Tahlequah Daily Press

Columns

July 9, 2012

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

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, my siblings 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'll 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, never the plastic bottle); 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 into the crevices.

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 his consumption. (He professes a preference for the "Natural" Skippy.)

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.” She confessed to sometimes spreading PB on warm toast, letting the PB melt, then scraping it off the with knife, licking the knife, and reapplying the PB, "with a new knife, of course."

Text Only
Columns
  • Keeping the interest of boys is just a matter of ‘gross’

    A couple of my friends complained to me recently that they didn’t know how to “connect” with their teenage sons, and that they are growing apart from the sweet little boys to whom they once read bedtime stories.

    July 14, 2014

  • ‘Different’ situations aren’t so very different, after all

    “Well, that’s different!” It’s the favorite phrase of the hypocrite, when confronted with his glaring flaw.

    July 7, 2014

  • Threats on social media or elsewhere won’t change any minds

    I try not to take political positions on my private Facebook timeline. I used to sometimes, in what I considered a polite way, but that offended friends left and right – literally. And sometimes I watched in horror as a thread degenerated into name-calling between people I respect, but who happen to be polar opposites on the political spectrum.

    June 30, 2014

  • Striking the hyphen, and other journalistic maneuvering

    A couple of years ago, my office phone rang. With no greeting or fanfare, the caller indignantly said, “Did you know they’ve taken the hyphen out of ‘fundraiser’?”

    June 23, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg IRS spins email yarn as Obama slips past another scandal

    Forget everything you've heard about email. All digital trace of a former IRS official's email over the 25 months the agency harassed conservative groups has mysteriously, improbably vanished. Gone, too, is the White House's accountability as President Obama slips from another scandal.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Front-load washers are harbingers of foul-smelling fabric

    May 27, 2014

  • Beetles in the office aren’t up on blocks

    We have more dead beetles here at the Daily Press office than you can shake a can of Raid at.

    May 12, 2014

  • NOLA always worth your time, especially for Jazz Fest

    When it comes to New Orleans, you can have a “glass half-full” or a “glass half-empty” attitude.
    Either you see anniversary celebrants enjoying a romantic dinner at the Court of Two Sisters, or the aging transvestite hawking her wares on Bourbon Street. You hear the joyous sounds of Zydeco music from the band on the corner, or the lewd cursing of the drunken frat boy at Pat O’Brien’s. You smell the enticing aroma of Cajun cuisine in the French Quarter, or the fresh puddle of vomit on the sidewalk.
    I’m a cynic, but I take the “glass half-full” approach to New Orleans. My family loves the city’s character, even with all the blemishes that repel respectable folks, and we especially love the Jazz and Heritage Festival. That’s where we were last weekend. The main action is out at the fairgrounds, with its sweltering temperatures, stick-tight-laden grass, and sea of sweaty bodies packed in around a dozen stages and 60 or so booths selling local food and crafts.

    May 5, 2014

  • Selling of lies in the dreaded car game

    Recently, my husband and I did something that is discussed in the same tone of disdain reserved for Communists, salesmen, politicians, lawyers, and sometimes, journalists. We bought ourselves a “furrin” car.
    We decided on a foreign contraption because my husband now commutes to Tulsa every day, and a quick calculation revealed the horror our three-quarter-ton diesel Chevy would visit upon our bank account. That vehicle gets a comparatively impressive 18 mpg, but doing the math on the current price of diesel and a 150-mile daily round trip is enough to send anyone to the nearest toilet to hurl up the previous meal.

    April 21, 2014

  • 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

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Stocks