Gummy Bears Picnic at the Ballpark

Dearest Boo,  last Friday I was thrilled to be able to have a new experience and I loved it!  Your Aunt Teri asked me to join her beloved family in attending the Husker Baseball game.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I have never been to one game.   I did join them, it was fun, and I will go again.  We sat in the General Admission seats, which means that we sat in the grassy area on blankets.  Except for the fact that it was still a bit cold, we had a good time.  It was so great to see all of the families that were there together supporting our team.  Sitting next to us was a young man and his wee little boy.  They were having so much fun together.  The little one had such joy on his face while he copied his father’s actions.  Dad stood up to cheer, wee little one did too.  Dad clapped when our right fielder made a great catch, wee little one did too.  One of our boys scored a home run and Dad picked up wee little one and spun him around in a circle celebrating.  Wee little one let out the biggest squeal of joy.  It was so tender to see the love on both their faces.

And I so enjoyed spending time with my baby sister and her family.  There are ten years between our ages, so I don’t know much of her childhood.  At that time I was too busy trying hard to be grown up and not wanting to be with family.  It was not “cool”.  How sorry I am for that, as I so admired the wonderful woman she has grown up to be and I love seeing what a great mother she is to her two young girls.

Going to the ball park reminded me of the times when you were younger and we would go as a family to see the Royals play in Kansas City.  You were so excited to go, but I was never sure if it was because of the game, or the fact that you were able to take along a friend or if it was because we were going to Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun.  You always wanted to ride all the roller coasters first.  You sure did not get that from me!  Just the thought of getting on a roller coaster would make me want to puke.  Just saying the words “roller coaster” makes me want to puke.

The very last roller coaster this old behind ever got into was during your eight grade Sunday School trip to Kansas City.  I can close my eyes and picture the cars slowly clanking their way up to the very first hill, anticipating the drop that was to come all too soon, feeling my stomach slowly creeping up into my mouth, wondering if what was in my stomache headed towards my mouth was going to come out in a “Exorcist-like” moment.  Oh my gravy!  There I was in the ride, sitting with one of your classmates and I was trying hard not to embarrass myself or you.  Just before the drop I recall my mouth being open and screaming out.  I looked over at the poor, sweet little girl that was sitting with me.  Here eyes were huge with what I interpreted to be total fear.  It was only when we got off the roller coaster that I overheard her telling one of the boys on the trip that she had never heard those kinds of words before, let alone those kind of words coming from my mouth.  Apparently, I was in need of a bar of soap and getting my mouth washed out.

All of this is leading to the treats that I brought to the game last Friday.  I had found a recipe for home made Gummi Bears and I wanted to try it out.  The hardest part is paying for the candy molds.  They were about $4 a piece at Michael’s, but I had a 75% off coupon.  Score!!  They tasted okay.  A bit too strawberry for my taste.  Next time I will try another flavor.  Perhaps there will be better success and then there will be Joy Rising.

Home  Made  Gummy  Bears

Prep  Time: 20 minutes

Cook  Time: 0 minutes

Source: Sadly I Cannot Remember


  • 2  three oz. packages of flavored Jello
  • 6 envelopes of knox unflavored gelatin
  • 2/3 c of cold water
  • 1/6 c of cold water (I know, it confused me at first.  Just fill measuring cup to about half of the 1/3 mark)


  1. Make sure you have your candy molds ready.  This made enough for five molds, this will totally depend on how large/deep are your molds.
  2. Measure the water into a glass measuring cup and slowly add all the gelatin the Jello.  Make sure to add it a little at a time and stir in completely before adding more.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Put the glass measuring cup into your microwave for about 60 seconds.  You may need to go another 60 seconds.  You just want to melt the “goo”, not cook it.
  5. Pour the mixture into your molds, just is made easier because you were smart enough to use the measuring cup.
  6. Put the molds into the fridge for 5-10 minutes to help them set faster.
  7. Once they are set you can pull them right out of their molds.  I found it to be a bit easier to use a knife to help loosen up one side.  They pulled out much easier at that point.


To All the Peeps We’ve Known and Loved…..

Veggie Tales Marshmallow Song lyrics

Dearest Boo,   remember being in high school youth group when Chad was our director?  And remember his introducing us to “Veggie Tales”?  How we all so loved watching them during the lock-ins.  It helped us all get in touch with our inner child.

“VeggieTales” is a series of children’s computer animated films featuring vegetables with faces, but without arms or legs.  The main theme of each video conveyed Christian moral themes and taught Biblical values and lessons. The animated feature involved stories told by a group of recurring vegetable characters who lived on a kitchen countertop.  The videos generally follow a standard format where a moral issue is discussed in the opening scene  followed by one or more “films” that address the issue, with a silly song in the middle.  I just loved the characters:  Larry the Cucumber,  Bob the Tomato, Archibald Asparagus, Junior Asparagus, Frankencelery, Madame Blueberry, Percy Pea, Annie Scallion, and so many new ones since we stopped our perverse passion for the veggies.  All this explains the embedded video.  It’s from “Bob and Larry’s Campfire Songs”.

And campfires remind me of S’mores and S’mores remind me of marshmallows and marshmallows remind me of Peeps.  One of your all time favorite candy.  I would always make sure that you had some for whatever gift giving occasion.  Red hearts for Valentine’s Day, yellow chicks in your Easter basket,  pink tulips for your birthday, white ghosts for Halloween, green trees for Christmas and this year snowmen!   That must be in honor of the Great Blizzard of 2009.  Three days of 50 – 60 mph wind gusts and falling snow, drifting snow, blowing snow, and the dreaded snow plow snow that buries in your driveway hour after you spend back breaking hours shoveling it out.  I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been!  I know that there is a hot, dark place in Hell reserved for those plows.

