Category Archives: Food

Going Nutty! in Union Square, Somerville

I'm helping to put on a fun event this weekend in Union Square. Going Nutty! features nuts from Superior Nut being used by chefs from all over Boston (Flour Bakery, Kickass Cupcakes, Channel Cafe, Rocca, OM Restaurant, Bloc 11, and how2heroes) in some of their favorite dishes.

If you want to get nuts this weekend, come to Bloc 11 and Grand from 2-4 PM on Sunday the 4th. All proceeds benefit the newly founded Juniper Fund, which was formed to honor John S. Hall, bass player for local band Addison Groove Project, who passed away in 2004. To RSVP or for more info, check out the Facebook Page.

What the Fluff Festival 2009 – Union Sq, Somerville

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Back for year number 4, Union Square Main Streets has their What the Fluff fest on Saturday, the 26th from 4-7PM. Lots going on including:
Vendors with lots of Fluff treats will make this a real party. You'll find a wacky collection of times, from Fluff t-shirts to soaps that look like 'smores, from savory barbeque to whoopie pies. Food vendors include: Kickass Cupcakes, Pao de Acucar, India Palace, Cantina la Mexicana and Somerville High School. Other vendors include: Union Square Main Streets, Groundwork Somerville, Neighborhood Health Plan, Grand, Yelp, Dirty Ass Soap.


Michael Pollan, For One, Is Optimistic

In his latest Op-Ed for the Times, Michael Pollan sounds an optimistic note that even the worst case health care reforms will result in positive changes to the diets, and health, of most Americans. It will be a hard fight, but it's expected that the bare minimum health care reform will make it harder for insurance companies to drop you when you get sick, while also not allowing them to decide to cover you or not based on preexisting conditions. This means, that for the first time, health insurance providers will actually be financially rewarded for keeping you healthy. If they have to face the consequences ($$$) of your soda drinking ass getting diabetes, they're going to do what they can to make sure you don't get diabetes, and they're going to use their friends in Congress to help them.

But these rules may well be about to change — and, when it comes to reforming the American diet and food system, that step alone could be a game changer. Even under the weaker versions of health care reform now on offer, health insurers would be required to take everyone at the same rates, provide a standard level of coverage and keep people on their rolls regardless of their health. Terms like “pre-existing conditions” and “underwriting” would vanish from the health insurance rulebook — and, when they do, the relationship between the health insurance industry and the food industry will undergo a sea change.


Restaurants Raising Their Own Animals

Chef Will Gilson of Cambridge's Garden at the Cellar is raising two cute pigs, Porcini and Truffle, for slaughter later this summer in anticipation of a dinner at the James Beard House in New York. The pigs are being raised on a farm, not at the restaurant, but I still think it's notable. I like eating meat, but I also think people should make a conscious decision about what they're eating. Articles like this that put a cute face on your pork chop force you to think about it. More chefs raising their own animals (hopefully as close to the restaurant as possible) will mean better educated eaters, and I hope more local chefs adopt this way of sourcing meat.

You CAN Eat Quinoa for Passover

I'm not going to constantly write about Jewish holidays, but there are certain questions that need answering (such as can you blow out Hanukkah candles and why is some Matzo ok for Passover and some not). So to answer the question about where to get carbs on Passover (aside from, well, Matzo and Matzo ball soup), get it from quinoa - the superfood.

As far as I can tell, quinoa doesn't fall into the category of being confused with wheat, possibly because it is technically a seed, and possibly because it was never "sold in the same form as wheat", the trait that damns corn and beans to be avoided by Ashkenazis this week.

The Ashkenazic rabbis (probably around 10th or 11th Century AD) in Germany also prohibited what they called kitniot -- basically, anything that was sold in grain-like form or might be confused with grain. Their prohibition included rice, millet, corn, and legumes. When in doubt, prohibit, on the grounds that it is better to be more strict in avoidance of foods than to be less strict and potentially violate the Biblical commandment not to eat leaven. Of course, corn (maize) was not known to Europe at the time, but when the New World crop made its appearance a few centuries later, it was quickly identified as kitniot and thus prohibited for Passover.


Not for Passover Matzo

I might be the only one on the internet talking about this, but all Matzo sold during Passover should be Passover safe. Look, I know I have to take personal responsibility for this, but I could have used a little help. Streit's, I'm looking at you. Shaw's Porter Square, you should be ashamed. You can't have a "Passover Section" and include foods that aren't for Passover.

Incidentally, you might wonder why it's OK for Matzo to be made out of flour, but not be able to eat any other unleavened flour products. Matzo is made under strict supervision and must come out of the oven less than 18 minutes after water is first mixed with the flour. No word on why no one has made pita bread or tortilla wraps in less than 18 minutes. There could be something there.

