The first meal I ever made myself was peanut butter toast. Likely, it was some shitty white bread, and likely it was that sugary slop that contains peanuts and is called, by some, peanut butter but isn’t actually peanut butter. Also, there was lots of butter beneath the “peanut butter.” An inauspicious beginning to my career as an enjoyer of super-delicious foods.
I have, in many ways, come a long way foodwise. When I met my husband, I didn’t know what garlic was; literally did not know what it was–what class of food it belonged to, what you’d use it for, where you’d find it in the grocery store, what it looked like. When I began learning to cook (just 9 short years ago!), I had to google every new ingredient, including things like ginger and zucchini. I can’t tell you how much I wish I were exaggerating.
Anyway, now I’m an adventurer in food. A modest adventurer, but an adventurer nonetheless. My favourite vegetable is kale, which fact alone gives me heaps of culinary street cred.
But my favourite food is still peanut butter toast. It really is. Natural peanut butter on healthy multigrain toast and no butter anywhere. It’s still the ultimate comfort food. But it’s also, for me, still the ultimate Pavlovian catalyst for getting a particular kind of work done. Work in front of the computer; writing work. I get going writing–you know when your brain is working faster than your fingers possibly can because you’re not some radioactive freak from an 80s comic book?–and I almost immediately begin to need peanut butter toast. It’s part of the process, as much a necessary tool as the computer itself. Or electricity. Or a house in which to have all these things with which to do such tasks.
If I ever decide to commit myself to writing full-time, I’m going to have a problem of nutritionally critical proportions.
Or, I think I am. I actually can’t figure out if peanut butter is healthy or not. I naturally feel, as the descendent of Irish Catholics AND Scottish Presbyterians AND Dutch Calvinists, that the mere fact of my loving peanut butter toast this much is a sin, the result of which is its instant transfiguration into pure lard the moment I put it in my mouth. I’m sure if I hated the stuff, it would be as lightly steamed organic broccoli as it made its way down my gullet.
I love so many things. Why can’t blueberries be the thing I need to shovel into my mouth constantly while being productive? I mean I do, sometimes, but only as either an appetizer or dessert for the peanut butter toast course(s).
I feel a New Year’s Resolution coming on…ha ha, no, just kidding. I will never give up peanut butter toast. In fact, on a brilliant variation of a perfect theme, I will be making Thai Chickpea Pizza for Festivus Eve with my husband. Yes, that’s right: pizza with spicy peanut sauce on top. Here’s the recipe if you understand the full magnitude of my tastebuds’ genius and want to try it. You’re welcome. (Note: I use unsweetened soy milk for the non-dairy milk the recipe calls for.)