Post # 163 Let’s Talk Peanut Butter!

September 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

In an earlier post, I talked about comfort foods.  One of my favorite comfort foods is a good ole PBJ.  But, it has to be a very specific sandwich.  The bread has to be firm.  The peanut butter has to be smooth and just a little salty.   The jelly has to be ice box cold and can only be grape.  And it can’t be jelly, it must be jam.  Jam has less sugar, comparatively speaking.  If any of those elements is missing or lacking, I won’t eat it.  All that being said, I don’t like peanut butter.  I know people who will eat the stuff right out of the jar with a spoon.  My dogs will take any pill you give them if it has peanut butter on it.  Peanut Butter Cookies are the second most popular cookie, with only chocolate chip beating them.

But I love Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  And Butterfingers.  Go figure.

Peanut butter has figured prominently in my life.  As a kid, my mom’s philosophy was “as long as they’re playing in the sun and eating peanut butter, they’re going to be fine.”  And we were.  She gave us peanut butter nearly every day of our childhood.  Our dad ate peanut butter crackers.  My ex-wife bought about a million dollars worth of those orange cheese crackers with peanut butter in the middle.  And now, FiL, who eat some of the nastiest things I can imagine, eat peanut butter crackers, and puts a quarter cup of peanut butter on each cracker.  He’ll go through a big jar of peanut butter in a couple of days.

Peanut butter is defined as a food paste made from dry roasted peanuts.  Sounds yummy, don’t it?  It’s used primarily as a sandwich spread, but can be used for other things.  A lot of people think George Washington Carver invented peanut butter because of his work with peanuts, but the first patent on record is from Montreal in 1884 and was held by Marcellus G. Edson.

Peanut butter’s main drawback apart from its consistency and flavor is its allergens.  More and more people have documented peanut allergies in varying degrees.  Most of the time, the allergy is severe, inducing anaphylactic shock which could lead to death.  Some people, mostly in places where peanut butter is not a staple of their diet, find peanut butter to be an unpalatable disgrace and won’t go near it.  But, peanut butter is a very good source of protein and many vegetarians eat it, along with other nut butters to supplement their diets.  Some nut butters are better than others, but peanut butter is far and away the most popular.

As I noted above, peanut butter has a lot of uses, not just in cooking.  Peanut butter can be shoved into a dog toy and left to keep the dog occupied.  In my house, that’s a godsend.  You can take a pinecone and spread peanut butter on it, roll it in birdseed and make a simple birdfeeder.  Peanut butter oils have also been found to remove chewing gum from hair, for all you moms with small kids out there.  Peanut butter has also been used in one form of another to help feed refugees, armies, and populations with food shortages.

I’m going to close by offering my favorite peanut butter recipe:

Asian Peanut Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup mince green onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2-3 drops tabasco sauce (to taste)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 hot water

Add first seven ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Add tabasco sauce, and enough hot water to bring it to the consistency for its use.

This sauce can be used as a marinade, a dipping sauce, a salad dressing, whatever sauce use you might have.

Enjoy!

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