Friday, 24 January 2014

Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter, on toast, in a sandwich and in the various dessert recipes I’ve acquired.

In November, 2006, I made an ice cream cake for my son’s birthday. I know it was that year because I have the recipe in my scrapbook cookbook. It was a layer of ice cream, a layer of chocolate sauce, more ice cream, followed by this absolutely fantastic peanut butter sauce, and then more ice cream.

This ‘cake’ has become a family favourite. I’ve varied it over the years by using different ice cream combinations. One time I used mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Omitting the peanut butter sauce was not a popular decision even though mint chocolate chip is a flavour in our family.

The combination of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and Reese’s Peanut Butter Chunk ice cream with the peanut butter sauce was a better combination.

I’ve made the sauce, for its very simple, and served it on its own, over ice cream, without all the fuss of layering, and everyone loves it. I made a double batch for the last family gathering, at my daughter’s home, and saw my two very adult children act like…well, children. There was a bit of that, na na na nana, stuff as my daughter figured she had leftovers in her future.

My sister-in-law asked for the recipe, to serve over brownies and ice cream. Mmmm, sounds good, chocolate and peanut butter is always a hit.

Here’s the recipe for the Peanut Butter Sauce

¾ cup peanut butter
¼ cup half and half
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp margarine or butter
¼ cup powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, half and half, corn syrup and margarine. Cook over medium heat just until margarine melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally: remove from heat.

Stir in powdered sugar: beat until smooth and creamy.

 I will admit I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit. I use milk if I don’t have half and half, and I use whatever corn syrup I have on hand. Always good.

Peanut butter is a staple, and I always have to have some in my cupboard.

When I was writing my book ‘Left in Sorrow’ there was a scene where the main character is on her way to the cottage and stops at the local market for staples. The writing flowed and, without any conscious plan on my part, a memory from my life was incorporated into the story, a memory about peanut butter.

My Dad also loved peanut butter. In my parents’ kitchen in Florida was a wooden plaque, shaped like a slice of bread. On it were the words Man cannot live by bread alone, he must have peanut butter.

Somehow in the writing of my book, this memory emerged, adding some emotion and some fun into the scene where Holly meets a local who will have a part in her future plans.

When this happens, and it has many times, I just sit back and wonder. How does that work? That as I’m writing I can pull out a memory that so adds to the story.

I know every writer is influenced by what they’ve experienced in their life, and I understand that. But it’s these little fragments, words spoken and remembered, items loved and cherished that, when added to the story; give it a sense of real emotion.

Anyway, if you want to read the excerpt from the book about peanut butter, I’m posting it tomorrow.

I’m hungry now; maybe a PB and J sandwich is just what I need.



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