Marshmallow Peeps On the Internet – A Study



I saw 100 Ways to Kill a Peep a couple days ago and thought, "Internet Marshmallow Peep Season started already?" It must have, though, Peeps links are popping off all over the place. To celebrate, I went on the Google and found all of the Marshmallow Peeps links worth looking at. There are 155 links in this post, and you're not going to be able to click on all of them, so book mark and come back later. If I've left out a quality Peep link, by all means, send it to me. (Peeps previously covered on Unlikely Words here.)

Starry Night by <a href="http://www.cakespy.com/">CakeSpy</a>

Starry Night by CakeSpy



Here's the Official Home of Marshmallow Peeps and the Peeps Wiki. If you wanted to see every single Peep product, I think this is the page you'd go to. And here's a 'how marshmallow Peeps are made' slideshow. There are about a zillion websites dedicated to 'Peep Research' (which usually means putting a Peep in the microwave or 3 Peeps in a microwave, as the case may be), but three of the best are keypad.org, millikin.edu, and peepresearch.com. Here's an experiment in Peep Surgery and here's one where a Peep becomes poop. Of course there's also sites that want to ban cruel Peeps research!

Elsewhere around the internet, you can get social with Peeps at Youtube, Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Ebay, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, and Reddit.

Peeps dioramas have sprung up all over with newspapers in Washington, Seattle, Fort Worth, Boston, York, Nebraska, Lehigh Valley, the Twin Cities, Sheboygan, Denver, and Chicago holding contests, as well as the American Bar Association. I think WaPo was the first on this, but don't quote me. (UPDATE: Richard at the Pioneer Press let me know that the they were first and this is the 6th year for them.) As there's no accounting for taste, click through and choose your own favorites, each contest has many great entries. Dollars to doughnuts, someone submits a "Death of Newspapers" diorama, but doesn't win. The Office Tally and National Geographic have jumped on the Peep contest bandwagon with Peeps reenacting 'The Office' and pictures of traveling Peeps respectively.

From Boing Boing, the (Masters of Internet Peepness), Mike Leavitt's Anna Nicole Smith Rest in Peeps. Mike also did Barack Obama in Peeps. Other Peeps art can be found at David Ottogalli's PeepsShow. It gets a little wackier at Skoozot Gallery and Fanpop Peeps, but Painting Each Day plays it a little straighter. And we mustn't forget Peeps photography. Pink Pickled Peep is one of the weirder Peep art pieces I saw, and if you're in Milwaukee, you might remember Peep Show which hasn't happened for years, but is apparently happening again this year? I just don't know what to do with these Motorbot Dunneeps, but they're so cute, as are these Peepachus.

I would call marshmallow Peeps 'the Bacon of the nineties' for the way they captured the hearts and minds of internet users everywhere. Both bacon and Peeps are bad for you and delicious, and for some reason, that makes the crazy things you do with them so viral. Much Traditional Media ink has been spilled attempting to chronicle the Peep phenomenon and none of it has gotten any closer to figuring it out than any of the more recent coverage of the bacon meme. You can view some of the attempts in Salon , The Phoenix, Slate, More Intelligent Life, and the New York Times. Here's a Brand Study of Peeps upon the brand's 50th anniversary, which was in 2003.

As far as I can tell, however, The New Yorker has never written about Marshmallow Peeps. Elitists. Though maybe they're afraid to tussle with the growing anti-Peep movement in Brooklyn, whose leader is clearly afraid of Peeps.

Along with Traditional Media, web citizens from all over documented their passion with expressions of crude HTML (these are the links to click if you want to remember what the internet looked like before Web 2.0). Unfortunately, many of these websites have long since been abandoned and now float without mooring, along a marshmallow sea of wistfulness. Tracy & Mia's Peep-O-Rama is better than the current Peeps site, and here's their list of Peepy Links, not all of which still work. Geekbabe's Big List of Peeps Links is also a good place to grasp Peep culture circa 2003. What is it about Tripod? PAGE O' PEEPS might be the worst site on the internet (in a 'in-case-you-forgot-what-the-internet-looked-like-in-1997 way), but Peep Page is a seizure-inducing second. This unofficial Peep fan club is devoid of anything remarkable, the unofficial Marshmallow Peep page is very yellow, and Pop-Cult.com's Peeps page has a lot of facts, but the granddaddy of all Peeps fact lists is Alt.Food's Peeps FAQ.

This marshmallow Peeps infant costume is the most darling thing ever, while this marshmallow Peeps adult costume is not only creepy as hell, it is $79.99.

On the more nefarious side of Peep activities, there is Peep jousting, Peep fighting, Peep War, a turn based Peep strategy game, and this amazing Peep prank, which really deserves the attention of the writers of The Office for some Jim vs. Dwight inspiration.

