Warning: This post may contain nuts…. or peas, depending on how you look at it.
If nuts aren't your thing, you can use the alternate title for today's blog "We Come in Peas."
Sometimes, things just have an uncanny way of working out.
I was out of peanut butter.
I did not want to go back, again, to the bloody grocery store.
I happened to have a bag of peanuts, which, up to now, every single member of this household has refused to touch.
I also happen to have three sets of little hands that are willing to work for a peanut butter sandwich.
It was quite by accident really, the peanut butter making* but fun all the same.
We shelled. We checked out the peanut butter factory
on You-Tube. We learned all we ever wanted to know about the history of peanut butter.
We even called up Granny on a hunch, and sure enough, she informed us that our Momo and Popo did indeed grow peanuts once upon a time.
"Oh honey! They had fields and fields of 'em. Mama put up so many quarts of peanut butter! You just can't even imagine all the shellin' we did!"
My men thought it was 10 kinds of cool that Granny ate peanut butter when she was little too. The enormity of the task also made quite the impression on them. They struggled some to shell just one bag of peanuts, and they remember all the work they put into one bushel of purple hull peas
too – to think that our Granny had to shell fields of purple hull peas AND fields of peanuts!
And I quote, "Man, it was WORK to be a kid then, huh?"
When I told them that peanuts grow from a flowering plant, and not a tree, they wondered which part of the name is correct then, is it a pea, or is it a nut?
It's a nut in the culinary sense of the word, but a pea in the botanical sense.
We read about how the plant flowers and then reaches itself downward and pushes its ovarian parts into the earth to grow its "fruit" underground. As a result, the peanut plant now reigns in my home as the "coolest, craziest plant ever," but only because they don't yet know about the Venus Fly Trap.
For now, they're munching away at their apple slices slathered with peanut butter, and marveling that miracles and wonders are to be found in such unassuming places as the pantry.
* edited to add:
Here's the yummy, kid-approved recipe that we used, for those who've asked -
2 cups roasted peanuts (the front of the label didn't say salted, but the ingredient list did, so I didn't add any)
3 tablespoons peanut oil (a little more if you like it creamier).
Honey (we just drizzled it over the top, so I have no idea how much we used. Maybe a tablespoon, if I had to guess)
That's it. Put it all in the food processor and let the kids mash the button to their little heart's content. Then, slap it on everything in sight 🙂