Thursday, July 3, 2008

What's Cooking? Peanut Butter Sandwich

[I've moved to Please visit me there!]

When I was younger, my mother would always (she did serve other food) make me peanut butter sandwiches, no jelly, just peanut butter. I don't think I missed the jelly because all I knew were peanut butter sandwiches. Later, I moved up to tuna fish. I ate the former and was filled and never wanted for another type of sandwich. One thing I did do was promise myself that I would never eat another peanut butter sandwich when I became an adult.

Then came the college days and as many of you know and can remember, when you're hungry, you will eat anything. My dad was faithful in sending care packages and among all of the other cool things he would send, peanut butter and tuna fish (I'm really only talking about peanut butter) were always included in my package. So, there I was, an adult, breaking a sacred promise I had made to myself, and eating peanut butter sandwiches.

Now that I am older and a little wiser, I've come to realize that peanut butter is pretty cool. If a hunger pain hits me, then one spoonful (I usually prefer it with bread or a cracker) of peanut butter will calm the grumbling stomach. It's like magic! Peanut butter is the "hunger patch." As far as divine, culinary cuisine is concerned, you probably won't see peanut butter sandwiches on the menu, but I bet there may be one recipe, or two, that contain peanut butter.

It has gotten a bad rap lately because of the rise of people, especially children, who have peanut allergies. Because some of these exposures have resulted in deaths, a peanut butter sandwich is not as appealing as it used to be. One of my sisters is in the "peanut allergy" club and has, on more than one occasion, experienced life threatening exposures that have sent her to the hospital. There really is no clear cut reason as to why some people are allergic and others are not, which is why I waited until my two older children were two years old before introducing peanut butter into their diet. My youngest had his first peanut butter one month ago (at 19 months), and now they all eat it often. I don't know where the age of two came from, it just seemed "safe."

My sister, like so many others have learned how to manage living with peanut allergies and have made it not the primary focus of their lives. They know what to look for and avoid and also some substitutes which are also quite yummy. Food allergies are another great reason to cook at home because you know what ingredients are used in your food and there is less chance of someone forgetting or accidently adding that allergy reacting ingredient. Don't ask my sister about the time I served her pesto. Oops! Don't worry, she's okay.

Now, if you're up for it Peanut Butter Sandwich is What's cooking?" this week.

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