I like Peeps, I just don't want to eat a lot of them all at once so I would stay away from this Peep eating contest in Florida, or this one in Buffalo, or this one in Maryland, which I don't think happens anymore, or this one in Sacramento that definitely still happens. (Incidentally in 2007, they had an amazing painting of a large sock monkey humping a Peep on the moon as a prize.) (Further, someone sent them marshmallow Peep porn, which is entirely unsafe for work and which I beg you not to look at. There's some things you can't unsee and this is one of them.) Lastly, this Peep eating contest from the This or That Burlesque Game Show takes a strange turn halfway through.

While there is much discussion about the best way to eat a Peep, fresh or 'ripened' (which means dried out) Peeps are technically food, so people turning Peeps into food isn't that weird. That said marshmallow Peeps cupcakes sound delicious, the Easter Turducken sounds delicious, most of the Peeps mash ups sound delicious, Peeps chocolate mousse sounds delicious, chocolate dipped Peeps sound delicious, Peep S'mores (or Smeeps) sound delicious, as do these S'mores sound delicious, Peeps inside a crispy milk chocolate egg sound delicious and suspiciously like the Easter Turducken. On the other hand, Peeps in coffee sounds gross, Peeps Lip Balm sounds gross, stir-friend Peeps sounds gross, and I'd try the restaurant that serves only chilli and peeps at least once.

To my vegan friends, here's a recipe with yammy pecan Peeps cupcakes and not for nothing, but if you live near Albany, you should check out this Veggie Easter meetup, which will ALSO feature vegan Peeps. For further research, the most comprehensive and varied collection of Peeps recipes can be found at cooking with Peeps. Use the recipes you find there and those above to compete in this Peep meal creation contest.

For you drinkers, here's a recipe for a Peeps martini, or Peep-a-Tini, but this one looks tastier and, frankly, cuter. Plus, spiff up any drink with this Peeps straw.

In the realm of Peep creative writing, there is Peep Satire, creepy Peep quasi-erotica horror, Robert Frost inspired Peep poetry, Peep Haiku, and Keith Richards fanfic. There's also Great Moments in Rock and Roll History as reenacted by Marshmallow Peeps, Lord of the Peeps and Plain Jane's Peeps plays.

Of course web comics love Peeps, so check out Doctor Fun's Peep-O-Rama, Doctor Fun's Peep-O-Rama 2003, Erfworld (where the heroes fly around on Peeps), Hyper Death Babies, Sheldon, Funny Webcomic, and the most ambitious of all, 26 episodes of Bunnyocalypse - Marshmallow Bunny Apocalypse.

It was harder than I thought it would be to find random blog posts about Peeps, but two are here and here, while this rebuttal of Steve Almond's rejection of Peeps is extremely worth reading.


Regarding Peeps in space, NASA sent some there, never to be seen again, and a time wasting game called Marshmallow Peeps In Outer Space.

Along with The Power of the Peep a documentary about Peeps and Night of the Living Peeps, there are hours of creative Peep videos on Youtube. Some of the wackier ones being Dr. Weir's collection of Peep remakes. YesButNoButYes has a good collection (with some crossover), but also check out this Peeps inspired by Hitchcock, PEEPS!!!, Peeps dancing to Spoon and this video about trying to give people Peeps.

Also, don't forget to head to PeepFest 2009 if you're in Chapel Hill.

Peeps is a book not about Peeps. Yoga Peeps is a website not about Peeps doing yoga. Peeps is a social utility not about Peeps. Six Peeps is a blog not about six Peeps. Peeps is an iPhone application not about Peeps.

Here's a book called Peeps®! with recipes and craft ideas, and here's a review of that book. There | are | actually | a lot of books about peeps. This Peeps CD has 14 songs, is $7.98, and has 3 5-star reviews on Amazon.

If you need to buy Peeps products, you can get these awesome Peeps soaps (which a commenter has generously sent my way), Peep Charms, Peep backpack clips Peeps candy dishes, and entire range of Peep plush toys.

If you want to make stuff with your Peeps, you can make Peep pin cushions or Peep Nintendo Wii controls or knit your own peeps. For the kids, there are marshmallow Peeps coloring pages. Go to one of dozens of Peep crafting sites like this one to find out what else you can do. Of course, if you want to make your own Peeps, use this. Though I think either these homemade Peeps or these ones would be better. Of course Martha Stewart makes her own as well. And in case you're more visual, here's a video of how to do it.

I've come to the end and don't have a paragraph to put this post about 7 bizarre marketing vehicles, this post about being stalked by Peeps, this post about a city in PA dropping a giant Peep on NYE, or this one about Peeps being Harbingers of Doom for the Human Race. I actually didn't have the patience to read that one all the way through, but if those pictures of kittens grown in bottles bother you, don't click through. On the research front, a friend put a Peep into a glass blowing kiln and it kept it's shape for 25 minutes, a peanut M&M lasted only 6 minutes.

Finally, always remember, when asked the question Cadbury Creme Eggs or Marshmallow Peeps, the answer is yes.

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