Summer is a flaming Peep
A s'more worth (tiny) screaming about
It's July 4th, and we sit in my grandparents' impeccably kept backyard around the firepit. I can hear crickets and birds singing their twilight song and fireworks starting in the distance. The air is thick with the smell of the fire, and the temperature is settling into that perfect summer evening where the setting sun hugs you with its gentle warmth.
It has been a beautiful day. Bare feet in the grass, moving from shade to shade. There's an electricity in the air. Everyone is off from work, and the family is together. We've played and laughed and slept and ate. And oh how we ate.
It's been a long day of eating.
We started with a delicious green salad topped with juicy, ripe homegrown tomatoes, crisp red onions, salty bacon and blue cheese crumbles.
Freshly brewed iced tea with lemon slices.
Deviled eggs prepared with smoked paprika, mustard potato salad with the tangy bite, and of course, nana's famous green Jello with the canned pineapple and cottage cheese.
BBQ ribs so tender that the meat falls right off the bone.
Fruit pies with the lovingly crafted and kneaded crust, so flaky it sticks to your lips as your mouth envelops the fork, afraid to lose a single crumb. My mouth is watering just remembering it.
And now, it is time for the pièce de résistance: the flaming Peep.
Ever since I was little, my nana has given me Peeps every Easter. And then when they started making Peeps in pumpkin, heart and Santa shapes, she gave them to me for every holiday. I don't remember how this started, or how I became the sole lucky recipient of these little sugar coated, gelatinous creatures, but I can always count on them. I don't have the heart to tell my dear nana that I, in fact, hate Peeps. For a time, one could tell how long I'd lived at a certain place by the number of unopened, stale Peeps packages lined my pantry. I only ever have the heart to throw them out before moving.
Well, this one particular year, nana had stocked up and had several packages sitting in her pantry since at least Halloween. We decided to spice up our yearly s'mores adventures with Peeps, a sort of twist on a crème brulee. And let me tell you, you haven't had a proper s'more until you have had a Peep s'more.
Before we begin, prepare your graham cracker and chocolate. I recommend using a dark chocolate as the Peep is sweeter than your average marshmallow. You will need a full graham cracker split in half--one section for each part of the sandwich.
(Now, I feel I must warn you that if you are using a bunny peep or other cute-creature-modeled marshmallow, watching the next steps may prove to be a little graphic and not for the faint of heart. )
Next, we're going to impale our tiny little Peep friend with our s'more stick.* The fresher Peeps are good and will melt quickly but be forewarned that they will leave a big gooey trail on your stick, and they may very likely fall right into the fire. We have found that the staler Peeps are sturdier and melt more slowly. The sugar on the outside will slowly glaze as the marshmallow expands. You will know when you're getting close to the perfectly charred Peep when the little bunny head will swell with eyeballs popped out like a cartoon.**
You will now unimpale your swollen marshmallow and gently place it on your chocolate and smother with the second graham cracker. Watch as the swollen creature collapses onto the melting bed of chocolate and enjoy while still warm!
A few more tips for added enjoyment:
- Try varying amount of time over flame for more or less toasted sugar
- Best enjoyed in the company of those with silly (and perhaps slightly dark) senses of humor
- Best enjoyed in the backyard with your favorite people
- Don't ever tell your nana how much you hate Peeps because at this point, it's just far too late for that
*Added tiny screams from the marshmallow optional, though highly recommended.
**Screaming is, again, optional.
About the Creator
Writing for fun and as an escape from the everyday. After all, what is life for if not to create?
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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The story invoked strong personal emotions
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Flamin' peeps! And here I was thinking about writing about our fiery marshmallows fed to trash pandas (it was the 90s, I know better now). I can't possibly top this. New topic! Lol, great job. Feel free to share it in Great Incantations! (Link in my profile).
I love this. Very descriptive and imaginative!