Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Making Peanut Butter at Home (And Lessons Learnt)

Hurrah for small victories. I've been adventuring along on a journey of tickling my 2 year old son's taste buds with organic, healthy ingredients. He's at that age where he's hungry every 20 minutes and fruits / milk / veggie portions (usually reserved for meals) every time is just not cutting it. I figured peanut butter can be used to make fudge, cookies, bliss balls, etc

So the victory was with peanut butter --- this recipe. I had made it ages ago successfully and my impression was that it was a pretty basic process. Just roast the groundout, then grind till creamy. Add a little salt and honey and voilĂ ........ except it didn't happen... just peanut powder and nothing but after ten minutes of grinding. I thought that was as far as we would get with our current 'mixie', a standard in every Indian kitchen.

My husband's Mother never gives up..... she went online searched forums and finally found the answer......don't quit. Grind till you get the creamy texture.... it will do so eventually. So we ran the mixie on top speed till that happened......a few lessons: Never give up, don't remove the healthful groundnut skin, the heat generated from running at top speed also helps the oils release and start the creaminess, keep scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl between grinding cycles and finally, it won't taste the same as the stuff found in stores but that's a really good thing.

Message to the eaters of the food made by the masters of the kitchen: When you keep comparing food made at home to the ready-made stuff or restaurant food..... you are giving the morale of the adventurous soul who made this for you an almost physical blow.

Seriously, did we just spend a lot of time  and labour just to hear you say "but it isn't the same as  _________(insert product name here)"? Did it occur to you that perhaps we don't even care what you think because we're so proud of our effort and it tastes just fine too?

Message to the masters of their kitchen:
The whole point of recreating a dish from a known point of reference is that you are now able to make a much healthier version which will nourish those eating it. 

     Yes, this is the first time you made it and you've made notes on how to tweak it the next time. Yes, it should ultimately be eaten and liked but that will have as much to do with their firmly-held perspectives as it will be about texture, taste and mouth-feel. The onus is on you (it's unfair but so is life;) to say this out loud to the ones you love...."I made this so that you could enjoy a food that you crave in a healthier form. It is guaranteed to taste different because it has less salt / sugar / fat and zero chemical and non-food ingredients. Any comparison is redundant because, again, the original and my 'knock-off' do not contain the same quality of ingredients. Can you live with that?" Educate the people you cook for and stand up for yourself and your creations.

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