In a few days it will be Easter, a holiday filled with joy for the religious meaning, because it’s finally spring, and for youngsters, who look forward to the Easter Bunny and candy. For my family it means getting together for dinner after church. There’s always a ham, colored eggs, sweet potatoes, and dishes and desserts others contribute. This year it will be at my house.
When my grand kids, nieces and nephews were younger, I made up an Easter egg hunt with teams, who had to look for plastic eggs with clues in them. There would be the purple and pink team, the green and yellow team, and the orange and blue team. Each team was given an egg in their colors with the first clue leading them to the egg with the next clue. The clues were riddles leading them all over my small farm – the hay mow, an old unused outhouse, in the reeds by the pond, and on and on until the winning team found a basket of candy hiding in the house – maybe in my clothes dryer. Teams with tiny participants unable to read were allowed to have adults help them. It took me a long time to write the riddles and distribute them the day before Easter, but the kids – and adults who participated – loved it. Now they’re all too old for that.
This year it is the 60th anniversary of Peeps, those little yellow sugary confections considered “THE candy of Easter.” Not for me, though. I much prefer chocolate; rabbits, eggs, chickens, anything chocolate to those marshmallow type chicks.
Peeps are made at Just Born factory in Bethlehem, Pa., and they hatch 5 million Peeps a day this time of the year. Not only do they appear in most Easter baskets, it seems they have developed a Peeps pop art culture with people making dioramas with them and other types of Peep art. Some people even use them in cooking, even in not to be believed dishes like sushi. According to Ross Born, the third-generation operator of Just Born, Inc., It’s the “Peepsonality” of consumers who not only eat them, but also play around with them.
At my Third Thursday book club, I took in the Peeps I didn't use for my pictures. There was a lively discussion on whether or not they liked Peeps. Linda Bailey liked them, but only if they were stale and rather hard. Some remembered roasting them like marshmallows over a fire. Maybe I'd like them if they were roasted, but I won't find out because there were no Peeps left when the book club was over.
Carla Damron thinks Peeps are evil. She says "They are a demonic plot. Notice how they have infiltrated every holiday. Soon, I believe they may take over the world!!" To prove her point she sent me several pictures she considered harassment by her friends because of her antipathy for Peeps. Last year when she came to her office, she found it taken over by 'Occu-peep Columbia.' Peeps were everywhere in various poses and costumes. She sent me several pictures of this occupation. So I think she may be right. She also told me one year her husband gave her Peeps and a hammer. She claims even a hammer won't destroy the little buggers.
Hmmm. So that got me to thinking. Maybe I’ll decorate the top of my sweet potato casserole on Easter with them. Or better yet, maybe I’ll just plot a murder with them – only on the page, of course. Poison could be injected in them. Of course, one would have to make sure only the one it was intended for would eat the Peep. That means there could not be any kids around. That’s easy enough for a writer to do. Kaye George in her book CHOKE had a victim choked with a sausage. It could be done with Peeps, too, I imagine.
But for now, I’ll put all thoughts of murder aside to concentrate on the beauty and joy of Easter and its true meaning, and just how I’m ever going to get my house in order before everyone arrives for Easter dinner.
What’s your favorite Easter candy?
Besides eating Peeps in their natural state, how would you eat them?
Or what kind of art would you make from them?