Elbow Grease Peanut Butter

When we were in India we made all kinds of things from scratch, including peanut butter in the mixie. But since we didn’t want to fork over 1000 baht for an electric blender that we’d then have to ditch when we leave Thailand, Lauren and I thought we might just have to go without our peanut butter fix for a few months.

The other day I was munching on some roasted peanuts from the local market and noticed a mortar and pestle at work. I wondered whether I could put these two things together. I held back on my experimental urge… until this afternoon.

Prompted by our weekend discovery of a decent locally-baked whole wheat bread, I took the pestle to the mortar and crushed and re-crushed 100g of peanuts. After about 15 minutes of pounding (and some inquisitive looks from my co-workers), I had a mortar full of handmade peanut butter!

Hand grinded peanut butter

As my co-workers all took a sample, I explained to them the English term “peanut butter” and some of its usages as a spread in Western foods. They still thought I was crazy, but they liked the peanut butter and next time I’ll bring in some bread as a prop for a future English lesson. On my first taste I also realized that there had been a little residual crushed chili in the mortar, adding a touch of spiciness. This was accidental, but tasty, and next time I’ll likely add a small dried chili to the mix.

Tonight we bought a loaf of the whole-wheat bread from the night market and celebrated with a post-dinner snack:

Fresh as can be peanut butter snack
Lauren satisfying her peanut butter cravings for the first time in six weeks

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