365 Things to Look Forward to–Number 32: Peanut Butter

32. Peanut Butter

Why not? I love peanut butter. And what’s not to love about it? It’s creamy, smooth, nutty, and sweet. Sticky too, I’d like to add. Plus, it’s healthy food! Yes. In fact, it’s among the foods recommended for a healthy diet.

I always loved peanut butter. And not in pathetic little servings spread thinly over bread so that you get just a hint of the peanut butter flavor. Oh no sirree! It has to be spread on nice and thick, so that with each bite you feel that wonderful smooth creaminess sticking to the roof of your mouth. Then you roll the delicious morsel on your tongue and let is slowly melt away.

Some people prefer the crunchy peanut butter so they can chew on the bits of peanuts in it. Not I. I can’t stand chunky peanut butter. Sure, peanuts are chunky. But butter! Who ever heard of chunky butter? Butter is supposed to be smooth and creamy and it melts in your mouth. That’s how peanut butter should be as well–smooth and creamy and it melts in your mouth. No stragglers left behind. No teeth clingers. No annoying grit.

I once had the pleasure of tasting chocolate flavored peanut butter. It was the best of both worlds! I just wonder why they stopped producing and selling that product, because I would have bought it all the time!

In the Philippines, there is a brand of peanut butter that seemed like a home-made type of peanut butter. It didn’t have all the preservatives that the more popular brands have. It is, without doubt, delicious as well, but when you first open the jar, you’ll find a layer of peanut oil on top. At least I think it’s peanut oil. Possibly separated from settling. That’s probably what kept me from buying it. Aside from the fact that my mom wouldn’t buy it either because she thought it was too oily. Wow. Something that I actually agree with her on. The consistency wasn’t right, either. It was too soft. More like melted butter already. You couldn’t sink your teeth into it and just feel your bite going through and through.

Until I moved to Canada, I had never eaten a Reese’s peanut butter candy. First of all, I don’t remember seeing a lot of the brand on grocery store shelves. Second, because I shared nearly all my grocery purchases with others, who didn’t care as much about peanut butter, I didn’t consider it a very practical purchase. Once here, I had the chance to try some from a friend who has a sweet tooth and always had some chocolates every now and then, which she shared around at work. I was instantly in love. Well, that is, if you can fall in love with candy. But there I was savoring that first heavenly bite of two of my favorite foods together. The combination of creamy and creamy, chocolate and peanut butter, smooth and melting, sweet chocolate with slightly salty peanut butter was heavenly. I don’t care that Ferrero chocolates claims to be the food of the gods. Reese’s peanut butter cups are godly enough food for me! (Can you tell I love food? I wouldn’t be surprised if half of my 365 things end up being food!)

I still don’t buy it each time I visit the grocery store. Why not? Because I know that if I had a bag or box or pack of Reese’s peanut butter cups, I’d be eating them every day. And that wouldn’t be healthy anymore!

Mind you now, peanut butter is useful as well, in a lot of things. First of all, it makes a great mix in brownies and cookies, but I really don’t like it in cake, because it takes away from the qualities of the cake. Of course, it’s great with chocolate, I already pointed that out. There are dishes that actually taste great with peanut butter, believe it or not! And my favorite, of course, is the Philippine dish “kare-kare” which, of course, has nothing to do with curry. It’s pretty much like the Mexican mole (with a short o and a pronounced short e) which uses chocolate (mmm…). In traditional kare-kare, finely ground toasted peanuts are used. And if you don’t have peanuts? Use peanut butter! What makes it better is the added slightly sweet flavor when it’s all mixed in with the sauce.

Besides food, peanut butter is great for a lot of other things. It’s a great base for an instant bird feeder. Coat a pine cone with peanut butter, dip in birdseed and hang from a branch. Voila! A bird feeder! Or, if you are in a tight spot and need a bit of grease but don’t have any, or don’t want to use industrial grease, use a bit of peanut butter–that’s for nuts, bolts, sliding mechanisms, and squeaky hinges. Well, not in places where ants are sure to go. But here in Canada, though not in summer, it’ll work great. Did I mention it’s a good insect trap too? If you want those ants and flies to get stuck quick, you can spread a generous layer of peanut butter on a piece of paper and set it somewhere away from where you don’t want ants and flies to go, and when they land on the peanut butter, they’re stuck! Of course, honey works better here, but peanut butter is good too, and the stickier the better! It’s good for polishing leather shoes, too. If you don’t mind the slightly peanut-y smell on shoes. But if you can shine shoes with banana peel, why not with peanut butter?

Speaking of bananas, did you know that peanut butter and banana is really yummy? Scoop a tiny spoonful of peanut butter onto each bite of banana you take for an truly delectable treat.

I once tried the new peanut butter ice cream that Coldstone creamery makes. Good, but not something I’d really like, even if I’m a peanut butter lover.

And speaking of peanut butter lover….I’m not getting into that!

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