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For as long as I can remember, and many years beyond I’m sure, our family has enjoyed what has been affectionately called Pink Stuff at every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table. Reviewing the web to see if anyone else has the recipe listed, I found that other people’s Pink Stuff and my family’s Pink Stuff is not the same. My grandmother made Pink Stuff every year, and I always sat by her side marveling at the awesome whipped wonder, waiting impatiently to lick the whisk and clean the bowl of whipped cream.

As with all recipes that are handed down, ours has some unique traditions. Before mini marshmallows were all the rage, my grandmother meticulously cut large marshmallows with a pair of very specific scissors. She claimed the Pink Stuff wouldn’t taste right unless you cut the marshmallows with those scissors. Even when the mini marshmallows came out and she did try to use them, once, she said it didn’t taste right, and went back to cutting them herself. When I make it these days, I use mini’s — but I always include a bunch of hand cut marshmallow’s too. It’s tradition!

Depending on the size of your family, you can either halve this recipe, or double it. The recipe here looks small, but will feed a small army. Or provide plenty of leftovers. A must in this family, I assure you.


  • 2 bags whole cranberries
  • 1 80z bag of walnuts
  • 1 small bunch of red seedless grapes
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple
  • 1  cup of sugar
  • 1 carton of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows


Rinse and clean the two bags of cranberries. Throw out any that have popped or look bad. One way to quickly find them is to pour a sink full of water. The floaters are good.  Anything else, can be tossed.


Put half the cranberries in your food processor and pulse until they’re finely cut.


Only do one bag at a time, otherwise they get a little too crowded and some will be cut and others will be liquified. You’ll want them to be finely minced, and fresh cranberries mince really good in the food processor.

Pour them into a bowl. We’re going to work them a little bit now, and then do some other prepping later. I did my initial work the day before Thanksgiving and then finished up Thanksgiving morning. Cranberries are tart – really tart – so we’re going to soak them in sugar.


After you mince them, gather your sugar, pineapple and grapes. This can of pineapple is twice the size I needed. I used half of the can for this recipe and half for my mother’s Fruit Salad.

Open the can of pineapple and drain completely.


Add the pineapple to the cranberries and mix well.


Next, cut your grapes up into small pieces.


Add the grapes to the cranberries and pineapple.


Next, we’re going to add the sugar. I used about a cup. You can add more but a cup should do for this size batch of Pink Stuff. We want the sugar to soak into the cranberries making every bite sweet and tart.


Incorporate all the sugary goodness into the cranberries.


Almost instantly, the juices from the cranberries, grapes and pineapple will begin to form a syrup. That’s good stuff! Now, you can wrap that up, and stick it in the refrigerator until the next day, or if you’re making it all on the same day, let that mixture rest at least an hour.


I put it in a plastic container and stuck it in the fridge overnight to get the maximum amount of sugary sweetness into those cranberries. We’re not keeping that juice by the way, so start thing about how you can use it. Here on the ranch, we don’t let stuff like that go to waste. Oh no sirree! I made a glaze with it for the turkey leftovers.


The Next Day

See! Lots of juices in the bowl. You need to drain that off as best you can. We don’t want the juice in there because when we add the whip cream and marshmallows later, we don’t want it runny.


Move your drained cranberries to a big bowl, and add your walnuts.


Next add half the bag of mini marshmallows and mix well.


This is where I’ll stop and cut up some large marshmallows into 1/4’s. What my grandmother insisted is right. I think these cut ones soak up the flavors better because they don’t have that protective layer of corn starch. Or something. They’re also bigger. And there is nothing wrong with large, cranberry flavored, sugary marshmallows. Nothing. At. All.


Mix all that up well and let the soaking begin. The marshmallow will be turning pink. The walnuts will be getting sweet. The whole bowl will be screaming for a taste test. But you’ll be busy.


Whipping up whipped cream.

Be sure to add some sugar to that blessed cloud of heaven too.


You might need to taste that too. I did. At least once.

Just to be sure it was right.

Add it to your bowl. Use half of the whipped cream first, and the dollop more until it gets to the consistency you like.

Me? I added it all.


Because I like whipped cream.

And Ma’s Pink Stuff.