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3 March, 2018

Yes, today is national Peanut butter lovers day.  I have sent greetings to Walt's sister, who is a peanut butter lover.  (Actually, when I googled it, the day is really March 1, but the calendar on which I found it had it as March 3, and I won't quibble)

We buy peanut butter by the largest jar around here, though we have no children and rarely make anything with peanut butter, but we both like eating it right from the jar itself.  It's embarrassing how quickly we go through a jar of peanut butter.

There was a time when David really loved peanut butter and his daily lunch sandwich was, believe it or not, peanut butter, jelly and tuna.  He ate that daily for weeks and finally gave it up when he decided to add a pickle to it and discovered that was really gross.

Some fun facts about peanut butter:

- Peanut butter is 127 years old! It was developed in 1890 and promoted as a health food at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
- It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
- Americans eat 3 lbs of peanut butter per person per year.
- By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
- Two peanut farmers have been elected president – Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson and Georgia’s Jimmy Carter.
- According to Little Brownie Bakers, cookie bakers use about 230,000 pounds of peanut butter per week to bake the Girl Scout’s Do-si-dos and Tagalongs.
- A Survata study revealed that women and children prefer creamy peanut butter while men prefer crunchy.
- People living on the East Coast prefer creamy peanut butter, while those on the West Coast prefer the crunchy style.  (Not me; I'm a smooth girl)
- Six major peanut producing states grow nearly all the U.S peanut crop: Georgia (over 46 percent), Florida (nearly 13 percent), Alabama (nearly 11 percent), Texas (nearly 9 percent), South Carolina (about 8 percent) and North Carolina (about 7 percent).
- In 1895, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the creator of Kellogg’s cereal) patented a process for manufacturing peanut butter.
- ESPN magazine recently called the PB&J a “staple snack” of the NBA.
- Peanut butter is found in 94 percent of American households today.
- In 2017, released a list of the top five cities for peanut butter lovers, based on “peanut butter sales data, PB-centric celebrations and stand-out menu items at local restaurants.” They are Boston; Columbus, Ohio; Dothan, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; and New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
- Peanuts have 7 grams of protein per serving – more than any other nut.
- Just a handful of peanuts a day may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease when eaten as part of a healthy diet.

To celebrate the day, I made some peanut butter bars, the recipe for which was on a bag of sugar.  They are WAY too sweet, and I suppose that given the source of the recipe, I shouldn't be surprised!

I also made a "Praline cheesecake" to take to a lunch today.  it required baking the crust for 10 minutes at 375, then raising the temp to 450 and baking the filling for 10 minutes, then lowering the temp to 250 and baking for an hour, then removing and let it cool for 20 minutes and then refrigerate.  Since I didn't get started making this dessert until 11 p.m., I was up quite late before I could refrigerate it.

But it was delicious, with brown sugar instead of white and folding in chopped pecans.  A different taste, and not as sweet as most cheesecakes.

Lunch was with my dentist Cindy and our friend Roberta.  At one time we all worked together along with Melody, Laura and Shirley for The Secretariat, where we did lots and lots of typing mostly for university students.  We also edited term papers students.  I wonder how many jocks we managed to get through school!

Melody has gone silent and no one has heard from her in years (which saddens me because we were such good friends), Laura is running an apple orchard in Oregon and selling apples to tourists.  She doesn't do internet, so it's difficult to contact her, though I do occasionally hear from her at Christmas.  Shirley moved to New York to be with her daughter, who owns a winery, with her husband, in the Fingerlakes district.  Ironically, I had an e-mail from her just last week saying she was coming back to Davis later this month and hadn't been here in five years or so.  We hope to get together with her while she is here.

Our lunch was delightful.  Cindy is such a good cook and made a carrot soup to die for.  My cheesecake was a winner too.



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