Posted tagged ‘peanut butter’

“I made a sandwich out of things. I’m an American. We can eat anything as long as it’s between two pieces of bread.”

June 5, 2018

The dump was fairly empty today. I was horrified to see one bag of my trash had maggots. That one had been in the trunk since Thursday. Seeing those crawling maggots whizzed me back in time to my childhood. Our house had an outside garbage pail. It was in the ground with a metal flip top you opened with your foot. The pail usually had maggots. My mother had a triangular plastic garbage holder which she kept in the corner of the sink. She’d nab one of us to empty the garbage outside. I hated to touch it afraid I’d get garbage on my hand. Every week the garbage man came to empty it. I couldn’t think of a worse job. Even the truck smelled bad.

Today is lovely. It is cool, in the high 60’s, and so sunny the light glints off the leaves and shines through the branches. The breeze is cool but not chilling. A short sleeve is enough. I have one more errand I couldn’t do yesterday in the rain, those flowers. I saw my neighbor, also my landscaper, this morning and alerted him to the flowers which will need planting. He told me not to worry. I won’t.

When I was a kid, I was always busy in the summers. I was seldom home. I used to pack a lunch and take it with me. It was bologna if there was any left, but sometimes I had to use peanut butter and Fluff, but I never saw it as a second choice. Bologna was a neat sandwich. Fluff was not. Usually it seeped out the sides unto my fingers when I held my sandwich to eat it, and I often had a fluff mustache. It was sticky.

In Ghana, I used groundnut paste, peanut butter paste to us. It was thick and was a soup base for groundnut stew. I ate it as a snack on bread with jelly, but I had to thin the paste or it would tear the bread. I used groundnut oil to do that. My cupboard was never bare of groundnut paste.

I still love peanut butter and Fluff sandwiches. The only difference is I’m much neater now.

“Summer has set in with its usual severity.”

July 2, 2017

Every Sunday, at 10 am, I call my sister in Colorado. Today that call lasted until 12:41. We discussed the family, politics, MSNBC, our gardens and lawns and her grandchildren. She and I are political clones of each other. Actually, all my siblings and I agree politically. I think it has to do with us growing up through the 60’s.

Next door is empty. The car I saw must have been the cleaners getting the place ready for renters. There were workers there for a few days last week putting on shingles and doing some work inside which necessitated the hammers and saws I heard. There was also an exterminator. That made me laugh. I figured my mice have packed their bags and moved next door; however, I did catch another mouse in my trap in the kitchen which makes it  3 mice caught who lived in the cabinet. That sounds like a children’s book title: Three Mice Caught Who lived in the Cabinet. I can envision the book cover with the mice sitting in their living room while mama mouse is in her rocker knitting. I just hope number 3 is the last. Just in case, though, I’ll again bait the trap this week with peanut butter. Number 3 was let go a couple of miles from here. I wished him Bon Voyage.

The humidity surprised me this morning at 7 when Gracie woke me up to take her outside. It had rained during the night as the road was wet, but I don’t think it was all that much rain. Gracie was quick to finish so we both came inside and went back to sleep. I slept another 2 hours. I just took her out again, and it is hot. I’m thinking staying inside with the air conditioner blasting sounds the best way to spend the day. Fresh air is overrated.

“He looks at you like you’re crème brûlée.”

June 4, 2017

The morning has been quite exciting. Last week I put a mouse trap (a non-killing one) on the kitchen floor. Inside was a blob of peanut butter. I was hoping to catch the mouse which lives in the cabinet. Every day I’d check and find an empty trap. After a week, I left the trap on the floor but stopped checking. This morning I noticed mouse poop on the floor around the outside of the trap. Yup, I had caught a mouse, a small gray very upset field mouse. I took the trap for a ride and let the mouse go. I’m going to put the trap back just in case, but I do have a question. How is it a week after the exterminator came that a healthy mouse still sublets my kitchen?

I’m watching Reasonable Doubt on ID and chuckling. The two main investigators are front and center and the camera loves them. It pans to each face over and over as the two give knowing looks to each other as they listen to the father of the murderer describe the events. We get to watch them write in notebooks. They seem to use cursive. The father speaks English without an accent yet he is subtitled. The female lead, a former defense lawyer, uses her middle finger to make a point when tapping the table. We get to watch her finger. She taps quite well. The male lead, a former police officer, says axed instead of asked. He needs subtitles. “I have no dog in this fight,” is another comment of his. That’s a new one for me. Why am I still watching you wonder? I am hooked at how horrible this program is.

