The 20th U.S. President, James A. Garfield supposedly once said, “Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” Yes, there was such a food back then. It can be argued that the ancient Aztecs and Incas were the first peoples to enjoy this pasty substance. However, peanut butter was not a common food item during the time of the Garfield administration, so the President probably did not actually say anything about peanut butter.
The modern version of this food was jointly made possible by the work of three inventors. In 1884, Canada’s Marcellus Edson patented his process of milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces. In 1885, Dr. John Kellogg (the cereal guy) invented a way to make peanut butter from raw peanuts. In 1903, Dr. Ambrose Straub of Missouri patented his peanut butter maker machine.
As far as the mis-attribution of the President Garfield quote goes, it was actually, probably coined in 1959 by comedian Brother Dave Gardner.
In that there is even some minor controversy over a Presidential quote about peanut butter, the food item is probably a big deal. I admit that peanut butter is part of my own diet. It became a main staple for me during the hunger years at college. I bought it by the pail in order to make ends meet as I worked my way through college. A person might think that eating so much of a certain food would make the eater sick and tired of it. That isn’t the case for me and peanut butter, though.
If I’m in a hurry and need a quick mini-meal, I prepare a sandwich using multi-grain bread, peanut butter, and sliced banana. It contains essential fats, fiber, carbohydrates, and protein. (It’s also an addictive substance.) When eaten with a side salad or coleslaw, the sandwich becomes a legitimate meal.
We’ve all heard the quip about some gadget or idea being “the best thing since sliced bread.” Another one is, “the best thing since peanut butter and jelly.” So, would a really superlative gadget be the best thing since peanut butter and jelly on sliced bread?
I feel sorry for my step-nephew. He has a severe nut and peanut allergy. His anaphylaxis is a constant concern because he cannot be in the same room with anyone who has peanut butter or tree nuts on their breath. There cannot be any peanuts or nuts in the house and visitors are advised to brush their teeth before stopping over to see the family because of the risk of anaphylaxis. Despite such precautions, countless emergencies have happened. My step-brother keeps a supply of injectable adrenaline ready and has had to rush the boy to the emergency room several times.
Thinking about the kid makes me feel extra thankful that I don’t have an affliction like his. I don’t know how I’d cope without a large jar of peanut butter in the cupboard.
This morning, I prepared a satisfying blueberry smoothie for breakfast. I blended protein powder, kefir, blueberries, and peanut butter. I’m sipping it as I write today’s blog post. It’s the perfect way to start today. The smoothie jump-start will help me stay alert and energetic all day long.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor Evan Peters. “I actually put peanut butter on my bagel. I really like peanut butter and I like to ruin the bagel. You know what’s even crazier that I do sometimes? I do cinnamon raisin bagels with peanut butter. It’s really out there.”