‘Inexperienced fluff’ brings the model of church potlucks home at some level of a scourge year

(RNS) — 2019 became a keen ample year for Elizabeth Glass Turner and her household.

Then came 2020.

Because Glass Turner is immunocompromised, she wasn’t succesful of leave her home in Ohio for mighty of the year because the COVID-19 pandemic pressured many to quarantine. To support out, the meals ministry at her church dropped off weekly meals at her home.

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Which is how the managing editor of Wesleyan Accent found herself crying tears of gratitude into a dish of green fluff.

That “green fluffy grace,” made with Jell-O and Cool Whip, isn’t something she’d ever make herself, Glass Turner acknowledged.

However, she added, “after the Eucharist it could actually also model compile church more than the rest.”

“It became an sudden, visceral response — I wouldn’t maintain even listed green fluff as a current — then all over again it became so strongly evocative of generally every church potluck ever. Esteem a church lady hug held in a (predictable) re-old Cool Whip container,” Glass Turner acknowledged in a message to Faith Files Service.

Inexperienced fluff and its many-hued counterparts were a church potluck staple for generations, most only in the near past hanging the “comfort” in “comfort meals” for those struggling or unable to rating with others through a posh pandemic year.

Also identified, in its reasonably a lot of iterations, as lime fluff or strawberry fluff or orange fluff, the dish recurrently involves crushed pineapple and cottage cheese. Generally it also has mini marshmallows or chopped nuts, and it could actually also honest even be served topped with new fruit to make it glance a small bit more nutritious.

The Rev. Pamela Kail, a retired United Methodist pastor, has had it all on the churches she’s served across Michigan.

The sweet and stout “salad” crosses denominational traces, too, making for ecumenical eating.

Kail found a recipe for a identical dish known as “cottage cheese salad” relationship reduction as a ways reduction as 1943 — even sooner than Cool Whip became invented — in a cookbook from the Lutheran church she grew up in in Michigan, one in all many church cookbooks from her mom’s collection. That recipe makes use of whipped cream in its put.

A Green Fluff adaptation. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

A Inexperienced Fluff adaptation. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

She’s also seen it known as “emerald salad” in cookbooks from congregations in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It became constantly at church potlucks she attended increasing up, she acknowledged, pointing out that at every church, there appears to be like to be a tacit working out of who brings the green fluff. For a lot of years, that particular person became her grandmother.

She since has inherited the esteem Jell-O bowl her grandmother old to existing the pastel colored dessert-salad.

Kail has spent a lot of time desirous about why it’s the kind of ubiquitous dish, she acknowledged.

“It became easy to make. It became quite cheap. And of us can also utilize it — you understand, you didn’t maintain to ache about whether you’re going to compile something caught in your teeth. It’s originate of compile a no brainer,” she acknowledged.

Annette Spence, editor for the Holston Convention of the United Methodist Church, pointed to an NPR article linking the humble fluff to the infamous Watergate salad and a increase in gelatin-primarily based cakes that came with the introduction of quick gelatin.

“There are as many flavors as there are Jell-O,” she added.

Spence only in the near past printed a recipe for what she known as “strawberry fluff salad” on “The Call to Cook,” the Holston Convention’s meals and faith weblog.

She’d grown up with the green diversity her family generally known as “green Jell-O salad,” which, she acknowledged, appears to be like to be most current. She launched its red cousin this Easter to a power-via meals ministry she volunteers with at a United Methodist church in Tennessee. She thought the dish would be a easy spring compile that can also honest join of us to “home cooking, comfort meals and church” at some level of the pandemic, she acknowledged.

She didn’t place a query to the response it obtained.

Spence became stunned what number of folk stopped to comment on the fluff, telling her their mom or grandmother old to make the an identical thing and inquiring for the recipe. The recipe ended up being shared by United Methodist Files Service and a local Fb neighborhood known as Knoxville Eats, she acknowledged.

Potlucks are now not identified for attracting the most nutritious meals, Spence neatly-known. As an alternate, they’re stout of dishes that can also honest even be made swiftly and inexpensively to portion with sizable groups. Most severely, they’re stout of dishes which would be favorites at home.

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By manner of faith and meals, Spence acknowledged, “it’s essential perchance perchance also compile in actuality deep about sustainability and gardening and advent care, however I assume meals and faith as home and sumptuous and compile and family.”

Within the center of a scourge year, fluff tasted compile any of the above.

Inexperienced Fluff

Adapted from Strawberry Fluff Salad, courtesy of Annette Spence at “The Call to Cook: Meals and Faith in the Holston Convention

Makes 8 servings.


  • 15-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 16-ounce container cottage cheese
  • 3-ounce kit lime gelatin (can use any flavor)
  • 8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed
  • New lime, sliced (optional)


Combine pineapple, cottage cheese and gelatin in a bowl. Trudge neatly. (Don’t prepare the gelatin with boiling water — handsome mix in the powder.)

Fold whipped topping in with other elements except combined. Net now not overmix, to retain the salad “fluffy.”

Refrigerate except serving time. Garnish each serving with a slash of lime or high with other new fruits, looking on what flavor of gelatin you use.

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