It did rain last night but not for long. Today is lovely. We’re back to sunny and warm. This weather has become a pattern. The sunny warm days give way to chilly nights. The house is colder than outside in the early morning. Sunny days and rainy nights come every couple of days. According to the weatherman, it could even rain tonight.

It’s game night. I’m bringing dessert, a tiramisu dip with lady fingers for dunking.

“It is not the cook’s fault when the cassava turns out to be hard and tasteless.”

March 7, 2017

Mother Nature has it out for me. This morning as Gracie and I were going to the far side of the deck it started to rain. I walked Gracie down the stairs and went back inside the house. My sweatshirt had gotten wet. I then went to get the papers and yesterday’s mail. My sweatshirt got wetter, and I was cold. The rain stopped not long after I got into the house.

Today is much warmer at 40˚. It may even get as high as 45˚. A bit of sunshine would be welcomed, but I’m stuck with clouds and a rainy day. I suppose I’ll survive.

The other night I had a fluffernutter for dinner. I was in the mood for peanut butter and Fluff was the perfect partner. The only thing missing was Wonder Bread.

I love cheese of all sorts except blue cheese and any of its relatives. When I was a kid, we ate yellow cheese and only yellow cheese. It came in a block. It didn’t have much flavor but made for a wonderfully gooey grilled cheese sandwich. I don’t remember when I found real cheese. The first was probably cheddar.

In the beginning of Peace Corps training, eating Ghanaian food was cause for bathroom runs (think dual definition for this word). One night I fell asleep upright my back to the wall on one of the steps leading to the school bathrooms. I didn’t trust the distance between my room and the bathroom. It seemed to take forever, but by the end of training, my stomach had accepted its lot. Most of the time I was just fine though there were still moments. Ghanaian food can do that to you. Every time I visit Ghana I eat and drink what I want. Living here removed any fears or even thoughts of germs or diseases. It is what it is. I also make bathroom runs. They’re like the price of admission.

“Isn’t ‘not to be bored’ one of the principal goals of life?”

January 28, 2013

Today I got dressed. I don’t really feel any better, but I wanted a change. This whole thing, this cough and cold, is getting ridiculous. I should be well by now kicking my heels in the air and whistling a happy tune, but, instead, I’m expecting the board of health to come by and tack up a notice that this house is quarantined.

Another mouse got a late night ride last night around 10:30. I checked the mileage, and we went 1.5 miles. His homing instinct is only good for a mile so I’m expecting he’ll set up housekeeping in the new neighborhood. No mouse in the trap this morning-the first time in a while, but when I checked it, the mouse had eaten the peanut butter. I didn’t set the trap right last night. The mouse count, though, is slowing down. We’ve made inroads. I’m still hoping the Pied Piper will drop by. I promise to pay him, unlike his last clients.

I started another novel, David Baldacci’s The Forgotten. I finished the Patterson yesterday, Private London, in quick time, probably about the same amount of time it took him to write it. There is a second author, Mark Pearson, and I figure Patterson throws out the plot to the guy who then writes the novel. The book wasn’t very good. The main character was a cliché: the tough guy with all the right words and really great aim who inevitably saves the day.

Of late, I have been easily bored, not something to which I am well-acquainted, but staying in the house limits what I see and do. I check out daytime TV, find nothing and turn it right off. I read for a while then I get tired of reading. I could dust but I don’t even like to dust when I feel good. My sister sent me a red chili wreath for Christmas and some of the peppers fell off in transit. I’m thinking of firing up my glue gun and reattaching those peppers. I think I’m really hard-pressed for some way to pass the time.

Today isn’t the day, but tomorrow I’ll have to go out to fill the larder and get dog food. I’m already excited at the prospect of being out in the world.

“I’ve just been bitten on the neck by a vampire… mosquito. Does that mean that when the night comes I will rise and be annoying?”

January 18, 2013

Today is winter. Though the sky is steely blue and the sun is shiny, it’s cold, and we have snow. I’m guessing about 2 inches fell during the night, not enough for plows or even shovels but any snow is enough. From here inside my warm house, the snow is pretty and it glistens in the sun, but even Gracie was reluctant to go out when we first woke up. I had to trudge across the snowy lawn to get the newspapers, and when I did, I saw paw prints in the snow. I’m guessing Cody came to visit hoping Gracie was awake. She wasn’t and neither was I.

