Remembering John Updike

lee-zalben-blog-iconJohn Updike passed away today. He was a prolific author, famous for his fiction, essays, and poetry. He was also a peanut butter lover. The following quotation is from an interview he gave to Clyde Haberman, published by The New York Times in March of 1996:

“I was a great peanut-butter lover from childhood on,” he recalled. “The way I used to read was, we had an old sofa in the house, and I’d make a sandwich consisting of peanut butter and raisins. You’d eat one of those while you read John Dickson Carr or some other mystery writer, or James Thurber or Robert Benchley. In that way, many a happy afternoon went by.”

In honor of Mr. Updike, this weekend I plan on picking up a copy of one of his earliest and most famous novels, Rabbit, Run, making myself a peanut butter and raisin sandwich, and curling up on my old sofa and enjoying the two.

Comments, e-mails and our return!

It has been over a month since our last post and it has been a  busy month indeed! One of the things that really struck me when I first started working here was the seperation between the finished product on the shelf and the amount of work that goes into getting it there. As a consumer, I just had this idea that everything was automated. Not so, unfortunately. We spent a lot of the last month taking care of Holiday orders and customer concerns. When that was over, we ended up looking into a big change in the way we handle a lot of business-y things. And then the King Nut peanut butter recall happened, and while we were NOT AFFECTED BY THE RECALL(!) we spent a lot of time fielding customer calls and e-mails and issuing press releases to clear the air. But things are starting to calm down a bit and I actually just sent out our (hopeful!) schedule for the next few months, so with a little luck we’ll be back to frequent posting.

In the meantime I wanted to highlight some of my favorite posts, comments and links that’ve come in in the last few weeks. First, from a reader named Penelope:

When I first moved to the U.S., I told my husband I would only eat peanut butter if I were an American citizen. Belgians only eat chocolate spread. OK, maybe that is an overstatement, but you get the point. A few years ago I did not think I would ever apply for naturalization. I knew that I would have to give up my Belgian citizenship in order to become an American, and I was not ready to do that. But then again, never say never! Last year the Belgian law on dual citizenship changed (you no longer have to give up your Belgian citizenship if you apply for another citizenship), and more importantly, I start to feel more and more like an American. The U.S. is now my new home, and I want to participate in all facets of life, including voting. Early September I submitted my N-400 application for naturalization. I thought it would take years before my application would be approved.  I was wrong, very wrong!

On December 31, 2008 I received my letter for the Oath Ceremony: Tuesday 13 January 2009!  I could not have asked for a better way to start 2009.  When I called my husband, he immediately said “I will cook that evening.”  Mmm, my husband?  Cooking?  I should have known better: peanut butter sandwiches.  Lord have mercy with me.  Luckily a good friend had sent me a box with a pot of “Dark Chocolate Dreams” and a note:

“Here’s a little box to help you with your naturalization interview next month. Maybe this particular type of peanut butter will help you make the transition.”

How thoughtful of her! My first peanut butter experience might not be so bad after all.

Penelope, congrats on your new citizenship! It’s always wonderful to hear stories of our product being enjoyed, it’s even better when our products are helping someone through a tricky or difficult time. In the past we’ve recieved letters from people who said that the only food their sick family members would eat was one of our peanut butters. That’s a nice feeling!

From the comments, Josh has a sandwich idea:

hi im josh im 14 i saw your company on a show on the travel chanel and have a new sandwich for your menu its my favorite its a peanut butter & saurkraut sandwich on white bread with peanut butter on both sides with saurkraut in the middle make shure that you use plain saurkraut and creamy peanut butter write back if you like it

So here’s the deal: I’m not going to eat this. But if one of our intrepid readers agrees to make this, take pictures and send us those pictures, we’ll send them a free jar of peanut butter. Josh, I’m glad you like that sandwich. And I can even understand where someone might really like. But I have a hunch that that person is not me.

Peanut Butter & Co. products ARE NOT part of the current recall.

lee-zalben-blog-iconMany of our customers have contacted us regarding the current salmonella-related peanut butter recall. The recall is limited to products made by Peanut Corporation of America as well as products sold under the King Nut Brand. We do not supply or are supplied by either of these companies.

Peanut Butter & Co. products ARE NOT affected by this recall.

Some consumers have notified us that a news program may have included an image of our products while reporting on the recall. We have notified that news agency of their mistake and they have advised us that their intent was simply to show peanut butter in general and not to imply that our brand was part of the recall. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused our customers.

Peanut Butter & Co. products are tested throughout every stage of the manufacturing process. Strict quality assurance measures are in place to ensure that our products are 100% safe for consumers.

Should you have any additional questions please contact our customer service line at 1-866-ILOVEPB

Our second Holiday Recipe Contest winner!

scott-stephan-blog-iconWe have a second winner for our Holiday Recipe Contest! Nick Strand of the Peanut Butter Boy blog submitted this super easy, quick and tasty recipe. Make sure to swing by his blog, this isn’t the only delicious recipe he has available:

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pie Pudding by Nick Strand

  • 8oz (~3 cups) frozen whipped topping, thawed for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt (preferably Greek)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup Mighty Maple Peanut Butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 small (4-serving) packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 6 honey graham cracker sheets
  • 2 bananas, in 1/4” slices
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the whipped topping, milk, yogurt and pumpkin puree until well mixed. Whisk in the peanut butter, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Finally, whisk in the instant pudding powder until no clumps remain.
  2. Line the bottom of an 8×13 glass baking dish with a single layer of graham crackers, breaking them as necessary to completely cover the bottom.
  3. Cover the graham crackers with about 1/3 of the pudding and top with a layer of banana slices. Start a new layer of graham crackers and repeat. Decorate the top with shards of graham crackers sticking out, fresh berries or dark chocolate shavings.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight to allow the graham crackers to soften.
  5. *Note: You can (and I do) use all low-fat or nonfat ingredients.

That brings our Holiday Recipe Contest to a close! Thanks to everyone who entered and keep your eyes on this blog and our Page on Facebook for future contests.

Blog break!

scott-stephan-blog-iconYou guys may have noticed that we’ve been a bit lax with our updates over the last week or so. It gets incredibly busy around at Peanut Butter & Co. around the holidays, adjusting inventory, helping customers with purchases, sorting out all the little problems- We needed to take a break! But no worries, we’ve got a revamped and improved schedule starting in January, including some special guest bloggers. Before the New Year, however, we should have that Sandwich Paradise video up for your viewing pleasure, as well as the second winner of our Holiday Recipe Contest (You still have 1 day to enter!).

So, hang tight, keep us in your favorites or stick us in your bookmarks because we’re looking forward to continuing to bring you the best peanut butter news in the world!