It all began with a phone call to Virginia Kantra (a fab author you should really be reading if you’re not already) that started with a discussion of advertising and ended with a “my cowboy hero is hunkier than your marine hero and I’m gonna prove it” (and vice versa). Which led to exchanges of sexy (and not so sexy) bacon memes on Twitter, followed by a challenge to come up with original Peep art for our books.
[To check out more Hero Humor, connect with us on Facebook (click for Jesse and Virginia) and Twitter (click for Jesse and Virginia).]
I had a ton of fun putting together my picture, especially when Pixel T. Kitten got involved in my photo shoot, looking like a wooly mammoth in my fluorescent marshmallow herd. But when it was all over, I had four big boxes of Peeps and zero desire to eat the dang things.
Sure, most people would probably just throw them out. However, ever since being read The Velveteen Rabbit as a child, I’ve had a real hang-up about rejecting things with faces. I can’t throw out stuffed animals, dolls, or Peeps. Instead, I must use them for their intended purpose, whether it be snuggling or ingesting. I know this about myself. I accept it. I work with it.
But while I can manage to eat a six-pack of Peeps now and then when my mom sends them to me, there was no way I could gag down four twelve-packs. And have you ever tried to throw Peeps in the back yard for the raccoons or neighborhood dogs? Trust me, they’ll still be there when it’s time to mow the lawn. And, well, yeah. Not a pretty way to go, for either the Peeps or Mr. Mower.
But then came the lightbulb moment: I had Rice Krispies! I could make Rice Krispy Treeps! Envisioning pretty swirls of yellow, pink and blue, I got to work melting the butter and confirming that the Cabinet of Man Cereal did, in fact, contain multiple boxes of Rice Krispies. Then I tossed the Peeps in, and started stirring. Whereupon I discovered two miscalculations:
One. Despite my plan to give the Peeps a glorious end, melting is not a pretty way to die.
Two. When melting sugar, bright pink + fluorescent yellow + speckled robin’s egg blue do not equal pretty pastel swirls of those colors. Instead, it equals a nasty oozing swampy sort of brown. Into this brown ooze the melting Peeps subsided, their little faces disappearing last, staring up at me with marshmallow expressions of, “Whyyyyyy?”
It was pretty awful—almost as bad as the time I made pork chops with an olives-and-wine sauce, didn’t have cornstarch or flour to thicken the sauce, and figured baking soda should work. It didn’t. Instead, it created the sort of vinegar + baking soda volcano we used to make in science class, the foam tinged an unfortunate green from the less than stellar olives I had pressed into service. Enter Jesse’s famous Slimy Green Pork Chops. I’ll send you the recipe if you’d like.
But I digress.
Once the Peeps were melted and I stopped twitching in a corner of the kitchen, I mixed in the Krispies and everything else went more or less according to plan. And you know what? Darned if the swampy brown didn’t become a lovely caramel color once it was mixed with the Krispies. So much so that Arizona, in digging into his first Treep, said, “How did you get the colors off? Did you skin them before you cooked them?”
So that’s my cooking oops moment for the week (and if we’re lucky, the month). How about you? Got any good cooking oopses for me, or any good Peep memories? Want to say ‘hi’? Give me a shout out and you’re entered to win a couple of signed backlist books from my Bag O Books!