Tim and I like to think of ourselves as pretty worldly, but there is one arena where we are one hundred percent American: our obsession with peanut butter.  It appears in at least 2 meals/snacks a day, on toast or in a shake, or is eaten directly from the jar off a spoon.  Not only are we obsessed, we’re snobby too.  We like Trader Joe’s salted natural peanut butter.  Two ingredients: peanuts, salt.  Many of you know Austin has no Trader Joe’s.  We import it.  From Michigan.  My parents brought down a case at Christmas.  Maybe you have a little idea now about our PB habit.

We had 3 jars in our luggage to Penang.  Our first dinner was PB&J, and we cracked open jar number one.  The very next day, I began looking for a source of natural peanut butter.  I looked at every grocery store.  The closest I came to had the ingredient list “peanuts, oil, salt, approved conditioners”.   What the hell are approved conditioners and who approved them?  At this point we are halfway through our second jar of TJ’s.  I’m starting to sweat.  I glare when Tim goes in for a spoonful. I consider calling Karen who will be here in 2 months and ask her to pack a second bag and load it with the good stuff.

With no natural source to be had, and with inspiration from the Little India bulk foods and spices store we found, I decide to go down a different route.  I had already purchased a food processor for the purpose of making baby food…  What if we made our own peanut butter?  Yesterday I picked up half kilo of raw peanuts, brought them home to be roasted and salted.  I poured them into the processor and hit go.

It took a while, maybe 5 minutes of grinding, but magically it turned into peanut butter!  Natural, two ingredient peanut butter!  And the total cost: 2.50RM (about 80 cents).  I think I still have some tweaking to do on the recipe, roasting times and amount of salt, but I am so pleased with our own peanut butter I might just go have a spoonful right now.

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