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 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?


Anonymous said...

Hi Pille, of course I've known about fluff (more commonly known as 'marshmallow creme' in the US) since my early days, but I grew up thinking it was one of those items of 'useless culinary junk'.. that is, until I discovered it works wonders in certain types of candy. I had an obsession with making perfect chocolate fudge for a while in my teens, and after trying many different recipes that had me cook the sugar to a specific temperature but always resulted in a grainy mess, I learned that you can basically combine chocolate, butter and marshmallow fluff to make a smooth, creamy fudge. Maybe your nephews would like this too? Let me know if you'd like a recipe! ;)

Nic said...

I, too, have known about marshmallow creme, having had it growing up in the us. Like, Melissa, I used it in a fudge recipe that's on my site. When I was a kid, though, I liked to have peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwiches. I probably couldn't eat more than a few bits now, but to a kid it's heaven!

Anonymous said...

Now you've brought back memories, Nic, about how jealous I used to be of other kids who used to bring those exact sandwiches from home - they called them 'fluffer nutters', and boy, I would have traded them for my tuna on whole wheat any day. Unsurprisingly, no one ever wanted to trade with me!

Anonymous said...


I've linked to your blog on my blog for a global blog day!

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing -I always love your down-to-earth and heart-warming style.And the photo is cute ! At least one who includes pics of him/herself an the blog - make the posts even more come alive...And thank you for visiting my blog again and again - and for your kind comments. Is there a chance to get to know you personally on a UK foodbloggers`meeting one day ? Johanna has invited me and I will hop over at the end of Sept. and maybe also for the advent meeting...As for marshmallows (rather unknown in Austria) I can asure you it would also work with Gino INSTEAD OF the bone....Take care, angelika

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of FLUFF before (just like I never heard of Nutella until recently). But apparently both have been around for quite some time.

That's a great story about Fluff and your nephew. They are both cute.

I think I'll go look for some Fluff to buy and keep on hand to bribe and small kids that come my way! ;-)))


Cate said...

There's actually an entire cookbook dedicated to Fluff. Might have to go dig it out and start making some new recipes!

Spinning Girl said...

oh of course--the famous peanut butter and fluff sandwich!!!


Pille said...

Melissa - I knew you all knew:) The Fluff-jar actually has a fudge-recipe printed on it, so I may give it a try. I'll check later if it's similar to your fudge recipe then.

Nic - I've checked the recipes using marshmallow fluff on your site and made a mental note of them! Thanks for the tip!

And I like the name - flutternutters:) "Fluff" on its own sounds extremely funny in Estonian already, and "Flutternutter" even more so..

Farid Zadi - thank you so much for linking me - it's much appreciated:) I was lucky enough to be linked by two bloggers on BlogDay - you and Anne of Anne's Food, and I'm very humbled by that.

Angelika - thank you for your kind words - I guess down-to-earth and warm(ish) would describe me as well as my blog quite accurately. I'm trying to post mostly food-related pictures, but sometimes I can't help but sneak in a small picture of me, too:)
Johanna has tentatively invited me to the UK foodbloggers meeting in December - I really hope to be able to make it.

Paz - I feel a bit better now, having found at least one other person who is new to Fluff:) Though I know of peanut butter, I think it's an aquired taste and I don't really like it on its own, though I have used it in cooking sometimes.

Sweetnicks - an entire Fluff cookbook?? Whoah! Let me know if you start your fluff-cooking experience - I'll come and have a look then:)

Spinning Girl - should I take your hint and think that the "famous peanut butter and fluff sandwich" is an aquired taste and potentially totally unsuitable for Estonian tastebuds? LOL:)