Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Fluff: or how to bribe a small child
Living abroad can be hard. My sister Merle has two gorgeous boys - a six-year old Tomi and 2-year old Ahti, and I truly miss not being around more and seeing them grow up. Whereas I have somehow secured a fixed place in the head and heart of the older boy (regular phone calls and gifts seem to do the trick as well as going out of my way trying to find something fun to do while he was in Edinburgh), getting re-acquainted with the younger one is usually a bit trickier. He's always a little shy of me in the beginning. And I also shouldn't take Tomi's attention for granted.
So what do you do to make sure they're relaxed and happy around you when you re-appear after a six-month absence? You bribe them. A bit like in action movies, when the intruder gives a biscuit or a juicy bone to the scary dog, who then forgets all about his supposed role as a house-protecting animal and lets the intruder sneak into the house..
Couple of months ago I spotted a big glass jar of something called FLUFF in the local Mexican-and-all-other-exotic-food-product-stocking-shop Lupe Pintos in Edinburgh. It's white and sticky, and it's basically a spreadable marshmallow. It also comes in rosy pink raspberry or pink strawberry flavoured version. I am not sure why I picked it up in the first place, as I don't really like marshmallows. Marshmallow cakes were very popular back home in 1980s, and I always found them sickly sweet. And I always have my hot chocolate with cream, but without marshmallows. But in any case I picked one up and brought home.
And forgot all about it. Until late June, when my family was visiting and my nephew Tomi, who is unfortunately quite a picky eater, refused to have his usual four-cereal porridge for breakfast one morning. As were had planned lots of walking around Edinburgh for that day, we were quite keen on him eating something, so I remembered the Fluff and offered him that on toast. It was an instant hit. Well, anything sweet and sticky would be with kids, I guess, wouldn't it? And to be honest, even I liked it, though in moderation. I gave the glass jar of white stuff for my sister when they were leaving.
And I was told just a few weeks later that it was finished. So day before going home in August I bought another 6 jars (!!!) of the vanilla-flavoured stuff from Lupe Pintos (I actually had to call few days before to make sure they have so many in stock and they kindly brought some from the warehouse). This time my family and friends did not get Scottish, or even British goodies from me (apart from my friend Anu, who had specifically asked for a jar of lemon curd). They got a jar of American stuff called Fluff. And it was a smart choice. Apart from my nephews, even some of my friends' kids can now say 'tädi Pille' or auntie Pille (like Mikk Hendrik on the right:). Quite an achievement, considering they only meet me once or twice a year:)
Thank you, Fluff, for securing my place in some kids' heart!
Above photo is from AmericanSweets.co.uk and you can read much more and all about Fluff here. Although I have a suspicious feeling that every other foodblogger has known about Fluff since they were wee kids. No?