Monday, May 13, 2019

Peanut butter, butter and bread

I have just returned from grocery shopping.  I needed some apples, oranges and tomatoes. Seemingly there are things of which I am unable to bear the deprivation, among them peanut butter, butter and bread. I won't feign they are the only kit I covet. Though in the food department I'm inclined to posit - as I once heard a physician remark about beer - that they contain all the nutrients required to sustain survival. It is fortunate I've conditioned myself to rise above the alcoholic indulgence since I don't need the alimental advantage to encourage the descent (the philosophic strength of which by the way accelerates with age). And apologies to the French for having excluded cheese from this ingenuous' catalogue of imperatives.

It is no accident that butter aligns with cheese; nor that peanut butter is the Poor Man's cellar of oil. Yet both have lately acquired a sophistication - as has plain old bread.  The bread I purchased today is  among that evolving species of flatbreads called Naan. Once again regrets to the culinary aficionados who crave a crusty baguette. It isn't the exotic feature of Naan which attracts me (like Persian rugs for example); rather simply its potentially doughy rendition (as apparently only my erstwhile physician is capable of engendering - I must ask him for the secret).

Forgive me for lapsing into a layman's disquisition about food but in defence of my ostensible peasant-like savours the current production of peanut butter has advanced far beyond a glutinous collection of peanuts, sugar and salt. Like a maturing drunk I have exceeded to nut butters more selective than the equivalent of Dollar-Five-Come-Alive wine. Indeed so pure is the production that today's item boldly advertises All Natural 100% peanut butter unsalted no added preservatives Ingredients: Peanuts and - pshaw! - may contain Soy! It's from Farm Boy, pointedly an Ottawa-based company which recently sold for $800,000,000 to another Canadian grocer from Stellarton, Nova Scotia (Sobeys). I question why the likes of Whole Foods and other "designer" grocers are the ones who distribute these uncontaminated products to the public?  Surely the omission of salt and sugar - which for a strange reason is focussed upon "the unsuspecting masses" - would constitute production savings (after overcoming the predictable learning curve).

When we were on Longboat Key we discovered Kerry Gold butter ("made in Ireland with milk from grass-fed cows"). Sadly it isn't readily available here, at least not to my knowledge.

Kerry Gold butter is the Sacrament of Heaven!  One needn't express any remorse for adoring this stuff as much as subtle Brie. At the risk of clogging your arteries I can report that it and a dollop of peanut butter on the end of a spoon (albeit judiciously small; and forget the bread, entirely superfluous) are sufficient to reignite even the most languished taste buds!

Like any successful intoxication, the consumption of peanut butter, butter and bread must be guided by timing, opportunity and limits. Nor have I any hesitation that the contemplation is as much a delight as the consumption. There is something remotely elegant about oil and yeast of any persuasion. Nothing decorates a table more handsomely than bread and butter (with maybe a candle in a pewter stick).  Nonetheless (yes, there's always a qualification to any pampering) I have maintained my former temperance by continuing to eat raw vegetables (usually green pepper, cucumber, celery, carrot and tomato) lathered in fresh-squeezed lemon juice accompanied by a filet of salmon.  Mr. Kellogg's All-Bran is mandatory, please, marketed as an aid to digestive health. I haven't yet turned the corner on coffee (though I have occasionally tried).  Some things are just too good to let go!

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