Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pink Stuff

   Before we go any further, let's all remind each other and agree that this spot here on the internet is not a food blog. Anytime recipes appear here it is either because they hold special, personal significance to us or I am worried I will lose the recipe and need a way to reference it in the future.
   Such is the case with Pink Stuff, on both counts.

   Earlier this week I had a mild meltdown because I could not put my hands on the list of ingredients for this old family recipe. So I desperately fell on my Mom's mercies and while I waited on her reply I scoffed heartily at my little brother for suggesting I Google it. 

   Google an old family recipe that Grandma Stubbs either invented or graciously received from her own grandmother who probably invented it, are you kidding me? WOW. Some people have no appreciation for the old ways. Seriously. 

   Turns out our family recipe was all over the internet. Strangers have been making this, you guys! I felt so, so, so on display. So infringed upon. What's next, hidden cameras behind two way mirrors? A reality show against our will?

   Anyway, this recipe is as easy as pie. It is easier than pie, actually, because there is no crust to make perfectly and there is no baking. All you need are a can opener, a big bowl, and the ability to calmly fold ingredients into a pink frothy dream while wistfully reminiscing of family holidays past. And several hours of refrigeration, ideally.

A note about pecans: 
They are crazy expensive this year, 
thanks either to the drought or Sasquatch. 
This photo represents a gallon of gas.

Five Bonus points for the first person to notice 
what's missing from this ingredients photo!

Yep. Whipped Topping.

   One year, I was either nineteen or thirty-one, I can't remember, I forgot the whipped topping entirely. All the rich, sweet, crunchy, colorful things were included, but not the fluffiness. I showed up to the family feast with a bowl of overly gloopy pink sludge that nobody could enjoy. That is a major disappointment, because every year only one person makes this for everybody, and everybody looks forward to it in a big way. And we only have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is illegal to make it at other times of the year.

   Funny thing last night was that the whole time I was chopping pecans then snapping photos of the ingredients, I was like, "Huh. Something's definitely missing." WHEW! No sludge this year. Only stuff.


Here is what you need:
  1 can cherry pie filling
  1 can crushed pineapple
  1 can sweetened condensed milk
  1 cup coconut (I am pretty sure either kind works fine, I use sweetened flaked)
  1 cup pecans (I used more than that, just whatever)
  1 container whipped topping, thawed

   Gently fold it, baby. Pour, layer, stir, fold, blend the colors, taste it, lick your spoons, give the empty cans to lucky husbands and parrots in your house, do a little dance, make a little love, groove the easiness and luxury of it all. 

   Now wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and slip it safely in the refrigerator overnight or for at least four hours. 

This sample bite looks one step away from gross 
only because it hasn't set up yet.
Later today it will look firm and fluffy and perfect.

But I promise you it already tastes perfect.

Why did I buy tiny marshmallows?
And who is silently judging me for buying the store brand?

   To all of my far flung siblings and to my children who won't be with us today to eat this and so many other great dishes, you will be missed. Missed so much I have already been getting all teary and chin-trembly about it. But don't worry, I'll happily eat your shares of Pink Stuff. And I'll give thanks for having each of you in my life.

   To those of you who I am fortunate enough to see today, prepare to be attack-hugged. My heart is full and rich and pulsing with life because of the incredible people near me. I love each one of you and wish with all of my heart that Grandma Stubbs could be here to see how big and beautiful our family has grown.

As far as I'm concerned, she still invented Pink Stuff.

Mama's Losin' It


  1. First of all - I will absolutely try this recipe - cause I cook best when everything just gets poured into one bowl and mixed together! AND I love your sense of humor! I just finished reading a blog post of a college friend who lost her teen to suicide a few years let me tell you I NEEDED THIS!! AND, I'm gonna steal "chin-trembly" at some point in my writing future. Enjoy your day - sounds like you're well on your way! And thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. We make it a little different but this is a family Tradition for us. We call it Jello Junk. It's very good stuff! Have an awesome Thanksgiving!

  3. Sasquatch definitely, I hear they love them!

  4. I should have read this *before* eating myself stupid because now I can't even think about food without feeling a little woozy. Here's hoping your Thanksgiving meal and family time was perfectly delectable. Much love to you all!!


  5. I've just spent 20 minutes reading your blog - consider me a new fan - I love your sense of humour, your writing style and even your photography (very similar in style and skill level as mine). I'm also following you on Pinterest - thanks for following my boards.

    I'll be back and look forward to getting to know you better.

    BTW - I've also had my kids live with their dad - if you ever want to spill about it, email me.

  6. Like Heather said in the comment above, your blog is a fantastic read. :) If I wasn't alergic to nuts I would be shovelling pink stuff down my neck. :)


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