Friday, January 25, 2013

A Day Without Peanut Butter...

Yesterday was National Peanut Butter Day, and I didn't think it would be right to let this week pass without acknowledging the lunchbox favorite.

I have always liked peanut butter. I think it stems from the fact that, as a child, when we went camping or when we took long car trips, my mom would always pack peanut butter crackers. There was never a point, it seemed, when one of the five of us kids wasn't eating the crackers and pushing the crumbs onto the car floor as we tidied ourselves up afterwards. It was a great snack for us: quick and easy to make, filling, and extremely portable. I  found as my own kids were growing up, I'd always take peanut butter crackers with us as snacks too. Sometimes, if we take a long car trip, I still do. All I can say is that my mother is a wise, wise woman.

Peanut butter crackers or PB & J sandwiches were also great to take to school for lunch. Back then, all we had was peanut butter. Other nut butters were not in fashion yet. My dad LOVED and STILL LOVES peanut butter. His motto is

A Day Without Peanut Butter is Like a Day Without Sunshine.
It was nothing for him to just go get a big ol' spoonful of peanut butter and nothing else. I can't do that, but my peanut butter loving son (and my dad's namesake) does it almost every day. His favorite way to eat it though is with pretzels or in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. 
Thankfully, my PB loving son does not like peanut butter toast. For some reason, the smell makes me want to hurl. In fact, when my dad comes to visit, he is forbidden to make peanut butter toast unless I'm gone from the house, and even then there are aromatic traces of it for days.  I love peanut butter, but not warm peanut butter; or worse, broiled peanut butter. Yuck!
My favorite way to eat peanut butter in a recipe is  +The Wannabe Chef's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus .  If fact, I do believe it's on our super bowl party menu. It's great with sliced apples and graham crackers and is totally delish!
Another good memory I have about peanut butter is a story I used to tell my little brother when I baby sat for him. The Peanut Butter King, I called it. I was demonstrative when I told it and even used sound effects, and as I pretended to be that king, my little brother would belly laugh...and it was the sweetest sound. I'll always be grateful to peanut butter  and +Shel Silverstein for that. I was retelling +Shel Silverstein's wonderful poem, Peanut-Butter Sandwhich.  which I have retold to my own kids too, and it was just as loved.
As I mentioned earlier, it seems that nut butters are all the rage these days . Healthy grocery stores even have bulk bins of peanuts and other nuts that you can grind (with the store machine) into a "butter" for a truly natural product. Despite the many choices now for nut butters, I am a Jiff girl through and through. I like the flavor of lots of other peanut butters, but Jiff is creamy and easy to spread and does not need to be refrigerated which I love. I also don't like having peanut butters that I have to stir. All I want to do is spread it and eat it. No rigmarole for me.
      What is your favorite kind of nut butter?
 and Do you have a favorite peanut butter
memory or recipe to share?

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