Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thank you, George Washington Carver...

When I was in junior high I was, as I am now, a pretty big nerd.  That's why I joined my school's academic bowl team.  I think it was called the academic bowl, but it could have just as easily been "marathon for the brain" or "thinking decathalon." Why is it that all of these kinds of competitions want to combine the idea of sports with the more sedentary academic pursuits into the title?  The year my school put a team together the topic was African-American history, and that is where I learned about George Washington Carver and his obsession with peanuts.  Let's just take this moment to thank him for bringing the idea for peanut butter into the American consciousness.  That's all I was thinking this morning as I was putting these into the oven to roast.
He changed the way Americans thought about peanuts, and we can all thank him for those PB&J sandwiches we had as children...unless you're from the Netherlands, in which case you think PB&J is disgusting.  It's not as if I can't buy it in the store here.  In fact, Dutch people really like peanut butter, but they only seem to like this kind:
I love that the word for peanut butter in Dutch literally translates to peanut cheese, pinda (peanut) + kaas (cheese)= peanut butter. Calvé is made by Unilever, that giant corporation of the Netherlands, and as far as really processed peanut butter goes, it's not so bad, but it just didn't taste, well, peanut-y enough.  I'm not against eating processed food, because, well, have you seen some of the sweets I like to bake and eat?  I'm also constantly disappointed that Reese's Pieces aren't for sale in the Netherlands, as the combination of chocolate and peanut butter isn't popular here.  I guarantee there's probably only about 0.05% actual peanut product in that candy, but I could eat an entire pound bag of them.  Notice how I said I could as if I had not actually done it on several occasions.  When it comes to peanut butter, though, the peanutier the better.  We started buying the 100% natural stuff at the organic food store, but I hated forking over so much money for ground peanuts.  (Trader Joe's, I miss you and your sensible prices for things like this.) Enter my Sunday morning where I apparently had nothing better to do, except for work on a dissertation chapter, but this was much more entertaining:


After 15 minutes of roasting and 10 minutes of grinding in the good ol' Cuisinart, my experiment was complete, and there can once again be delicious peanut butter in the house.  


  1. Did you add oil or is it just peanuts?

  2. No extra oil. Just roasted peanuts and a little bit of salt.

  3. Wow. Looks good. And it is the same situation over here in Denmark. It just can't be found. Thoug it is called jordnød smøre (peanut buter) and not peanut cheese :). I had no idea about George Washington Carver. Interesting tidbit!