LESLIE CRISS: Sugary Peeps provide fire for creativity

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“Here comes Peter Cottontail,
hoppin’ down the bunny trail,
Hippity hoppity, Easter’s on its way.”
– lyrics by Rollins and Nelson

What did the rooster say to the hen?
You’re one hot chick.

I am intrigued by Peeps. For the unschooled, Peeps are those awfully sticky, way-too-sweet, squashy chick- and bunny-shaped candies pedaled profusely each year by the Easter Bunny.
The sugary confections once found only at Easter are now color-coordinated and theme-appropriate for other holidays as well.
My fascination with Peeps does not include a desire to ingest the pastel-hued concoctions.
Still and yet, friends and family members have given me packages of Peeps for years. A joke? Perhaps. Or maybe they think I eat them.
Two weeks ago on a dark and stormy day, I received a package from a reader in Starkville that truly brightened the day.
It was a book – a colorful book – titled “Peeps: A Candy-Coated Tale” by Mark Masyga and Martin Ohlin, two creative guys with some time on their hands.
And I’ve had the most fun perusing the Peeps-filled pages that include hilarious, tongue-in-cheek stories about Peeps in peril, Peeps on parade, the Peepsville High School Class of 1999’s year book and photos of colorful class members on a field trip to the Museum of Peeps Art.
There are also some entertaining Profiles of Prominent Peeps.
A few arts and crafts ideas were included. My favorite? A lovely picture frame made from Peeps.
And a recipe or two sure to send even the sourest of dispositions into a diabetic coma.
For anyone who, like me, is intrigued by Peeps, this book will prove a fun way to spend some time.
Have a few more hoots by checking out the winners of the 2011 Peeps diorama contest. Just go to the Washington Post’s website and search for Peeps diorama finalists. I think you’ll be impressed.
Only once did Marshmallow Peeps hatch in my Easter basket.
I bit the head off one chick and learned quickly they had something in common with Brussels sprouts – I didn’t like either of them.
But on that long-ago Easter Sunday I had an epiphany of sorts. Marshmallow Peeps make good ammunition for fights with siblings. They don’t pack much of a punch, but if you lick them first and throw them hard, they’ll stick firmly where they land.
For those whose palates are pleased by Peeps, there’s good news.
According to the makers, Just Born Inc., the confections can be frozen, warmed in a microwave and enjoyed year-round.
I’ve learned some things about Peeps through the years that have given them some redemptive value. They’ve got other uses that don’t demand their being ingested.
Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies can be used as short-term fishing bait, denture adhesive and a less expensive version of Silly Putty.
And with a little shellac, the chicks can perch proudly on your mantle forever.
Just think of it.
Petrified Peeps.

Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or leslie.criss@journalinc.com.