Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Peanut Butter of Peace

Well, I lost the Peanut Butter Wars.

I stood my ground for a long time, taking a stand against the dual evils of Jif and Skippy, but in the end I was no match for an all-out processed nut butter blitz that involved the extended family.

This story starts with me buying wholesome natural peanut butters for my family and ends with a jar of chocolate Jif in my pantry.

For years--years, I tell you--I used my power as sole purchaser of groceries to buy peanut butter that was as close as I could get to pure: containing no added oils or sugars. I like my peanut butter to be simple: peanuts, salt. The end. For health reasons, not because something is wrong with my tastebuds. We went over this before: Do Skippy and Jif taste like heaven? Yes. (So does candy.) Are processed peanut butters with additives good for you? Not as good as they could be. So given the mass amount of PB we consume around here with our J, I made a conscious effort to buy the healthier--if less spreadable and more grainy--natural kind.

Yes, she admitted, the annoying kind with the oil on top that you have to stir in. Not everything in life that's good can be easy. Read some Robert Frost.

But E is an old Skippy fan from way back, and as the children grew older he enlisted them in his protest. And one night at a family BBQ at my sister's, it slipped out that I was subjecting my children to such indescribable horrors as homemade yogurt and natural peanut butter.

The poor babies. Gasp! What did they do without their hydrogenated oils?

So haha, everyone in the family had a good laugh at my expense and asked me when I was moving to a hippie commune to make my artisanal cheese and granola. And because such things never end there and always turn into Christmas presents, E and the kids received an assorted box of peanut butters for Christmas from my Auntie Anne: Jif, Skippy, Reese's, you name it. About eight jars of the stuff. All varieties. All brands. All processed.

I wasn't about to throw out free food, so they ate it. Until we ran out about a month ago, and then I had to make a choice.

In the meantime, my descent into do-it-yourselfing has gotten even more nutty. I experimented with making my own nut butters and decided I like the taste of peanut (and almond) butter I make better than the natural brand from the store. You can't get much fresher than the peanut butter you just made out of a bunch of nuts.

Anyhoo, I gave. I was in Costco and I saw the price tag on the double Skippy pack and I couldn't resist. I knew the fam was way less likely to go for my new PDawg-ground PB blend, so I brought home the two tubs of processed nut butter happiness and presented them to E: The Peanut Butter of Peace.

We are now a two peanut butter household:


Skippy and homemade.

I left the room after the presentation of the PBOP, but apparently there was a ceremony wherein he and the monkeys each dipped a finger in the top of the new jar to celebrate their victory. They allowed me to retreat quietly to the bedroom so I wouldn't have to see this bold act and feel shame.

All has been well on the two peanut butter track, save for the day I opened the cupboard and found the chocolate Jif. There might have been a "what the hell is this?" uttered that day. Might have. And we might have remembered why I buy the groceries, not E.

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