Archive for May, 2009

of peanut butter and procrastination

peanut butter cookies cooling on a rack

When’s the last time you had a homemade peanut butter cookie? Really? That long ago? Me too.

Which has me wondering – what happened? I grew up baking peanut butter cookies. But I didn’t know that there were only two generations before me with the same experience. I hadn’t remembered that peanuts weren’t even grown in the U.S. until just before the turn of the 20th century, when thanks to George Washington Carver they were cultivated as an alternative to boll-weevil infested cotton crops. Carver’s 1925 article, How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption, includes recipes for cookies containing peanuts (and peanut doughnuts, and peanut soup, and liver with peanuts), but nothing containing peanut butter. , which wasn’t even invented until the 1920s. A recipe for peanut butter cookies first appeared in the 1930s, along with the first time ever instruction to press dough balls flat with the tines of a fork, which is how my grandmother did it, and is still done today. Except that it is hardly ever done today.

What would cause peanut butter cookies to fall so out of fashion?

Continue reading ‘of peanut butter and procrastination’

before it’s too late

rice penne in a colander

It’s almost summer, and I still have kale on the brain. We’re kicking off the covers at night and sleeping with windows open to cool air and cricket songs: sure signs that it’s time to tuck winter greens into the back of the recipe box to wait out the heat of summer, but here I am still trotting out the kale recipes. As if we haven’t had the Winter of Kale. As if we weren’t already surrounded with halos of golden virtuosity, positively humming with the health benefit of daily doses of dark, leafy greens.

The truth is, my kale obsession has nothing to do with virtue and everything to do with our CSA, and the fact that months of cruciferous goodness have created quite a backlog of tried and true recipes that I can’t bear not to share. Plus, I’ve heard about the rain in Oregon, and I’m betting that my northwesterly sisters will be able to make use of it for another couple of weeks.

Continue reading ‘before it’s too late’


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