Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Peeps - This One's For You Susan B.

Peeps.  You know what they are right?  -  those little chicks and bunnies that are made from marshmallow and covered in colored sugar.   You find them on the store shelves close to Easter.  Do you love 'em or hate 'em?  Is anyone indifferent to peeps?  It doesn't seem anyone is indifferent.   If you start a conversation about them,  it seems you either love them or you really really dislike them.  I am a disliker, a major disliker of Peeps as far as eating them goes, but there is something endearing about them and the great colors they come in.  You immediately think spring and Easter and sunshine and lollipops and roses and any other other uplifting subject they have written songs about.  But, do I ever think about eating them?  NEVER!

This post is dedicated to my friend Susan B. and our friends from the Due North Productions family.  We were a group of parents who worked together in the theatre and choir department at the high school our youngest son attended several years back.  Susan was the choir director and we did anything and everything we could to help out.  We had a lot of fun conversations about Peeps and I learned a lot about all the ways to enjoy Peeps (if you can).  Some people like them when they get hard and crusty on the outside and some like them when they are soft and gooey.  Someone said they liked to microwave them before eating.   I, on the other hand, do not like them at all in any state of existence.  Ugh.  I even asked "the Easter Bunny" to please not put them or any jelly beans in my Easter basket when I was a kid.  I am shivering as I type this, just thinking about eating them.  Ewwwww

This crazy idea started with a bag of little marshmallow flowers I found at the Dollar Tree.  They were so cute, I thought I could make something with them.  But, they were so small I knew I needed something bigger to help fill in. Then, I had this crazy idea about making a colorful centerpiece for our table after looking at a large display of Peeps at Kroger.  They come in such fun colors and there are not only chicks, but bunnies.   Hmmmm, ideas began to formulate.

My creative process works a little contrary to the accepted norm on many occasions.  I sort of work backwards sometimes, but it works for me.  (That's a nice way of saying I start with no plan).  I had these two little green baskets that are about 6 inches square, they sort of look like berry baskets and my thought was one of them would make a good container for a centerpiece.  They also look really nice with the place mats I painted.  So, there was my base.  I put a piece of styrofoam in it and filled in around it with some paper shred I had.  Next, I skewered some bunnies to start the "shape" of the centerpiece.  I used wooden skewers like you would make kebabs with.  I swear I did not harm a single bunny or chick in the process.
That's the way it started.  Now, that looked a little plain and there was the issue of the skewers which I knew I would NOT like when I finished.  Lots of plain wood sticks showing.  Not good.  So, I had another idea and got out a bunch of colorful mini cupcake papers I had in bright colors.  I slid some up the skewer under one of the marshmallow flowers and I really liked the way it looked.
They looked like flower petals and added lots more color to the whole skewer/marshmallow effect and they would help fill in the centerpiece.  I was on a roll.  I started putting Peeps (the chicks and bunnies) on skewers and varying the colors of cupcake papers for a garden variety look. I trimmed the skewers to different lengths as needed.   I also stacked some of the marshmallow flowers on top of each other in twos and threes for another variation.  I kept working around the basket until I had it all filled in.  It's a hoot!  No, I guess actually it's a Peep.  Anyway, it looks adorable in the center of the table.

You know, there is all kinds of research I found on the web about Peeps and what will dissolve them.  It seems there is very little that will dissolve them, not even acetone.  There are even pictures of different chemicals they have placed them in and the results of the tests.  Do I want to eat these?  No way.  But,  they get hard and crusty if you let them set out so I figure this thing would survive a nuclear holocaust.  There will be nothing left but cockroaches and peeps.  Can't you see some archeologist digging this centerpiece up some day and wondering what in the world it is and what precious materials it is made from?   Now that makes me laugh.

I had to keep our two oldest grandsons from eating any of the centerpiece this weekend.  That had not entered my mind when I made it, so I had to give them the left over Peeps from the boxes.  Guess I know what to put in their Easter baskets because they loved them.  Ugh.

My friends Don, Rick and Marge were here on Friday and they all took pictures of my crazy Peep centerpiece.  Don called it a Peep tree and they thought it was the cutest thing ever.  You just never know when you start a project where it will go.  As for this one, it looks adorable in the center of the table, just don't make me eat any of it.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

An annual "Peep Off" competition is held in Maryland on the first Saturday after Easter, when Peeps are greatly discounted, to see who can eat the most in 30 minutes. The first such event was arranged by Shawn Sparks in 1994, and had only six participants.[6] Dave Smith startedSacramento's record-holding (102 eaten) annual Peep Off after contacting Jack Eidsness, a participant in the first Peep Off, with a question about it, through Mr. Eidsness' Peep-themed website.  Wikipedia

Now, how about that for an eating contest? 102 Peeps?   Oh Em Geeee