Monday, March 16, 2015

Peanut Butter Lover's Month ~ My column from Sunday's paper

March is Peanut Butter Lover’s month. Now there’s a holiday I can sink my teeth in to. Jilda and I love peanut butter.

Back during the lean years when we first married and lived in the trailer, we ate peanut butter out of necessity, but that wasn’t really a sacrifice.

Like many of you, we grew up on PB&J sandwiches. Each day when my mom packed our lunches, she’d lay slices of Merita white bread in a row. Then she’d slather on a layer of peanut butter as thick as my hand and add a scoop of jam from the pantry that she’d canned the previous fall. My favorite was blackberry jam, even if it did leave tiny seeds stuck between my teeth.

We really didn’t trade lunches at school back then because everyone had the same thing.

When I unwrapped the wax paper, I left enough at the bottom to hold the sandwich while I ate it. One bite and a rope of peanut butter would ooze out from between the crust. This required that I constantly lick around the edges while I ate.

Sometimes I’d get a thick glob of peanut butter stuck in the roof of my mouth, which caused me to talk funny.

We usually bought our groceries at the Piggly Wiggly or Jitney Jungle in Sumiton, but some of my neighbors received government assistance each month and they got commodity peanut butter. It came in what looked like gallon cans. That peanut butter was thick and rich. It smelled better than our store-bought stuff.

Nothing goes better with peanut butter than sweet tea. A memory that stands out in my mind is one summer afternoon when I visited a neighbor’s house. His mom had just made a gallon jug of sweet tea.

She added the sugar and stirred it with an ancient spoon.

She folded a dishtowel and placed it over the mouth of the jar to keep the flies out before placing it on the counter to cool.

The afternoon sun coming through the screen door in the kitchen highlighted the twirling sugar in the jar turning it into an amber-colored snow globe. I stood there watching until the sugar dissolved.

That scene stuck in my head.

My friend washed his hands and dried them on his britches before snagging a few biscuits left over from breakfast.

He scooped some peanut butter inside and squeezed them closed. His mom set a couple of glasses of ice on the cabinet.

The cubes popped and cracked as she poured the glasses full of warm tea.

We sat on their back porch with our legs dangling off the edge and enjoyed our peanut butter biscuit.

In the past, I’ve had peanut butter and banana sandwiches, as well as some peanut butter and dill pickle.

These days, I eat peanut butter and wheat crackers as a snack. When apples are in season, Jilda slices them into wedges and puts them in a bowl with a glob of peanut butter on the side. We then dip the ends of the sweet wedges into the peanut butter.

It’s a great snack that is good for you.

As your culinary advisor, I recommend you have a peanut butter sandwich today in honor of Peanut Butter Lover’s Month.

Bradford Pair Trees March, 2015

17 comments:

  1. Great post! I absolutely love peanut butter, so I think I'm going to add this to my list of holidays to celebrate! Peanut butter is good on so many things--brownies, ice cream, crackers (as you mentioned), pie, cake, raisin bran, oatmeal, pancakes, and the list goes on and on. I've tried it in soup and on salad also, but that didn't go over as well.

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  2. My work desk (kitchen table) still smells of Peanut butter. Sherry had a big spoonfull befroe going to bed. She also had a piece of pie yesterday from Bob Evans a layer fo chocolate and a layer of p-nut butter. Peanut butter is a favorite around here also.

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  3. You're talking to my heart, Rick! I've been a fan of JIF (extra-crunchy, thank you) PB for so long. In fact, a jar - or two - used to occupy a spot in my luggage for any excursion longer than a couple days. To this day, nothing hits the spot more than ice-cold PB served up on an icy soup spoon.

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  4. Believe it or not I did not hear of PB&J until I was a mother. I usually ate my peanut butter with nothing but bread. Peanut butter had a slick of oil on top that you needed to stir in before you spread it. Ah the good old days.

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  5. Chunky for me, with regular butter on the bread first and then orange marmalade.

    So many kids today are allergic to it, what a shame. Apparently it needs to be introduced into a child's diet early, if not they do not develop immunity.

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  6. Peanut butter and dill pickles? That's one I've never heard of, haha! I am a big fan of peanut butter, and in our family, we consume huge quantities of the stuff :)

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  7. I love peanut butter too... I have done the peanut butter and banana sandwiches but never dill pickle... lol .... I also love it with apples :)

    Thankfully neither one of my children is allergic to it and they love it too... :)

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  8. I love that you lived in a trailer. So did I, in West by God Virginia. Didn't eat much peanut butter though. We survived on mac and cheese made with water, not milk 'cause we couldn't afford it. I will be sure to have some PB in your honor!

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  9. Although I lived in Chicago, peanut butter was a staple at our home too. It's still a fav around here. At work we have graham crackers for the patients after surgery and also individual packets of peanut butter. Many a morning break would find me having a freebie (or as I called it..a "HoBo") breakfast of peanut butter with graham crackers and herb tea. Now I'm craving some! Love the photo of those trees..just beautiful. Have a great day and thanks for the info about March and peanut butter! That column was a goodie!

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  10. So who decides March is peanut butter month? I always wonder about these things.

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  11. January through December are ALL Peanut Butter Months at our house!!

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  12. That sounds so yummy .. and nostalgic. I do love peanut butter and apple. And we just happen to have both in the house. Tomorrow!

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  13. Great post! When I was in year 5 at school my mum made me peanut butter rolls with tinned peach slices every day!x

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  14. That was a great column, Rick. Peanut butter evokes memories of my leaner years, too - but I still love it. Now I buy sprouted rye bread, toast it, and put a very small amount of peanut butter on it. Yum - and healthy!

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  15. I also love peanut butter, both crunchy and smooth, Tim will only have the smooth type though

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  16. What a great post!! I too love peanut butter and did not know it was PB lovers month. Just today I had peanut butter on popcorn rice cakes. Too good and a great snack. Love it with apples too.
    Thank you for stopping by and your kind comment on my St. Patrick's Day post.
    I enjoyed my visit here to your blog and now a new follower.
    Happy Spring ~~ soon!
    CM

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  17. Big peanut butter lover here! Great post!

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