It took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to pee. By the time I got undressed, finished the bathroom job and dressed again.  I was too tired to shovel.  Reminds me of my favorite scene in the movie “A Christmas Story” where Randy’s mom bundles him up for the walk to school.  The poor child has on so many layers of clothing he cannot put down his arms.  It just is not Christmas until I have the chance to watch it once during the holiday.  And of course, we cannot forget the part when Ralphie’s friends Flick and Schwartz were fighting over whether a person’s tongue will stick to a frozen flagpole.  Schwartz ultimately issues Flick a “triple dog dare”  and Flick’s tongue gets stuck to the pole, much to his terror.  Aw, the memories that brings back to mind of some dumb kid in our neighborhood, when we were growing up, who decided to try this same trick (long before the movie came out).  This big dummy used a metal trailer instead of a flagpole, but the end results were the same.  The first layer of tongue was painfully ripped away and left on the side of the trailer.  I have it on the best authority that it was a painful, embarrassing episode that was never repeated but often told with great glee by all the nasty, horrible  siblings who took great joy in being able to recount the only time this poor, creative youngster ever made a mistake.  Yes, that poor, tortured soul was indeed me and the nasty, horrible siblings were your aunts Rose, Margaret, Bev, Charlotte, Teri and brothers Al and Mike.

Once again, I have “rabbit tracked” away from the theme of the blog – Peeps.  When you were young you would actually eat the Peeps, even the stale ones.   As you grew older we would “play” with the Peeps.  We first started just putting the entire package into the microwave for two minutes to see what would happen.  Peep guts everywhere!  Fun to do, but disgusting to clean up.  The next progression was to “Peep Joust”.  To have a Peep Joust, simply stick a toothpick in two Peeps, place them facing each other in a microwave, and fire that sucker up.  Soon enough, the two Peeps will swell and one will stab the other one with its toothpick jousting lance.  And finally we had the “Mortal Peep Fight”.  With that we would put two Peeps on a plate in the microwave for a pre-determined length of time.  The winner was determined by which Peep was the largest size when the timer rang.  All so much fun.

That had to stem from your sheer joy of taking things apart.  The best gift ever when you were young was when something broke and you were able to take it apart.  The joy on your face as you got out the screw drivers, hammers and what ever other tool you could find was total joy for me.  You were so curious to see how something was put together and how long it would take for you to dismantle it.  Of course, cleaning up your mess was a whole other story.

Again, “rabbit tracks” from Peeps…..this year, since I had tons of extra time to cook and bake I went nuts.  By the middle of December the only thing left in the cupboard that was “bakable or cookable” was some sugar and corn syrup.  Much like Old Mother Hubbard, my cupboards were bare.  Staring at your Christmas stocking and the little snowman Peeps, it hit me.  Eureka!  I could make marshmallows.  I had heard of homemade marshmallows, but have never tasted them.  A little bit of research on the web and I had tons of recipes to try.  And they all looked easy.  I made one batch and loved the little darlings.  Imagine my surprise the next day to watch one of my favorite shows, “The Bonnie Hunt Show”, only to see Brian and Michael Voltaggio (Top Chef cast members) making marshmallows!!  Oh my gosh!  Could we be on the cutting edge of the next food craze – marshmallows??  Again, apologies for the camera work.  Some day I will be better, I promise.

In honor of Peeps and homemade marshmallows and with deep apologies to Willie Nelson I bring you my version of “To All the Peeps We’ve Know and Loved”.  Truly Joy Rising!

To all the peeps we’ve loved before

Who traveled in and out our door.

We’re glad you’re not a frog

We dedicate this blog

To all the peeps we’ve loved before

Hand  Loved Marshmallows

Recipe from Alton Brown

Prep time:    35 minutes

Cook time:   10 minutes

Serves:  approximately 9 dozen marshmallows about 1” square


  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 c water, divided into ½ c and ½ c
  • 1 ½  c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ c powdered sugar
  • ¼ c cornstarch
  • nonstick spray (Pam)


  1. Place the gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer along with ½ c of the water.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the remaining ½ c water, sugar, corn syrup and salt.
  3. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
  5. Once mixture reaches this temperature immediately remove from the heat.
  6. Turn the mixer on low speed and, while still running, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture.
  7. Once you have added all the syrup, increase the speed to high.
  8. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes.  The mixture will look just like thick, melted marshmallows.
  9. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping.
  10. While the mixture is whipping you can prepare the pan.
  11. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper, making sure to cover the bottom and sides.  This will help remove the marshmallow from the pan when set.
  12. Lightly spray the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. This will help with the stickiness of the mixture at removal time.
  13. Add the cornstarch and powdered sugar together and move this around the pan to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan.  The same procedure you would use to coat the bottom of a cake pan.
  14. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
  15. Add the powdered sugar and cornstarch together and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
  16. When the mixture is ready, pour it into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan.
  17. Dust the top with enough of the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture to lightly cover.  Reserve the rest to coat your pizza wheel at the cutting time.
  18. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  19. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1” squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the powdered sugar/cornstarch reserves.  You can, also, use mini cookie cutter.  Be mindful to use one with straight sides to ease in the cutting.
  20. Once cut, lightly dust all side of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar mixture, using additional if needed.
  21. Store in airtight container for up to three weeks.