Peanut butter and I have a very interesting relationship. As an American child, I can’t really remember a time before peanut butter and jelly was a staple lunch item in my house. I went through phases with it as a kid, sometimes loving it and sometimes hating it, but eventually I forgot about it (or maybe Nutella took its place…I’m not quite sure). Then, when I started to think about eating healthier and losing weight, it became one of those items that I just couldn’t have anymore because it was too high calorie, and so I of course started to crave it even though I probably hadn’t had it in years. Now that I am out of that red hot diet phase of my life, I have realized just how great it is and a week doesn’t go by that I don’t have a peanut butter sandwich. Recently, as I was googling around the net, I came across P.B. Loco which is a company that sells gourmet peanut butters. Immediately intrigued, I decided to order their gift-set in which you got to choose any three peanut butter flavors for around 20 dollars. I chose Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (that one was finished first – it was amazing), Sumatra Cinnamon and Raisin (just finished today – also perfect), and Raspberry White Chocolate (haven’t tried yet). In addition, they sent me a jar of Jungle Banana as a gift! Let me just tell you, these peanut butters turn a childhood favorite into a gourmet meal. Admittedly, I make my sandwiches with half gourmet pb and half Better’n Peanut Butter which is a lower calorie peanut substitute, but they are still REALLY good. In fact, I just finished one today with a cup of creamy vegetable medley bisque soup from Trader Joe’s…the perfect low maintenance lunch for a lazy Friday.

Now for the book review. Beautiful Children by Charles Bock was the second book I finished from the NYTimes Notable Book List of 2008. It follows the lives of five seemingly unrelated individuals as they make their way through a typical Las Vegas night. In a larger context, the novel mainly details the disappearance of Newell Ewing, a 12-year-old (ish) boy who goes out for the night with his much older friend Kenny and never returns. All of the story’s other characters are tangentially involved in Newell’s disappearance, even though in many ways they are all beautiful, runaway children themselves. The descriptions in this book, especially those of Vegas and the desert that surrounds it, are just amazing and, even though the book ends with you never quite finding out just what happened to Newell that night, leaves you with a sense of peace and contentedness. Definitely read it if you get the chance.

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9 Responses to Sandwich, Soup, and A Good Read

  1. Elra says:

    I honestly never seen that PB in the grocery store, do I miss something here? I must look harder, because this PB seems pretty special. Look at what it say in the jar..”with Sumatra cinnamon and raisins”, that’s sounds special isn’t it?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I love that you’re enjoying a local Minnesota ingredient! You’ll love the raspberry white chocolate.

  3. laurajane says:

    I actually think the only good think about my eating habits is that I actually don’t like the taste of peanut butter – but my love for chocolate more than makes up for it! The book looks interesting – I wish I had more time to read.

  4. Kevin says:

    Those gourmet peanut butters sound really good!

  5. PB&J was a staple lunch when I was growing up but my girls won’t touch the PB or the J…how sad.

  6. Natashya says:

    I have never come across gourmet pb, sounds really good – especially the cinnamon and raisin.
    Thanks for the tip about the book, I will keep an eye out for it. (although my library doesn’t seem to like new books, the selection seems to be a couple of years behind)

  7. Joanne says:

    Elra – I bought the pb online, so yes I guess you could say it is pretty special :).

    Elizabeth – I didn’t know they were from Minnesota! I just opened the jar of jungle banana and am surprisingly enamored with it. I’m saving the best (raspberry white choc.) for last.

    laurajane – I try to read a bit each morning. I usually wake up before my roommate and rather than wake her up, I spend some quality time with a good book.

    Kevin – They are great. Except now I am a PB addict.

    Katherine – I didn’t love it as a kid but now I can’t stop eating it, so there’s hope for them.

    Natashya – This is what happens when you spend too much time surfing the internet.

  8. my husband would love that cinnamon raisin PB. i might have to order some for him, he’s a big peanutbutter and jelly eater!

  9. Joanne says:

    Ashlee – This brand of PB is AMAZING. It kind of scares me that I have singlehandedly polished off two jars :P.

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