The Peanut Butter Lessons

Peanut butter was a staple at our house growing up. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Peanut butter on saltine crackers. Marshmallows on peanut butter on saltines (no chocolate), baked in the oven for somemores on game night.

Peanut butter became comfort food when I grew up. I found that on my most stressed-out days in the office, I would head over to the peanut butter and jelly station and make myself a sandwich. Over the salads and sandwiches and burgers and Asian cuisine, I chose a PBJ to soothe my soul.

Somewhere along the way, I discovered that my lifelong brand of peanut butter had added ingredients that I didn’t want, so I switched to an all natural brand. It had a layer of oil on the top. Every time we opened a new jar, it was quite a chore to manually blend that oil back into the peanut butter. And if you didn’t blend it well enough that first day, some day later you’d hit pockets of very dry peanut butter. But I was determined that we should have “the good stuff”, and jar after jar, through my daughter’s entire pre-school and elementary school career, we blended that peanut butter by hand.

Then, one day, someone in the family noticed that there was a fresh peanut grinding machine in the bulk section of the grocery store, on the opposite side of the store from the peanut butter in jars. We agreed to give it a try, when the current jar of peanut butter ran out. It did, and we did, and just like that, no more hand blending the peanut butter. For as long as it takes our family to eat a pint of peanut butter, that oil stays in the butter. It tastes fresh, and is easy to spread. Our search for the right peanut butter is over.

So what are the peanut butter lessons?

  • Just because you haven’t found the right one, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
  • You might not have to go very far to find the right one, but you may have to look in a different place.
  • Finding the right one can take years and years, but don’t give up. You’ll find it, one day.

So next time you’re certain that the right one — whatever or whoever it is — just can’t be found, remember the peanut butter lessons, and have faith.

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