Peanut Butter Withdrawal

I miss my peanut butter.

The other day HB and I went to our usual Thai restaurant for lunch, and lo and behold, the panang curry was just not the same. We saw a few chunks of peanuts, but the consistency of the curry was that of watery broth instead of a creamy sauce. Perhaps the restaurant changed ownership/chefs, which could have been the case since the menu looked different. But then I remembered going to a pho place this past weekend and noticing that the dipping sauce for the fresh spring rolls didn’t have any peanut either. It reminded me of how widespread the effects of the peanut butter recall must be.

Funny thing—even as HB told me about the processing plant’s health code violations (e.g., rat feces, cockroaches, animal hairs, machines that haven’t been cleaned since their installation, etc.)—all I could think of was the fact that I had PB&J sandwiches practically every day for lunch while I was in grade school. I remember chowing down on Smucker’s Goober-and-Grape straight from the jar when it first came out. Peanut butter was practically a food group while I was growing up.

Now with food allergies, schools don’t allow any peanuts whatsoever, which is fine by me. I certainly wouldn’t like to witness someone dying a slow and painful death from anaphylaxis. (Fortunately, the Princess is OK with us eating peanut products in her presence.)

Thankfully, we do have a jar of peanut butter in the fridge (dated pre-salmonella recall), but it has been there for at least a year. When I do the sniff test, nothing seems amiss. I almost want to do a daily taste test, but then realize that it is the last of the “safe” peanut butter at home, and that I should eat it ever so sparingly and mindfully. I think of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine learns that her favorite sponge is being discontinued, and she questions if the man of the moment is “sponge-worthy.” In my case, as I find myself craving something that has peanuts or peanut butter, I’m wondering—is this moment or recipe peanut-butter worthy?

Gone are the days of carefree PB&J snacking, as well as making my favorite Thai-inspired peanut dipping sauce for my eggrolls and spring rolls. Well, maybe not if I make my own peanut butter. I just need to be careful of the source for the peanuts.

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