Tahlequah Daily Press

Columns

July 10, 2012

Can you be a Poindexter if you don’t like PB?

TAHLEQUAH — In both my nuclear and extended families, peanut butter has always been a serious issue. Everyone loves it, and everyone harbors extreme brand loyalty. Many battles have been fought in the Peanut Butter Wars, the duration of which makes the Cold War seem like a brief backyard scuffle over a croquet game.

I am not a soldier in this perpetual campaign, because I do not like raw peanut butter. At family reunions, I’ve heard my mother insulted in whispers by relatives who suggest I might not be a “real” Poindexter, since I don’t like peanut butter straight out of the jar. (I like peanut butter cookies, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.)

My father eats peanut butter on everything. If he were stuck in the middle of the Sahara desert and a dried piece of camel dung were the only potentially edible item available other than a dollop of peanut butter, I suspect he’d break the dung into two pieces, plop on the PB, hold his nose, and live to see another day.

Grandma Poindexter was a diehard peanut butter fan, and she was just as opinionated as her eldest son when it came to branding. “Branding” is a buzz word, in the newspaper industry and everywhere else. If you successfully “brand” your product, you can ensure customer loyalty. I can think of no finer example of brand loyalty than in the peanut butter industry.

Grandma Poindexter was a staunch Peter Pan buff. She often said, “I’ve ALWAYS bought Peter Pan,” which may have been true, since that particular PB debuted in 1920 as “E.K. Pond” just a couple of years before she was born, and was renamed Peter Pan in 1928.

When I was a child, I actually ate PPPB on what all my cousins and I called “Grandma’s Toast.” This was a piece of white bread, buttered on one side and sizzled on the griddle. The toasted side was slathered with peanut butter and jelly (usually grape) and folded in two. At some point, to the disgust of others in the family, I began to prefer “Grandma’s Toast” without the PB.

My father threw over Peter Pan for Jif, which according to Wikipedia, hit the shelves in 1958. The affair lasted until the crunchy variety was introduced, at which point the “creamy” got the boot. My dad was known as somewhat of a skinflint, and he encouraged the buying of what we kids called “cheapie brands,” except when it came to PB. My mother once made the mistake when I was about 8 of trying to skimp on PB. I remember my father’s reaction when he reached for the jar: “Hey, I told you NEVER to buy that off-brand peanut butter!” I don’t know what the “off-brand” was; as far as he was concerned, anything but Jif was an “off-brand.”

Sniping over PB sometimes erupted when we visited my grandparents. My dad could never resist commenting on my grandmother’s penchant for Peter Pan. Once he said, “Mother, I don’t know why you keep buying Peter Pan; it tastes like crap.” My grandmother’s mouth formed a perfect “O,” and she looked around and said to everyone else, “I swan! Did you hear what he said?” I was never sure whether she was more offended by the use of the word “crap,” or the assault on her beloved Peter Pan.

In our house, Jif reigned supreme, and it was kind of like Super Glue; you could use it on anything. On the rare occasion when we had ice cream (usually a “cheapie brand” vanilla), we kids would drizzle our scoops with Hershey’s chocolate sauce (always from the can); our dad smeared Jif on his ice cream. For the rest of us, it was margarine and Griffin’s syrup for waffles; for my dad’s stack, Jif had to be caked on.

PB&J was the preferred sandwich for my father, but he also accepted other pairings. A favorite was PB and mayo. I’ve also seen him consume PB and mustard, PB and ketchup, and on one occasion, PB and the juice remaining in a jar of maraschino cherries I’d used to make a cake. I suspect he would have dunked carrot sticks, french fries, meatballs or hot wings in Jif.

A prerequisite for marrying into our family is a love for PB. My husband fit the bill, but no doubt his status is diminished by his preference for Skippy. He will eat Peter Pan if that’s all he can get his hands on, but he hates Jif. I’m not sure my father knows this. Like most in my family (excluding myself and my cousin Tracy, another apparent oddity), my husband will eat PB from the jar with a spoon, and so will my son, who will “skim” the surface of the PB smooth to hide the magnitude of consumption.

The other day, I posted a question on my brother’s Facebook wall about PB to see where his loyalties lay. Before he could answer, my cousin Stacy jumped into the fray, speaking rapturously of PB, proclaiming “an affinity for Smuckers Natural,” and labeling an addiction to PB as “second only to crack.” When my brother weighed it, it was to profess his continued loyalty to Jif, though he was pretty much confined to Skippy or a local brand when he lived in Oxford. Now he’s in Singapore and can get whatever he wants.

Disliking raw PB isn’t a bad thing, because you’re not tempted to eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. A few years ago, I told a friend about my distaste for PB, and she said, “Oh, you’re lucky. Peanut butter is the main reason I’m fat.” Of course, this conversation was over the phone, and she hadn’t seen me in years. It’s not hard to find a fattening substitute for peanut butter. Now, take ice cream...

Kim Poindexter is managing editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press, and she buys (but doesn’t eat) Skippy.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Wild West pits U.S. government against “We the people”

    Unless one has been living under a rock over the past week, one couldn’t have missed the recent standoff in Nevada between a rancher and the U.S. government. It’s only one incident in many that has the government of the people pitted against the people.

    April 16, 2014

  • Bodily functions don’t belong in job interviews

    For all you soon-to-be college grads who will be trying to join the rest of us suckers in the workforce, I have a word of advice: Don’t pass gas during the interview.

    April 14, 2014

  • As Moore tornado anniversary nears, documentaries ask, ‘Where was God?’

    But one question put to readers in a publication that crossed my desk was a bit confusing to me. It asks its readers: “Where was God?”

    April 9, 2014

  • A pound of bacon is better than a pig in love

    Whatever happened to the cavemen in the Geiko insurance commercials? Those were some of the least-offensive TV blurbs I’ve ever seen, and they were original. But like any other good idea, this one fell victim to the kind of corporate tampering that always insists on fixing what ain’t broken.

    April 7, 2014

  • Escape from Auschwitz: To the 21st century

    One would have to question whether our world has gone mad in this, the 21st century, or if we are doomed to repeat the historical past.

    March 30, 2014

  • Volunteers needed to ‘Clean up Tahlequah’

    There’s a movement afoot that tugs at the pride of the folks calling Tahlequah and the rest of Cherokee County home. It’s an appeal for everyone – from the youngest to the oldest – to clean up the turf around them. Call it a campaign or a program, but what it really boils down to is a shoutout to all of us to resist contributing to the roadside trash we see, now that the snows of winter are behind us.

    March 24, 2014

  • U.S. debt threatens dollar as world currency

    March 16, 2014

    March 17, 2014

  • A sense of entitlement

    March 16, 2014

    March 17, 2014

  • It’s the publisher who sets the tone – and courage is key

    Daily Press readers should be gratified to know they have a publisher who brings courage and experience to our newspaper; who will stand as a bulwark against outside forces that might try to suppress information; and who believes in the tenet of “fair comment and criticism.” Anyone who knows me can attest I’ve always felt the same way – but the editor doesn’t get to set the tone, unless the publisher allows it.

    March 10, 2014

  • Putin switches attention from Olympics to taking over Ukraine

    Russia’s President Vladamir Putin, former head of the KGB before the Soviet Union splintered under the weight of the arms race, has taken up his old habits now that the international community has vacated Sochi and the Olympic torch has been extinguished.
    It seems as though Putin wants the old Soviet Empire to rise again.

    March 6, 2014

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Stocks