Nuts to You

by Stefani on 18-September-2008

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."

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. 

Shellin' Peanuts

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?"


Nuts to You

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?

Both, our research told us. 

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.  

Apples for Peanut Butter

* 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 🙂

Allison September 18, 2008 at 8:59 pm

What a great learning experience… and a great story… and great links… and great photos. You’re such a cool mom! I can’t wait to read about when they discover a venus fly trap! =)

Kristi September 18, 2008 at 9:00 pm

but did it taste good?

Molly September 18, 2008 at 9:01 pm

ooooooh. Delicious!

Lynn September 18, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Seriously, you amaze me! I love reading your blog and really need to try out some of these things with my boys. They’d love it!

Casey September 18, 2008 at 10:12 pm

That’s so cool, and what a great way for them to learn about and appreciate Granny’s childhood.

Riana September 19, 2008 at 1:32 am

awesome story! your kids are so lucky!!

golden September 19, 2008 at 5:16 am

You of course made sure to add that partially hydrogenated vegetable oil like the video, right? LOL!

It looks so fun! I love hearing your stories of all your boys working and playing together.

Kelly G. September 19, 2008 at 5:23 am

THAT is homeschooling at its finest! Well done!

Caroline September 19, 2008 at 6:29 am

Fabulous solution to a common problem! Do you think they will want to make it again after all their effort? Hope so…it has to be better for them than the already processed jar from the store!

P.S. I am getting ice cube trays today for my iced coffee fixes! Thanks again!

Our Green Nest September 19, 2008 at 6:30 am

YUM! Our favorite is homemade almond butter around here, but what a great learning experience for your guys!

Natasha S September 19, 2008 at 6:40 am

Wow,you amaze me.
Your sons are so lucky to have such a wonderful mama to guide and show them all of the wonderful things that we are blessed with in life.So much of it goes unnoticed these days.

elissa September 19, 2008 at 6:57 am

ok, i may just have to stop reading your blog (wink, wink) first yogurt, and now peanut butter!!!!! alright, i admit, can’t wait to see what is up next….. you are NUTS (hahaha) girl!

Sarah September 19, 2008 at 7:13 am

You guys are so fun! The peanut butter looks yummy!

molly September 19, 2008 at 7:28 am

i’ve been wondering lately if we could grow peanuts here – looks like i have some research to do. you guys are just having too much fun!

Tipper September 19, 2008 at 8:06 am

very neat!!

Jenn September 19, 2008 at 8:46 am

I love (love) your stories, you have such a way with words:) Thank you for sharing them!

Anna September 19, 2008 at 9:40 am

You’re such a cool mama!

Stephanie September 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

I think, if I could go back and parent my daughter all over again, I’d do it just like you.

tracey September 19, 2008 at 10:23 am

You’re a brilliant teacher!!!

Stephanie B September 19, 2008 at 10:45 am

Wow! I would never even think of making my own peanut butter. Sounds like an educational day, but fun! Hope it was yummy, I bet it was healthy too!

Baba September 19, 2008 at 10:55 am

What a cool mom you are! Good job teaching them!

Katie September 19, 2008 at 11:12 am

Oh, there is noting so sweet as reward for your labors. And peanut butter….yum!

I am having a giveaway for my 100th post…it’s not peanut butter but it’s still good. 🙂

christina September 19, 2008 at 12:08 pm

you are such an amazing writer! i love reading about your three men’s adventures! pictures are great as always and now i want to try my hand at homemade pb!

Amy September 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Whatever would we do without the internet? You might have had them stomp on the peanuts, Lucy-style!

Lasso the Moon September 19, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Such a cool post. Good work, y’all!

amylouwho September 19, 2008 at 7:19 pm

What good sweet boys you have. I’m sure the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (especially if there is peanut butter by the tree – heheh)

Rachel September 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm

I love how everything came together like that. We just got to pick fresh pistachios last week, now I’m inspired to make some pistachio butter. I just read that if you take the time to blanch and skin them it turns out green! How cool is that?

Angela September 19, 2008 at 11:19 pm

You never cease to amaze me. I would have been back out the door to the store in a heartbeat before I’d ever think to make PB from scratch. I feel more inferior every time I visit!

ferroever September 20, 2008 at 4:49 am

You really are the coolest mum on the planet. Your posts are so heartwarming, too.
Love them.

Marieke September 20, 2008 at 7:50 am

Your photo brought back fond memories for me. We used the same wooden bowls to shell peanuts as a child for a special Saturday night snack. You are creating wonderful memories for you and your boys. Thanks for a great post – will have to try making peanut butter with my own boys.

Abbigale September 20, 2008 at 8:25 am

Bet they appreciated those peanut butter sandwiches more than ever! I too would never think “I’m out of peanut butter, guess I’ll make some.” But maybe I should have those kind of thoughts b/c then my daughter could have more experiences like the ones your boys have. Fun fun fun!

leslie September 20, 2008 at 12:44 pm

now i want to make peanut butter!
so so great.

Nicole September 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm

stef – you are amazing! i totally admire you! this sounds awesome! sorry i haven’t left many comments lately:0( i’ve been out of sorts. i’m always reading though and enjoying everything going on here at blue yonder!!

dianeinjapan September 21, 2008 at 3:00 am

What a great homeschooling lesson this must have been! Too cool!

Cassandra September 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I think it’s so great for kids to learn just how much hard work goes into making things. How easy for us to take for granted pulling a jar of peanut butter off the shelf at the grocery store. Thanks for sharing!

michelle September 21, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Darn it! Your post just reminded me that I forgot peanut butter and I just was at the store only about an hour ago! Grrr….how I wish we had peanuts on hand because your recipe looks like so much fun and we are in need.

Jules September 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm

love the new banner

Mary Smith September 21, 2008 at 8:13 pm

What an inspiring idea! I wish I’d thought of it! Your harvest table cloth is so cute!

Mary Smith September 21, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I meant to add that I am definitely going to make this peanut butter with my kids! Do you know the Reggio Emilia approach to learning? I have posted about it recently. Your kind of teaching reminds me of it so much!

MadWomanMeg September 21, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Oh what fun!! I’d love to try that some day with the kids. Did it taste good?

Lynn September 23, 2008 at 5:52 am


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