Peeps remind me of childhood, when I'd hunt for their soft, sugary shapes amid the plastic grass in my Easter basket, then hold them in my open palm like a pet for a while before finally, guiltily, biting off their heads. I liked the way the sugar crunched between my teeth and the artificial coloring turned my tongue yellow...but the same qualities now make me cringe. Memories often taste better than reality.
I bought a lot of Peeps again this year, though. My friend and fellow Smithsonian blogger, Sarah Zielinski, had the idea to enter the Washington Post's annual Peeps Diorama contest. She suggested " Peeps jousting" as our theme, since apparently that's what it's called when you microwave two Peeps wielding toothpick swords and see who ends up skewered. We went with a more traditional, medieval jousting scene, hoping the judges would get the double meaning. An artistic colleague, Jamie Simon, completed our three-woman team.
The winners won't be announced until next week, but we don't expect to be among them, after catching a glimpse of entries like this " Washington National Peep-Thedral" (that's right, they even have a Facebook fan page already!). Compared to that level of artistry and detail, our diorama looks like a Peep next to a real chick. But that's okay—we had fun!