Have I written about peanut butter before?
I don't care. I'm writing about it again--mostly because last night I once again humiliated myself in front of the TV, a table knife stuck in the mouth of a large jar of Jif Extra Crunchy, the knife emerging continually, the knife bearing on its shameless blade a shameless slab of Extra Crunchy, said slab deposited in my mouth by said shameless blade, which, scraped against my lower teeth, cleansed itself of the shameless slab, which my teeth and tongue and ptyalin proceeded to process so that the shameless blade could quickly arrive again with another shameless slab ... and on and on until the jar was cleansed. And I was both satiated and shamed.
But don't be too judgmental: It wasn't a full jar, not really.
Some pb memories:
- I carried it my school lunch, every day, grades 1-12. My mother--who was a teacher, too--very quickly taught us to make our own lunches (the night before), so I swabbed Peter Pan (Smooth) on a piece of Wonder Bread (the only wonder: that it didn't rip apart while I was spreading the pb), put another piece of WB on top, cut them in two (diagonally, as my mom insisted), wrapped it in waxed paper, put it in a lunch bag (I did have a lunch box for a while, but I was forever leaving it at school), tossed in an apple: LUNCH!
- Throughout my thirty-year public school teaching career, I carried it to school, every day. By then I had matured and was preferring Crunchy to Smooth; by then I was making my own bread every week--whole wheat, sourdough--and I cut the sandwich straight across instead of the diagonal my mother had taught me (Rebel!). Still--I tossed in an apple and a little container of yogurt (vanilla). LUNCH! (I also had a lunch boxy kind of thing I carried for a while, but I too often left it at school, so I went to brown-bagging.)
- Early in my teaching career (for all the early years: from 1966 on), I had very little $$. (My take-home, if I may remind you, my first year at Aurora Middle School was $168.42 on the 1st and 15th.) One of my first purchases on payday? A big jar of pb. I knew that before the next paycheck arrived, I'd have little food--but if I had pb, I had a meal.
- Between, oh, 1979 and 25 October 2005 (when the place closed forever, after nearly a century of operation) I went pretty much every day to Saywell's Drug Store in Hudson, a warm, old-fashioned place that still had a soda fountain and a few tables. I sat at one of those tables almost every morning, and almost every morning I ate a toasted bagel with pb. Smooth: It was all they had. But when Mary Ann--one of the wonderful folks who worked there--found out I preferred Crunchy, she made special trips to the store to buy it. Just for me. That's the kind of place Saywell's was.
- BTW: Just searching Google about Saywell's, I found something I'd forgotten: Our son, when he was a reporter for the Akron Beacon-Journal, wrote an emotional piece about the closing. Here it is: Link.
- The closing of Saywell's ended my daily pb consumption. Still ... I always have a jar in the house, just in case. (Dyer's Law: If you have a can of Campbell's tomato soup and/or pb in the house, you have food.) Sometimes months go by without the jar's emergence into the light.
- But every now and then (last night, for example), the pb does emerge, and I catch up on my ADCPB (Average Daily Consumption of PB). Last night, I'm afraid, I ate so much that I will have to lay off for a few ... decades ... to get my average back to where it was.
- Joyce loves pb, too. Sometimes we scrap over who holds the knife.
- Our son does not like it. Doesn't like nuts of any kind. So our particular peanut may have fallen close to the plant in some ways--but then rolled away a bit.
We went to the grocery store this morning, stocking up on staples. Guess what's on the shelf ... right now? Ready when we are?