May 22, 2016

You were right about the peanut butter, Court.  Now that I’ve made my own, I’m never going back. 

homemade peanut butter | Blue Jean Gourmet

Now we can add “homemade peanut butter” to a list of ways you’ve made my life better for the fifteen-plus years since we became friends as the two least-naturally-mathematically-gifted students in Mrs. Stemmler’s AP Calculus class.  Though we’d gone to school together since middle school, it wasn’t until senior year that we saw the inside of each other’s houses for the first time, conducting epic study sessions fueled by plenty of Diet Coke.  We worked our asses off that year and got to know each other better in the process; then we made 4s on the AP, and you’ve been one of the most important people in my life ever since.

I wish everyone could see you the way that I do, which is I guess why I’m writing this.  What everyone surely sees, because it is impossible to miss, is how stunningly beautiful you are, a beauty enhanced by your humility and deep inner goodness.  But what I have been privileged to see and come to know about you is how rigorously you carry yourself, the richness of your inner life, your faith, your desire to learn continually and grow your heart.  Your passion for teaching and desire for justice, your willingness to be uncomfortable and listen to views that contradict yours—you cultivate these traits with such deliberateness and carry them with such grace. 

Would that everyone be as lucky as I am to have someone like you, who listens to me without judgment and so consistently offers me your love, compassion, honesty, and respect.  You have cheered me through every victory of the past fifteen years of my life, prayed with me through every worry, soothed my panic with on-the-fly parenting advice, and inspired me regularly by your example.  You also once made me go to two spin classes in the same day and can run a faster mile when you’re five months pregnant than I can on my best day.  That all might be annoying except that you manage to stay super down-to-earth, the kind of woman who brings a six-pack to dinner and plops onto the grass in ripped jeans. 

nish & court 2016

We don’t have a lot of occasions, culturally, to celebrate our friendships the way we do our other relationships, and that’s a shame, because if we’re lucky, our friends serve as our witnesses and our teachers, collectors of past memories and cheerleaders for what’s to come.  Having known us for so long, they can appreciate who we’ve become in a way that we sometimes ourselves miss.  And it’s worth honoring, I think, the work that we do to maintain these friendships – letters and emails and text messages and plane flights and the rare opportunity to get drinks together, sans children, scheduled-ridiculously-far-in-advance. 

Court, there’s a reason that The Eagles’ song “The Long Run” always makes me think of you.  Because all the debutantes in Houston—or anywhere else, for that matter—really couldn’t hold a candle to you.  I love you & I’m so grateful for your presence in my life.  And also for peanut butter.


If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s so stupid-easy that I almost couldn’t believe it.  This post from Green Kitchen Stories breaks it all down for you, but the shorthand of it is that I used my food processor, roasted peanuts from the bulk bin, and a little bit of salt.  It took me about ten minutes, and the resultant PB has stayed creamy for over a week in the fridge—no separation, no hard-as-a-rock texture.  Basically a revelation.  I recommend it.

While I’m making recommendations, allow me to point your attention to this strawberry ginger punch from a few years back; made it recently with gin, and it was very well received.  Perfect for your Memorial Day Weekend, perhaps?  And while you’re buying basil for the punch, go ahead and make some of these lemon-lime basil shortbread cookies, too.  You’re welcome.



  1. I assume ur us in dry roasted?
    Ever tried it with raw peanuts
    Wots ur view on soakin first

    Comment by Mary stork — May 25, 2016 @ 8:11 am

  2. Hey, just thought you should know that my new roommate picked up your book and starting reading it. Within 15 minutes she was snorting laughing at your description of what it’s like to grow up in the south. She thought it was pretty cool that you’d signed my copy. (puffs out chest in pride). I told her about your blog. I just started a new job that allows me time to read my feedly more often and I came across this post. Happy coincidence! And I found a new peanut butter at central market that I love and this post may make me try and tweak what I found because I loved the concept but it was a bitty gritty as if they had mixed in coarse sugar in it. Chai pecan peanut butter! Lovely flavor, horrible texture.

    Comment by sunny bogden — June 8, 2016 @ 6:24 am

  3. hi Mary – yes, I prefer the flavor of roasted peanuts and I also add salt. re: soaking the nuts, in the post that I link to above, the author mentions that soaking & dehydrating nuts and seeds is the healthiest option, but also makes it more difficult to have the nuts & seeds release their oils when grinding them. also, since it’s more time-consuming, I haven’t tried this! how do you make yours?

    sunny – so great to hear from you! for some reason, your comment got caught by my spam filter, so I’m just now seeing it 🙁 love hearing that I made your roommate laugh! as for chai pecan butter, that sounds like an amazing flavor combination – I’ve had good luck adding ground cardamom to almond butter in the past and it is so delicious. hope all is well!

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — June 21, 2016 @ 9:10 am

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