21 February 2017

Sticky fingers

Not my most spectacular job of "getting back into blogging," but at least it wasn't my worst! Matt left for an out-of-state work trip a few days after my last post; I'd somehow sort of figured that I'd have time in the evenings while he was gone that would be perfect for blogging, but it didn't quite work out that way... I don't like to say anything online about him being gone until after he's home--probably not a big deal, I know, but I feel safer knowing that the internet doesn't know that I'm home alone with the kids--and it was hard to think of anything to write about that didn't somehow tie in to him being gone. Then he got home late late Saturday night, and we've been catching up on everything that didn't happen while I had the munchkins on my own.

Like peanut butter.

You would be hard pressed, I think, to find something more exciting to my toddler than a 5 gallon bucket of peanut butter. She hovers expectantly, watching out of the corner of her eye with a cheerful little grin on her face, waiting for me to turn my back so she can dart over and plunge her hand into the bucket, stuff a handful into her mouth, and then wail in a rather sticky sort of way because her hands are messy and she doesn't like sticky hands and Mama needs to wash them Right. Now. Please. She does say the please! But pleases or no pleases, it's much, much easier for me to refill the 2lb peanut butter jars in the kitchen when Matt is around to play with/distract Kit for me.

I felt silly, very silly, the first time I brought home 35 pounds of peanut butter from the co-op. I just spent more money on peanut butter than I did on my entire grocery shopping trip this week. Peanut butter! What is wrong with me?? And then Kit was diagnosed with casein and soy allergies, and I had to find a substitute for ice cream, and peanut butter with a swirl of melted chocolate chips consoled my sweet tooth. And then it was Lent, and peanut butter became my midday protein of choice. And then I discovered no-bake bars and balls, and started making them for snacks regularly. And we worked our way through the bucket, until it came time for the biannual co-op order and I realized that we were almost out. I actually had to buy a little jar of it from the grocery store, because we ran out completely a couple of weeks before our order came in at the co-op.

We're on our third bucket now, and I no longer feel silly bringing them home. It's good peanut butter, and certainly more cost-effective than buying it one tiny jar at a time, especially the way we eat it and use it in recipes! I prefer the "natural" (a.k.a. not no-stir) version; even though it's more work, I think it tastes so much better, and it works better in most of my recipes. I've had several batches of no-bake treats turn out oily or refuse to hold together when made with no-stir peanut butter, and it seems like that's caused by the extra oil they add in order to homogenize it. 

After watching me today, Matt added "carve a giant spoon" to his to-do list, because the longest one I have doesn't reach all the way to the bottom of the bucket. I'm looking forward to having it: while I don't mind the extra step of stirring together the separated peanuts and peanut oil, dealing with a full bucket of it sure is a messy job!

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