Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A Love Affair with Peanut Butter
Image courtesy of epicurian.com
A recent posting on the Serious Eats blog (seriouseats.com) discussed peanut butter. I have been a fan for years and the article got me thinking of my love affair with the thick, fragrant, smooth or chunky nut butter.
My mother, who used to pack my lunches when I was in elementary school would make me these wonderful sandwiches with lunch meats and cheese, mayo and mustard with lettuce and tomato. Sometimes it was just a bologna and American cheese and other times it was capicola with provolone and once in a while it was roast beef with Swiss.
I would unwrap these midday feasts from their wax paper and swiftly hand it over to my right or left and take the peanut butter and jelly sandwich offered me from a classmate. So many of my school friends were stuck with this sandwich day in and day out because we went to Catholic school and, well, they came from large families where the food budget was tight and a PB&J was just a good, stick-to-your-ribs kinda lunch.
It wasn’t until second grade that my sister told my mother that I was giving away my sandwiches and all hell broke loose! I was eight years old and had to hear about how much lunch meat cost and that she wasn’t giving it to me to feed the neighborhood.
Agreed. Points well taken, but all I wanted was a delicious peanut butter and jelly on white bread. Just like everyone else. Was that too much to ask? By the middle of second grade, it wasn’t and that’s what I got.
To this day, one of my favorite lunches is a nice PB&J with a couple pickles and some potato chips.
My love of peanut butter doesn’t stop there, though. I enjoy a good spoonful now and again, straight from the jar. When I was young, that swirly stuff in the jar with the PB & J all in one was one of my favorites, but as an adult I can see that’s just not right.
Here are some favorite ways I have with peanut butter:
Mix with raisins and spread on a toasted English muffin and drizzle honey on it.
Toasted bread, PB and sliced bananas.
Spread on apple chunks.
Peanut butter pie.
Mung bean salad with peanut, soy sauce, sesame oil dressing.
Peanut butter sundae, add marshmallow and have a fluffernutter sundae.
Use in place of tahini in hummus.
So, how do you have your way with peanut butter?