Nutty but nice
(a) I bought a Powerball ticket.
(b) I made my own peanut butter.
My love of money, which I don’t have much of because I had to take a vow of poverty when I went into journalism, is exceeded only by my love of peanut butter, which doesn’t cost much and tastes a lot better, especially if you are the kind of person who puts his money where his mouth is.
I got the idea to make my own peanut butter when I read an online article about various uses for the stuff, which are not, apparently, limited to eating.
For instance, it can be used as shaving cream. I had never thought of this, mainly because I would rather eat peanut butter and save my shaving cream for pies, just like the Three Stooges did when they started pie fights.
Hungry for knowledge, I tried it. I got a knife and spread the peanut butter on my face, then I grabbed my trusty razor and, cheek by jowl, carefully smoothed out the situation. It worked like a charm. I didn’t have razor stubble. And I didn’t cut myself, though I’m sure the peanut butter would have stanched the blood.
Best of all, I smelled good, which is another use for peanut butter. According to the article, it is an odor eliminator. In addition, it’s a squeak eliminator that can be used in place of WD-40 on hinges and drawers. It’s also a squeak eliminator because it can be used as mouse trap bait.
Other peanut butter uses: windshield cleaner (it removes bug carcasses, which would make creamy peanut butter chunky); hair moisturizer (if you leave it in, I guess it would get rid of the gray, too); and leather cleaner (too kinky to think about).
But since the best use for peanut butter is eating, I decided to make my own.
Following a recipe I also got online, I bought a bag of raw peanuts and a bottle of peanut oil, which are the main ingredients, along with kosher salt, a box of which was already in a kitchen cabinet.
According to the instructions, I needed a food processor, a baking sheet, a spatula and a container with a lid.
My wife, Sue, also a peanut butter fan (she likes chunky, while I prefer creamy), set up the food processor and said, “Good luck. And don’t forget to clean everything up when you’re done.”
The most labor-intensive part of the process was shelling two cups of peanuts, some of which I ate, which is why it took about half an hour.
Then I spread them on the baking sheet, set the oven at 350 degrees and put them in for 10 minutes, after which I dumped them into the food processor and checked out the instructions, which said, “If you toasted your nuts, do this while they are still warm. Pulse a few times until chopped.”
It hurt just reading this.
Next, I ran the food processor for one minute, stopped and scraped the sides and the bottom of the bowl, and repeated the process twice. Then I put in half a teaspoon of kosher salt and two tablespoons of peanut oil and ran the processor for two more minutes.
I carefully lifted the lid, hoping my peanut butter wouldn’t be like Spackle. To my amazement, it had a perfectly creamy consistency. I dipped in a spoon, which I like to use when I eat the store-bought stuff straight from the jar, and lifted it to my mouth.
My taste buds did backflips. I didn’t because I figured I would break something, like the food processor or my leg, but I can honestly say it was the best peanut butter I have ever tasted.
“Wow!” Sue exclaimed when I gave her some. “This is really good.”
Even Maggie the dog loved it, though she had a tough time getting it off the roof of her mouth.
I spooned the peanut butter into a container and put it in the refrigerator, proud that it is too good to use as a windshield cleaner or a hair moisturizer. I won’t even shave with it.
I’ll just be happy that I have won the culinary equivalent of Powerball and put my peanut butter where my mouth is.
— Jerry Zezima
Jerry Zezima, who served on the faculty at the 2010 EBWW, writes a humor column for the Stamford Advocate that is nationally syndicated through the Tribune News Service and regularly appears in the Huffington Post. He’s written three books, Grandfather Knows Best, Leave it to Boomer and The Empty Nest Chronicles. He has won six humor-writing awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and was named EBWW’s Humor Writer of the Month twice. He is the past president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.