Tonight, I tended to a sick husband. To join his spirit’s solemnity in remembrance of his father’s death 12 years ago today, Jeff’s body took a day of rest. It started as a 103 degree fever and has declined in severity to a bad throat-ache and lots of soup and saltines. Two years into this marriage thing and only a few sicknesses later, I’m still learning whether I’m to coddle him like a mommy or just get the heck out of the way. I think a certain amount of coddling is called for (held in good balance with getting the heck out of the way).
Ode to Peanut Butter.
I started this post with a restaurant review, but I scrapped it because I got distracted trying to get peanut-butter from the roof of my mouth. Nothing says midnight like some toast smothered with peanut butter topped with raisins or dried cranberries. Mmm.
Peanut Butter is a national past time. It’s like baseball…without the steroids. Throughout the world there are wine connoisseurs, coffee snobs and cigar aficionados. I wouldn’t necessarily use any of the above adjectives to describe my relationship with peanut butter. However, based on our sheer consumption, both Jeff and I could use the less admired descriptor, peanut butter addict.
Tonight I indulged in Jif – straight-forward creamy style. While I like the notion of chunky, its just hard to spread and you end up eating lots more I think. For the value I find Jif creamy to be good, spreadable, and much nuttier tasting that generic versions of the same ilk. Hydrogenated oils and other odd additives aside, Jif Creamy is good eating.
The ultimate in my opinion is, Smuckers’ All Natural Creamy. You know the stuff with the big oil pool at the top when you open it. True, I have to work at a new jar with a knife for a good 5 minutes. Its a careful mixing process - combine the oil and peanuts while not spilling the fragrant peanut oil on myself and suddenly smelling like a Chic Fil A cook. I keep a jar of this golden splendor at work, which is probably feeds the habit to have it so handy..oh well. I must note that I have also tried generic brands of Natural Peanut Butter, Publix, Target, Kroger…none compare to Smuckers. The others get dry and crumbly at the bottom of the jar and don’t have the salty, yet nutty sweetness of the Smuckers. It is so rich in flavor in fact, that I probably use less of it than I would of conventional creamy PB.
I missed my Smuckers while in France last fall…but we were not totally deprived of our favorite food/condiment (?). Mississippi Belle Peanut Butter was one brand we discovered in France - the ONLY brand we found in France actually. Who knows how long it sat on the shelves of that Nantes supermarket before we stumbled upon it. After all, the notion of making a spread of cacahuetes is rather revolting to the French. Intestine sausages: A-okay. Peanut spread: Degoutant! Found snuggled in between locally grown honey and Nutella, Mississippi Belle was our comfort food. Great on left-over baguette for breakfast, as a dip for digestives (a favorite cookie of ours that we smuggled from the UK) or just plain by-the-spoonful eating.
Mississippi Belle peanut butter is imported to Europe – chalk up one for US food product exports! Chipping away at our whopping trade deficit one American in Paris at a time. I heard that to object US foreign policy decisions, the French were smearing the streets with Peanut Butter. Mmmm….foreign policy protests.. ;-)
And speaking of protests – check out CNN or the BBC coverage of the massive protests you may or may not have heard about in France. Unrest is alive in well in many French cities, including Nantes,where within the last few days around 40,000 students, teachers and workers have taken to the very streets we walked a few months ago. This is a very critical time for France.
Odd things that Peanut-butter addicts like us combine with peanut butter…
- Jeff – Cottage cheese, honey, peanut butter.
- Jeff ‘s family – Pizza, applesauce and PB
- Katie & Jeff – carrots dipped in PB, bananas n PB, apples n PB, celery w/ PB & raisins...
- Katie – Oatmeal with cream, strawberries, and PB
You may have some favorite brands, other nut spreads or odd combinations with Peanut Butter. Feel free to share.