At the back of the top shelf of the fridge there sits a jar of peanut butter which at this point in time has probably been there for about a year. It’s organic with no preservatives and has sailed past the Best Before date stamped on the lid, but it looks and smells just fine.
It might not sound like it but I actually like peanut butter, as long as it is the smooth rather than crunchy kind, I just can’t get my head around the attraction of crunchy. When I was a kid I used to love peanut butter on toast but somehow I just don’t ever seem to eat it anymore, so the jar continues to sit there. Every so often I notice it, wonder what to do with it for a few seconds, and then turn it around or put something else in front of it.
It feels fairly certain at this point that I’m not going to put it on toast anytime in the near future, but surely there have to be some more imaginative ways to use it?
Oh and there are…
What not to do with it
Any search engine will in a fraction of a second give you a very dull and standard ‘Top 10’ list of things to do with peanut butter, so let’s get those out of the way first. You will find this exact same list on any of hundreds of different (lesser) websites. It includes things like:
- Using it to clean your leather furniture – this is clearly a stupid idea for any number of reasons.
- Removing the smell from a pan you fried fish in – maybe try washing it properly, which you will need to do to get rid of the peanut butter anyway.
- Lubricating your lawnmower – I am curious but also absolutely certain there are many far better products for the task.
So, I am happy to write most of these off straight away.
As an aside, if you can use it to lubricate your lawnmower, and it is according to all of these lists “the best lube ever” – can I use it to lubricate other things, after all it is just like eating it in a way, and it’s all internal, isn’t it?
I once had a “friend of a friend” who, allegedly, used to let his dog lick peanut butter off of his man parts. I will stop there because I’m really not sure that is a story for everyone, I can’t imagine any possible world in which I would think that was a good or enjoyable idea, and only half of the world population have those bits anyway.
We are also going to dismiss all of the million and one different recipes for peanut butter cookies, peanut butter and chocolate cakes, and peanut butter cups. I am not skipping over these because there is anything wrong with them per se, although they really aren’t my favourite things to eat. I am skipping them because you can find plenty of them elsewhere, and also because these are American things but I’m from the other side of the pond. Our peanut butter is different, much less sweet, and far better suited to savoury things than these overly sweet concoctions.
Proper interesting and non-pervy uses
Here then are a few things that I do actually believe that peanut butter is very good for, some are edible and others not.
- Use it in hummus instead of tahini – not because there is anything wrong with tahini of course, in fact quite the opposite is true, it is wonderful stuff, just for a change of flavour sometimes, because it can’t hurt to mix things up a little.
- Get gum out of hair – you might think that anybody who manages to get chewing gum in their hair is a bit dense and probably deserves to have a chunk of their hair cut out, but it can happen, and it isn’t always your fault. Rubbing peanut butter into the afflicted area really does make it easy to pull the gum off of the hair. I don’t know the science, but it is tried and tested.
- Make some kind of satay approximation – if it is good enough for most of South East Asia, then it’s also good enough for you.
- Make a fondue – ok, I admit that this is really quite similar to the satay suggestion, just with the sauce served in a warming pot instead of already poured over your skewered chicken, but it’s still a viable idea.
- Get animals to take pills – this is one of those from the net wide top ten list, but it warrants inclusion here because it actually works. I have no idea why cats, dogs (and mice) love peanut butter, but they do, and it makes giving your pet medication a lot easier, you just stick a pill in a splurge of peanut butter and watch them gulp it down.
- Kill your enemies – obviously this only works if you are careful enough to make enemies with people who have severe peanut allergies, and if you manage to disguise the distinctive smell of the PB. If you happen to have those conditions though, then it is a fantastic murder option, and you can always claim to have been unaware of the fatal allergy.
- Eat it with cheese – cheese and nuts is a classic combination, much beloved around Christmas time. Peanuts might not be the most thought of combination, but they do surprisingly pair up really well with a mature yellow cheese like Cheddar or Manchego.
I’m assuming that I don’t really need to write a disclaimer about not actually advocating murder using food allergens or any other weapon, but this sentence kind of acts as one anyway.
Maybe you have some other wonderfully inventive use that I should check out, if you do then please, please let me know.