Just read a NYT article on-line about the history of peanut butter – non-separating peanut butter and Skippy were invented by a man called Joseph Rosefield, who’d changed his name from Rosenfield. Though it says there’s no proof he was Jewish, there is no doubt in my mind. Modern peanut butter is, of course, a Jewish invention! How proud I am.
I sat thinking about this most faithful friend, a foodstuff I’ve adored since my earliest memory, and still do. For a decade it was the only food I liked. Sixty years of this intense relationship – nothing, but nothing, comforts like peanut butter toast, or a scoop or six straight from the jar, on a knife or spoon. These days, I go to a local gourmet deli to get jars of the superb Nuts to You, which is made in Paris, Ontario. Yes, my special, exclusive peanut butter comes from Paris.
Then I thought about the other loves that have been with me nearly as far back as I can remember, as vital as breath, though none as far back as my favourite food: books, paper and pens; cats (tabbies, preferably) and chocolate (chocolate ice cream only, with an occasional daring foray into mint chocolate chip or maple walnut). And a few years after that, be still my beating heart, Paul McCartney.
I am not a flighty person; these loves, as well as family and friends of course, have been and will be with me for life. Peanut butter, books, pens and paper, cats, chocolate and Paul McCartney: my desert island list. Well, if we’re talking desert island, better add red wine, cheese and bread – and a MacBook Pro and wifi, because I LOVE the internet – wait, now the list is getting complicated. And my garden. Trees, I love trees, and birds, and the sea … Wow – both a blue jay and a lady cardinal at the feeder. My lucky day.
It’s my former Ryerson student Lynn Pearson’s lucky day too – a lovely piece she wrote is in the Globe today. Warm and thoughtful, as is Lynn. Read it here: