns Harrison | Kitsey’s Kitchen

Ambrosia salad

I’ll start this week’s installment of Kitsey’s Kitchen with a public service announcement. If you ever feel like you have something in your eye, for goodness sake, don’t rub it. Get some eye drops to wash it out immediately!

You may have noticed that I did not have a column in last week’s edition of The Yadkin Ripple. That was due to the fact that I was at home suffering from a corneal abrasion. I had never heard of such a thing before last week, but let me tell you it is quite painful and very annoying.

I was minding my own business watching a play the other weekend when my left eye started to itch and water. I guess I rubbed it, I really don’t recall. At any rate, my eye continued to bother me all night and by the next morning it was totally swollen shut and I had to go to the doctor. I was informed that I had a bad scratch on my eye, otherwise known as a corneal abrasion. I was patched up like a pirate and sent home with instructions to keep my eyes closed and rest.

Not being able to see for a few days certainly gives you a greater appreciation of your eyesight and the beauty all around.

Luckily, by Easter Sunday my eye was feeling much better so with my husband’s help I was able to prepare a lovely Easter dinner. We had ham and creamed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, pea salad, rolls, ambrosia salad, a tray of sliced pickles and lemon pound cake for dessert.

Everything but the pea salad turned out beautifully. I adore pea salad, but sadly I am usually the only one who eats it. I typically make the layered style pea salad with shredded lettuce, a dressing made from sour cream and mayo, topped with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and green onions.

Since I am the only one who enjoys this dish I thought I might try a variation on the theme that would allow me to make a smaller amount. As you may remember, I am a huge fan of the Pioneer Woman recipes. She had a recipe for pea salad that is essentially the same only without the lettuce and it’s all mixed together rather than layered.

For her recipe you combine your sour cream and mayo, add a dash of vinegar, salt and pepper and mix it up with the peas, cheese cut into small cubes, bacon crumbles and thinly sliced red onion. Well, my first and main problem is that I used an onion that had been languishing for some time in my cupboard. The strength of the onion just overpowered the entire dish making it basically inedible. I have to say I was also not a fan of the cheese cut into cubes rather than being shredded. I guess for the next holiday meal I’ll be back to making the layered pea salad, even if I am the only one who will eat any.

I made ambrosia salad for the first time this Easter also. I know this dish is a traditional Southern favorite and I’ve had it at other people’s homes and at potlucks, but I don’t remember my Mamma ever making it. I know the coconut can be off-putting for some, but I personally find this dish delightful. And it’s a good thing too, cause once again I have an entire dish of it and I’m the only one who ate any. You can find the recipe I used below. I was lazy and didn’t cut my cherries in half. I also added a few drops of pink food coloring to make it pretty. Sadly, I couldn’t find the colored marshmallows, but the white ones work, too.

Ambrosia Salad (Recipe from


• 1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip (lite is fine)

• ½ cup sour cream (light is fine)

• 1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained

• 1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

• 10-oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained, halved, and patted dry

• 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

• 2 cups miniature marshmallows

• ¾ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews) optional


Fold sour cream into Cool Whip in a large serving bowl. Fold in remaining ingredients making sure the pineapple, oranges, and cherries have been properly drained. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

Kitsey Burns Harrison is a reporter for The Yadkin Ripple and The Elkin Tribune, here she shares her musings on food, life and love. She can be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

Kitsey Burns Harrison | Kitsey’s Kitchen Burns Harrison | Kitsey’s Kitchen

Ambrosia salad salad

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

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