I am pretty sure this love affair began when I was a little girl. Being the selective eater that I was (note that I said was...I have become much more adventurous as I have gotten older), most nights at the dinner table I was given the choice of what the rest of the family was eating...or a spoonful of peanut butter. So naturally I chose the latter.
I would sit and savor every lick of the spoon as if it was a lollipop. Sometimes I'd even sit underneath the table with spoon in hand, while my mom and I waited for everyone else to sit down. This initial exposure has led me down many other peanut butter cloaked paths.
As I got older and more matured in my tastes, I became more adventurous with mixing the peanut butter. I had my first taste of peanut butter ice cream when I was in junior high on a family vacation to Florida. Picture this: a freshly ironed waffle cone filled to the brim with vanilla ice cream mixed with spoonfuls of peanut butter. Standing in the humid summer heat, after a day at the beach, eating peanut butter ice cream...this is one of those happy places my mind travels.
I used to work at a cafe in Colorado that had the most beautifully colored dessert case. Rhubarb crisp, raspberry white chocolate and poppy seed cake, german chocolate cake, linzer tortes and lemon bars were among a few of the favorites. My co-worker A, ate so many lemon bars that the owner told her she was going to turn into a lemon bar. But tucked in the back corner was the peanut butter pie with a half inch layer of chocolate covering it. This pie alone was reason enough for me to get up at six in the morning to open the store. There were a few occasions where I could be seen through the front window, holding a slice in a piece of wax paper...like a Muppet eating a piece of pizza.
Sometimes when I am in a bind for something sweet after dinner, I have been known to mix peanut butter, chocolate chips and oats together...a no bake cookie of sorts. Or peanut butter, vanilla ice cream and protein powder. I will thank my high school friend M for the ice cream and protein powder idea. If you like the grainy taste that malt adds, then you will like protein powder in ice cream.
All of this peanut butter talk was inspired by a gift of buckeyes from my parents. Anyone from Ohio is familiar with this sweet ode to the state tree...the buckeye. It is essentially a ball of peanut butter dipped in chocolate, as pictured. Any sort of holiday, my mom goes to a chocolate shop at gets a few buckeyes for me. They come in a little Chinese take out container...what a happy week when this little container can be found on my kitchen table.
The funny part about all this sweet talk (and my best friend B will think this funny) is that I am not even a dessert person. The most dessert that I eat in a year is when I am visiting her. But when it comes to peanut butter...my heart is taken.