The mice count is now 15. Only a single tiny beast found its way into a trap yesterday. Either peanut butter is less desirable than it had been or the number of mice has dwindled. I know there are some on this floor so they are also my targets. I’ve already put down a couple of my trusty traps but no takers as yet. Only three more mice are needed to break my decades old record.

I have never been the type afraid of bugs or snakes or mice. Garter snakes were common when I was a kid. One of us would see a snake, announce its presence and all of us would run to watch. The bravest among us would pick it up and hold it for a while. In the field below our house, we used to run through the tall grass and spook the grasshoppers so they’d hop into the air and then we’d catch them with our bare hands. We caught fireflies in jars but we always released them. Fireflies were special. In the swamp, we’d use jars to scoop up tadpoles and our hands to grab the frogs. Dirt and grime were never a problem.

In Ghana I saw poisonous snakes: one was in the bushes outside my classroom block. My students killed it by pelting rocks at it. Lizards were everywhere, including my house. In training, on our first day, I saw lizards scurrying across the concrete walks as I went to breakfast. I’ll never forget that morning. It was my first I’m really in Africa moment.

I have no plans for today, no errands and no chores. It’s a perfect sloth day. It’s a stay in my cozies, read a bit and take a nap day.

“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.”

June 14, 2011

I’m really late I know, but I dragged myself out of bed for an early morning meeting, and when I got home, I read the papers then snuggled under an afghan and shared the couch with Gracie for a nap. She’s still asleep. The day is raw. My hands are cold, and I need socks to keep my feet warm. It’s the dampness more than the temperature which makes 57° so uncomfortable. Today is a stay at home and read day. I might just have some cocoa, and, of course, it will need a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff floating on the top.

I love fluffernutters. When I was little, I only had creamy peanut butter, but then I tasted and got addicted to the chunky. My favorite now is Roasted Honey Nut, either plain or chunky. Groundnut (peanut) paste was a staple in Ghana. It was thick and sold in jars to be used for soups, but I bought it for sandwiches. I’d have to mix in a little groundnut oil to make the paste easy to spread or it tore up the bread. I always thought of those sandwiches as a bit of home.

My mother never packed fluffernutters in our lunch boxes. They were always snacks to us. Sometimes I’d use Saltines and make a little snack of miniature fluffernutters. They always needed milk. They were best eaten in the living room in front of the TV. We always left crumbs on the rug no matter how careful we were.

I also like PB&J sandwiches with grape jelly, strawberry jam or hot pepper jelly. I like them for lunch or even dinner if I’m really feeling too lazy to cook anything. I don’t do glasses of milk anymore. I do coffee.

“Peanut butter is the pâté of childhood.”

October 16, 2010

The day has little to commend it. It’s cold, windy and raw. The heat is not on steadily yet and is set for 64°, but on this chilly morning it started by itself before I even got out of bed. I was loathe to leave my warm covers, but Miss Gracie wanted out, and I figured a cup of hot coffee made going downstairs almost worthwhile. The feeders need filling so I’ll bundle up later, go out and make my birds happy. Yesterday a flicker dropped by and ate his weight in sunflower seeds.

Our house was small though I suspect four kids would have made even a bigger house seem small. In the kitchen, the stove was narrow, and the table and chairs barely had room against the wall, and you had to maneuver in and out sideways. I remember the back screen door was green. The fridge was next to the back door. We’d open it and stand there trying to decide what we wanted, and that drove my parents crazy. My father would yell we were letting all the cold air out. In the summer all that cold air felt good. My mother shopped once a week, usually on a Friday night after my father got home. By Tuesday, all the cookies were gone, except for the stuff we couldn’t touch, the stuff for school lunches. We’d complain there was nothing good to eat, but my mother was never sympathetic. We were the ones who ate it all. Oreos were our favorite cookies. My sisters used to open theirs, eat the middles then feed the cookie parts to the dog. I always ate the plain side first then slowly savored the frosting side. I still like Oreos.

Peanut butter is one of the best all time foods. We always thought of it as a snack food, not one for school lunches. We’d make a peanut butter and marshmallow or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My mother usually bought grape jelly which had a tendency to ooze out the sides of the bread, and you had to be quick to catch it before it fell. Sometimes we’d eat Saltines with peanut butter. They were a great snack for TV watching. I’m still a peanut butter fan.

My mother never bought much cheese when we were kids, and whatever she bought was always yellow. For years I thought cheese came only in yellow and was from a box. It was quite a surprise to find not only did cheese come in colors but it also came in flavors. I love all sorts of cheeses, except blue, and I have to admit I still use Velveeta. It makes the best Mexican cheese dip.

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