Baby Boomer Babbling-er-Musings

I'm from the baby boomer generation. I have a mop of white hair, courtesy of my gene pool. And a botox-free face that sports frown lines in the forehead and around the eyes. Love handles instead of a waistline. Can't say I'm exactly crazy about any of these old age indicators but I accept them with grace. And now I've lived long enough now that I ponder on a lot of things, new and old.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

From Baby Food Jars to Peanut Butter Jars

Who doesn’t love peanut butter?  I would venture to say that the majority of baby boomers can’t remember a childhood without peanut butter.  Smooth or crunchy?   Smooth has always gotten my vote.  Whenever I bite into a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, it almost always will transport me back to my childhood.

When I was a little girl, Peter Pan was the peanut butter of choice in our house.  My earliest memory of peanut butter is walking through the A&P grocery store along side my Mama, who was pushing the grocery cart with my younger brother, Garry, seated facing her with his chubby little legs dangling.  He was about three years old at the time and my Mama was always looking for something that he might like to eat.  You see, long after most toddlers had left behind their baby food jars, my three-year-old brother still loved his baby food and that’s basically all she could get him to eat.  Sorry to “out” you on this one, Garry, but the truth will always come out.  What else are big sisters for?

The only other thing Garry really liked to eat was pieces of loaf bread dunked into a glass of milk.  Since he seemed to like it so much, I decided to give it a try.  Once.  Ugh.  Soggy bread is not my idea of a feast.  But my little brother sure loved it!  Mama often fretted that if she could not find something he would eat, when he started school she would be putting slices of loaf bread and baby food jars in his lunch box. 

On this particular trip to the A&P my Mama spied something on the grocery shelf.  She picked up a jar of Peter Pan and held it out toward Garry.  “Do you want to try some peanut butter, son?”  He gave a quick negative shake of his head.  Mama opened the jar right there in the aisle of the grocery store and dipped her finger in it.  She held out the small dollop of peanut butter toward Garry.  He put his hand over his mouth, shook his head vigorously and firmly said, “No!”

Mama licked the peanut butter off her finger and held the jar toward me.  I dipped my finger in the jar to scoop out some peanut butter for myself.  As we licked our fingers clean, Mama and I made those “Mmmmmm, good” noises.  Garry looked at us warily from his perch in the grocery cart.  “It is soooo good,” I said as I tried to coax him into trying it.  “It tastes like candy,” I said.  Any other time my Mama would have scolded me for telling an outright lie but she must have been desperate to find anything her baby boy would like to eat besides baby food.  But then she had never before opened a jar in the middle of the A&P and started eating before she paid for it!  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

You could see that Garry was considering what I had said because he moved his hand away from his mouth and eyed the peanut butter jar with interest.  I dipped another finger in the peanut butter and held it toward him.  He backed his head away but didn’t cover his mouth this time.  He was undecided about this brown stuff on our fingers because it didn’t look like any candy he had ever seen.

Mama and I both licked a couple more dollops off our fingers, telling him how delicious that “peanut butter candy” was to eat.  Then I offered Garry another small dollop of peanut butter and this time he cautiously licked some of it off.  He didn’t spit it out and we could tell he was testing it on his palate.  We waited anxiously for the verdict.

“More,” he said.  Mama handed Garry the whole jar.  Thus began my brother’s life-long love affair with peanut butter.  Since he already liked loaf bread, getting him to eat it on a sandwich was not difficult.   Mama started weaning him off his baby food habit but still worried that his main diet consisted mostly of peanut butter, bread, and milk.  He did finally start eating regular food but only narrowly before he started first grade.  I am not sure, but I think I may have shamed him into it with my constant mockery of his baby-food habit. 

My Mama still keeps a big jar of peanut butter on her kitchen counter.  When Garry comes over to her house, he will pour a big glass of milk and chow down on a plain peanut butter sandwich.  I’m still not sure if he knows it is not candy.


  1. Gotta love Peanut Butter!!!!!!!!!

    My Ma always bought Skippy and every so often would make us her special candy with the leftover mashed potatoes........;-))


  2. Pretty cool gal, pretty cool! So, my question is...did Ella Mae BUY the jar of peanut butter??? LOL! Love you!


I love comments from readers of my blog! Looking forward to hearing from you...