Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Peanut Butter: YES!

Peanut butter often comes at the top of the list of "Foods Americans Miss When Abroad." Unless of course they have peanut allergies, in which case they should probably not move to Senegal. Even if you seldom eat it, you may reach that homesick point when you would like to.

Let's assess the peanut butter situation in Russia. While peanuts are cheap and easy to find, peanut butter is trickier. Many Russians find it disgusting and can't figure out with what you would eat it. Hazelnut spread (Nutella) is readily available and it's not hard to find a swirl of peanut butter with a white dairy-containing sugary cream, which reminds me of those jars with PB&J in one jar. Peanut butter, by itself, is harder to find. However, the situation is not dire. Several large supermarkets stock one or two varieties.

There is, of course, a "but"--otherwise there would be no blog entry. It's expensive--at least seven dollars for a 16 oz. jar. Plus, it's the generic processed variety. Fine for some, gross for me. Yes, I like my peanut butter natural, without sugar, without salt, and plainly (pun intended) without any preservatives. This sort of peanut butter is very much not available in Russia.

So, armed with the internet, a crappy food processor, and the only ingredient really actually necessary for peanut butter (peanuts), I've spent the last year trying to make edible peanut butter. That may be a shameless overstatement. Over the last year, I've tried making peanut butter about five or six times, all of which have produced edible results. However, today was the day: I roasted the raw nuts (1/2 the price of roasted ones), put them in the food processor, added some water, and I made PERFECT creamy peanut butter! BAM!*

*Emeril style. Also Emeril style, did I mention, that I did all this while baking a zucchini stuffed with mushrooms that I picked in the forest?


  1. Zucchini stuffed with mushrooms from the forest?? Natasha I love your blog! Only thing that would make it better is more pictures. And more posts!