Lord of the Peanuts

“It smells like warmed up peanut butter in here,” Evan says, shaking off his coat.

“That’s because I did!” I exclaim. “I made something that is going to blow your mind.” I hand him a plate. “Look.”

The plate is one of my favorites: orange flowers intermix with green vines across the flat, square face. The sides curve up a bit on the ends, just enough so food doesn’t slide onto the dark brown, rotting wooden floor underneath the table littered with remnants of food from last night/week/month.

He gently peeks under the top tortilla, his brow furrows. He shoves the plate back at me.

“Chuck, is that just peanut butter in a tortilla?” I laugh.

“Uh, yes! You know what I call it?”

“No, what?” he says, moving past me to take his place on my loveseat to watch old episodes of Community.

I can barely contain my excitement. I take a bite and follow him into the living room.

“PBtorti!” I yell. He doesn’t react.

“I said, PBtorti! Because PB is the peanut butter, and torti is for the torti—”

“I get it, I get it.”

“ggggaahhh I wish you were more excited.”

“It’s hard to get excited about peanut butter in a tortilla,” he says, smirking.

I smirk back, and take another bite.

“I’m just kidding, Chuck. I love it.”

<…>

I am passionate about peanut butter (PB). I am really passionate about PB. I love the sticky texture, the salt mixed with roasted nutty goodness. When I eat PB, I feel like I’m really eating something of substance. In my medically restricted diet (gluten-free, vegan, no oats, no rice (unless in flour form), low-refined sugar), this is a rare occurrence.

However, I really hate spending 4 dollars a week on natural peanut butter. Plus, the taste is never right. Smuckers is too fake, the fresh stuff in thin plastic containers from my health food store the Farmacy is too bland, Jif is mostly sugar.

Two weeks ago I bought raw peanuts and vowed to create my own destiny like a Prairie Woman. And let me tell you, when I started cracking the peanuts I felt like a true forager — even if the peanuts came in a pre-packaged bag.

So, please read this riveting tale of the most popular legume, try it yourself, and feast your eyes on your sheer Pbutter-making power.

Pro tip: Making homemade peanut butter takes a long time. The actual food-processing to make the PB takes 5 minutes, but the washing, roasting, shucking, and sorting of the peanuts takes at least an hour. Therefore, the chef suggests putting on a good movie to aid you through the process. I chose Lord of the Rights: The Twin Towers.

LotPB

Homemade Peanut Butter

(adapted from my hero Alton Brown’s recipe, found here).

Ingredients:

2 lbs. raw, in-shell peanuts (Do not shuck them before you roast them. I made this mistake with the first bag.)

4 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of sea salt

Equipment:

Food processor

Spatula (or your hand and tongue, if you’re creating for one)

Measuring spoons

Pan

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Rinse the peanuts under the sink to remove dirt.
  • Transport to bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon sea salt.
  • Lay peanuts out in one, flat layer in a pan. If the pan is not big enough and you can’t fit 2 pans on your middle rack, wait and do 2 batches. Peanuts burn quickly and silently, so the middle rack is essential.
  • Place pan on the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then test a peanut for doneness. Raw peanuts taste like plants, so if it tastes like a peanut they are probably done.
  • Let sit for five minutes, then check the color. Light tan peanuts are the best for peanut butter.
  • Shuck the peanuts, getting rid of the ones that are overdone. You know what they say, one burnt peanut makes a sour batch of PB.
  • Put peanuts, honey, and salt into the food processor and combine until the peanuts are coarsely chopped.
  • Then, add the peanut oil until the peanut butter is to your preferred consistency.
IMG_3832
Fresh PB Combined To Perfection!

  • Add more honey/salt to your taste.
  • Enjoy! Alton says this PB can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 months, but I don’t know how he doesn’t eat it all in one week. Make sure to refrigerate, though, as there are no preservatives.
PB in Jar
Look At That Pretty PB! Also Legolas just shot a mad arrow!

Spread on apples, eat by the spoonful, or try the recipe below!

PBtorti

Ingredients:

1 tortilla (any kind will do, I use Rudi’s Gluten Free tortillas)

2 knife-fulls of HOMEMADE peanut butter (recipe above)

Do not try this with any other kind of peanut butter, seriously, or a plague o’ both your houses.

Equipment:

Microwave

It doesn’t have to belong to you, it can be a friend’s microwave. It’s actually better if it’s a friend’s microwave because then you can make their house smell like warm peanut butter and spread the gospel of PBtorti.

Plate

Any plate will do, but never put styrofoam plates in the microwave. 

Smile

It’s okay if you don’t have this yet, you will once you eat PBtorti

Directions

  • Fold the tortilla in half length-wise. Don’t worry if it breaks!
  • Spread 2 knife-fulls of peanut butter on one of the tortilla halves.
  • Fold the other tortilla half over the PB tortilla half.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds on high.
  • Wait one minute before eating, as peanuts conduct heat very well. HOWEVER do not wait too long to eat, as the PB will harden and it will be really gross.

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