Thursday, July 31, 2008

Heavenly Hash


I had the perfect lead in planned for this recipe.

It was going to be all about how Margaret Fulton's heavenly hash is, like, the ultimate 80s food. The epiphany, the true essence of the eighties.

I was going to say how heavenly hash is like these outfits:

...made edible. All sweet and creamy and puffy like.

Then it was going to lead into a fabulous future post about Kate Bush, my ultimate girl hero.

Unfortunately, my mother-turned-food-historian, rudely informed me that heavenly hash is the ultimate 70s food, the epiphany, the true essence of the seventies. She based this on two pieces of evidence:
  1. The Complete Margaret Fulton Cookbook was, indeed, published in the seventies; and
  2. A love interest of her's used to make it for her when she was a medical student in, you guessed it, the seventies.
The bastard.

Anyway, I've concluded that as I was born in the eighties, I can make up my own mind about what is quintessentially eighties to me. So I did. And came up with this. Hmph.

Anyway, much like the eighties, this dish is about as frumpily, kitschly unfashionable as you can possibly get. As a result, it's pretty now, in a way. And I love it. I mean, how great is the name. I just love to say it: heaaavenly - haaaash. So great. I like to think that it's what heaven is made of, in Margaret's imagination. The ingredients list will put you off, yes, I expect that. But believe me. It's pretty much divine. It was the all-time favorite dessert of my brother and I for our entire childhoods, not just because we loved the dish itself (which we did), but because it was the only time we got to eat marshmallows, or any kind of lollies for that matter. It always felt like a personal triumph, like we'd tricked her into to giving us sweets without her realising it. Sometimes, she wouldn't use up all the marshmallows, and we'd sneak into her study late at night, find them tucked away in one of her many very lame excuses for a hiding place, and toast them over the open gas flame on the stove.

I think the secret to this particular dessert is that the sour cream balances out all the other sweet ingredients, so it isn't sickly, and the spices give it a subtle, delicate, interesting flavor. You must try it, preferably with your hair in a dramatically high, bright scrunchy-held side pony.

Also, it should be noted that this must be made with canned pineapple and mandarin. Don't try using just won't be juicy or mushy or kitschy or seventies/eighties enough.

Heavenly Hash

Adapted from The Complete Margaret Fulton Cookbook


1 small can of mandarin segments (around 200ml)
1 small can of pineapple pieces (around 200ml)
1 packet of pink and white marshmallows (250g)
1 1/4 cups of sour cream
a pinch of ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tablespoon cointreau, compulsory
the seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean, very optional


1. Drain the fruit and halve the marshmallows
2. Toss carefully togetther in a large bowl
3. Whip the sour cream together with the cardamom, ginger, orange rind, cointreau, and vanilla (if using).
4. Fold the cream mixture through the fruit and marshmallows, and chill for at least an hour (so all the juicy deliciousness has time to mingle) before serving.

NB: Margaret's recipe includes 1 bottle of red maraschino cherries, but that's waaay to retro for me. I draw the line at maraschino cherries. And besides, Mum never used them. However, I suppose you could include them if you wanted to. It's not like I'd ever find out...

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