Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

The End of the Peanut Butter

Maybe this has more to do with being from a family of 8 than being a woman over 40, but I can’t stand when Gary  decides the peanut butter jar is empty when it clearly isn’t. Just now, I noticed he’d left a jar on the counter. “Are we out of peanut butter?” I asked. “Yeah,” he answered, never even acknowledging – as a little side note – that he had emptied it a couple of hours ago and it was still on the counter. Whatever.

But when I looked in the  jar I was struck by just how much peanut butter was left; enough, in fact, for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So, I scraped it out and ate it. Yes, I ate the whole tablespoon that was left in that “empty” jar even though I wasn’t hungry because. . .  well, do I really have to explain?
As much as I don’t buy into the whole “sin” thing, my first response is “what a sin” when Gary is prepared to throw out perfectly good food. There’s a spot on the tomato? Cut it out and use the rest. The celery is kind of limp? It’s going into soup; what does it matter? I grew up in a house where every bit of food counted. When there are 8 (and sometimes more) mouths to feed, you put a lot of thought into whether something is edible or garbage.

Now, I won’t pull a George Costanza and take something out of the garbage to eat. In most cases.  But I will save even a quarter of a cup of leftovers. . . which often end up in the garbage eventually, but not for lack of trying.

Growing up in a household where food was almost sacred, you have an entirely different relationship with it. A special relationship. In fact, all of my sisters do (I don’t know if my brothers do because I can’t look in their cabinets whenever I want to. For some reason, I think it might freak out my sisters-in-law). All of us girls – even my mom – have a fully packed pantry and overstuffed kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. We know what it’s like to be hungry and have to wait for a meal to eat. And it’s not going to happen again, if we can help it.

And you better believe, we will never waste an entire tablespoon of peanut butter!

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 10th, 2012 at 7:23 PM and is filed under My Pet Peeves. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Barry Jay says:

    Cherish every morsel. Ever since I had my tongue removed, eating is possibly the worse chore I have. I miss food…the taste, the texture. What I would do to taste a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…

  2. David Alexander says:

    I was raised in a house of two children and we finished every bit of the peanut butter jar. It was the “starving children in India” that motivated us! Of course my kids don’t see it that way, at least not now. Wait until they go off to college!

  3. camille says:

    .I wonder if our brothers cabinets are like ours….

  4. Irene Maran says:

    Peanut butter is another addition I have and I too scrap the plastic container. Do you remember when it was glass? Like all good things, glass and peanut butter have come to the end of the road. I think the last spoon is definitely a man’s thing – they get the most out of the jar with their finger and that’s it. His mistake was leaving the jar on the counter. Maybe he’ll learn from his mistakes. I’d eat the last spoon too, rather than put an “empty” jar back into the cabinet. If you have grandkids around, you never have an empty jar of peanut butter.
    Nice article!

  5. Steve Gregory says:

    That’s why a rub spatula was invented in the first place.

  6. Steve Gregory says:

    Wonder of wonders, Lucille, I do read your blog now and then.

  7. Bud from Bayonne says:

    Dearest Lulu,

    I too grew up in a family that was taught that wasting food would not be tolerated, and that you sat there until you finished every last bite. If you didn’t finish by the time you were ready to go to bed then, guess what was for supper the following night? That’s right last night’s unfinished meal!!! I still don’t waste food today, and I’m a lot more fortunate then we were when I was a kid.

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