The Green Stuff aka “Watergate Salad”

Forty years ago this month, Richard Nixon resigned as President of the United States, the only President to do so. His resignation also resulted in the first unelected President – Gerald Ford. Ford was appointed Vice President when then VP Spiro Agnew resigned from office. When Nixon resigned, Gerald Ford became President. And so it was that a man who never ran for President became President. One of President Ford’s first acts as President was to pardon Richard Nixon. It was political suicide as there would be no pardon for the pardon.

What’s that you say? What does the green stuff have to do with Watergate? Absolutely nothing! Kraft introduced Pistachio Pudding in 1975. On the box was the recipe for Pistachio Pineapple Delight.  In 1976, a food editor published the same recipe under the name “Watergate Salad” as part of an article featuring brunch recipes from the Watergate Hotel. Or so the story goes, although neither the article nor the food editor’s identity has been verified. So there you have it.

This recipe is most popular in the upper Midwest as a potluck favorite. I had it for the first time this past year at – you guessed it –  a family potluck! It is sweet and yummy – a nice alternative to the ever-popular “Pink Stuff”.

Watergate Salad
8 oz Cool Whip (low-fat)
1 Box Pistachio Pudding Mix (low-fat)
16 oz Crushed Pineapple with juice
1 Cup Mini-Marshmallows
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans, optional

Fold pudding mix into cool whip until well incorporated.

Add remaining ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least an hour.

Note: To add a little more color, try using colored mini-marshmallows or garnish with maraschino cherries or both!

3 thoughts on “The Green Stuff aka “Watergate Salad”

  1. I must make a correction to what you have written in this blog on August 25th introducing the Watergate Salad. You stated that when Nixon resigned “His resignation also resulted in the first unelected President – Gerald Ford.” That part is true. However, what you stated next is incorrect. “Ford was speaker of the House when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned from office. When the office of Vice President is vacated for whatever reason; the Speaker of the House fills the seat.”
    Ford was never the Speaker of the House. He was a Congressman from Michigan and, as such, he served as the House Minority Leader. Following Vice President Agnew resignation on OCT 10, 1973, Nixon, on OCT 12, acting under the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution, nominated Congressman Gerald Ford to be the Vice President. He was confirmed by a majority of both Houses of Congress on DEC 6, 1973.

    From the 25th Amendment: “Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice-President, the President shall nominate a Vice-President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of Congress.” Thus, Ford became VP thru the nomination process according to the 25th Amendment, and not by being Speaker of the House, which he never was.


    • I stand corrected. Thank you. However Ford became President, it wasn’t a result on an election by the voters. Not that I have anything against President Ford. I met him twice – once while in office, again years later at a fundraiser. He is a warm and gracious man.


  2. […] I like The Pink Stuff. It’s pretty, refreshing and sweet. I’ve never figured out if it should be served with the rest of the meal or saved for later since it’s such a cross-over dish. I wouldn’t consider The Pink Stuff as a salad, and although often served as a side, it’s not the typical side dish either. Yet serve The Pink Stuff as a dessert and everyone will be wondering where’s the cake – the pie – the cookies! The only thing I like better than The Pink Stuff (keeping all things equal, of course) is The Green Stuff aka “Watergate Salad”. […]


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