Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Home Made Peanut Butter of 1960's

Peanut butter was the rave in Sibu in the 1960's. Even though a bottle was sold at about $3.00 at that time, it was sort of too expensive for the family to buy it all the time. It was a luxury that we could do without.

Most families were not ashamed to say that they were having just butter, or even margarine and sugar with their bread. The communists were creating some uncertainties to the new nation. And Malaysia being a new nation was further facing Confrontation from Indonesia. Only the wealthy would have peanut butter, butter, jam and other accompaniments for their western breakfast. Yes, I remember that to have pancakes and jam or honey for breakfast was princely. And it was a big deal.

The fear and turbulences and other hardships were causing many families to reduce their spending and living frugal lives. If they could, they would just plant their own vegetables and rear their own chickens and ducks. In Sibu town, pigs of course could not be reared. The hard Osborne biscuits and the square Cream Crackers were often used as fillers in between meals. Occasionally I still involuntarily buy some Osborne biscuits for myself and my children to dip into my kopi-0 for old times' sake.

One of the girl friends I had was very efficient and very determined to make ends meet. She helped her mother in so many different ways in order to save an adequate sum of money for her brother to study in the UK. We saw her family making buns and selling cakes from door to door. They were very happy that in the end they managed to pack up some clothes into a small suitcase and their brother was on his way to England - by boat. I thought that it was a wonderful thing for a family to sacrifice so much for a son in that manner. They were so united and kind to each other.

One day she just came over to tell me how to make peanut butter. I have just finished my sixth form and quite a number of people have disappeared into the jungle for their own political ideologies. No many people could get scholarships at that time, especially the Chinese so most of us girls and even the boys were getting ready to become teachers and get a diploma in teaching. At that time also, not many people were willing to share their recipes and they were not so outrightly friendly either. Most people would just keep what they knew to themselves, as it was safer politically to do so.

In fact I was so grateful to her for giving me that recipe. Perhaps she did not know that I kept the recipe until today. But I believe that she knew that I would never be the one to "steal her business" away from her.

I made peanut butter twice and this was because we had a blender. My mother thought that it was too extravagant to make our own peanut butter. It was just "extra" food and not necessary. Many other people could not make peanut butter from scratch because they did not own a blender.

I remember reading Dennis the Menace who told his mother that a bottle of peanut butter would make 12 sandwiches - after he actually made 12 sandwiches using one whole bottle of peanut butter. Those were the days!!

3 cups unsalted roasted peanuts (with or without the skin)
2 - 3 tbsp. cooking oil (You can choose to use olive oil) - heat up the oil in a kuali and then let it cool

1 tbsp butter/margarine

1 tbsp fine sugar

l tsp salt

food blender
mixing spoon
storage container
measuring cups and spoons


Mix the peanuts with the cooking oil, and pour the mixture into the blender

Process the mixture until it's very smooth. Add butter, salt, sugar and blend again.
Store your smooth peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge.

It will be good for 2 weeks.

For chunky peanut butter:
Take about 1/4 cup out of your 3 cups of peanuts and set them aside.
Mix the rest of the peanuts with the oil, and pour the mixture into the blender.
Process the mixture until it's very smooth, then stir in the peanuts that you had set aside.
Just use a lesong to pound the peanuts to create the chunks in your chunky peanut butter.
Store your chunky peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.

Serves: 24

Cost : 3 cups of peanuts - about RM2.00

oil - about RM1

So it is really very economical to make your own peanut butter.

With imported peanut butter costing a bomb, I think it is very economical to make our own.

My little anecdote of the peanut butter recipe shows how warm and lovely the feeling one has when an understanding sister can be generous enough to share a beloved recipe, especially during that time. Many of us did not have recipe books, magazines and newsletters to read. The library would not have stocked any recipe book then. And when one was given a recipe, it was like getting a life long gift. I copied the recipe very quickly into my recipe book, which, as you have guessed, I still keep.

We are very lucky to have a whole TV channel 703 dedicated to food!! Forty years ago, it was unbelieveable.

Can you remember a dear sister who gave you a special recipe that you treasure?

11 memories:

Gaharuman said...


Since your blog is also on food, i believe the following information is useful.

Adding more colour to your 'balanced' diet

>David Heber, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, published What Colour Is Your Diet? last year. Its Chinese edition, due later this year, looks set to challenge the country's millenia-old dining habits. Believe it or not, foods of different colours can take special care of different parts of your body. To know more details, read on.

Protecting your heart

Nutritional research shows that red and bright pink fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, such as lycopene and anthocyanins. Phytochemicals, substances found only in plants, help your body fight disease and promote good health.

Watermelon, guava, pink grapefruit and fresh tomato all belong to the red family. Other red fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, raspberries and beets contain anthocyanins, a group of phytochemicals that are powerful antioxidants that help control high blood pressure and protect against diabetes-related circulatory problems.

Protecting your livers

Green fruits and vegetables are common everyday foods. They contain varying amounts of potent phytochemicals, such as lutein and indoles, which interest researchers because of their potential antioxidants, health-promoting benefits. Go green every day with fruits and vegetables like avocados, green apples, green grapes, honeydews, kiwifruits, limes, green pears, artichokes, green beans and green cabbage.

Protecting your kidney

Black beans, Chinese olives and black currants are all members of the black group. These are good for your kidneys.

Black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal, making these beans a good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, black beans provide a virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans' fiber and protein.

Protecting your lungs

The white family includes endive, garlic, ginger, parsnips, white peaches, pears, potatoes, white mushrooms and white corn. Actually, white, tan and brown fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of phytochemicals of interest to scientists. These include allicin, found in the garlic and onion family. The mineral selenium, found in mushrooms, is also the subject of research.

Protecting your spleen

Oranges and tangerines certainly belong to this group. Other members include Hami melon, pumpkin and papaya. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain some vitamin A, which is good for your spleen.

However, vitamin C dissipates quickly after an orange is cut or squeezed. Eight hours at room temperature or 24 hours in the refrigerator is enough to cause a 20 percent loss in vitamin C. Canned, bottled and frozen-concentrate orange juices have a greatly decreased vitamin C content.

Protecting your brain

Grapes, blueberries, blackberries, purple cabbages and onions all belong to the purple group. Purple fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of health-promoting phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phenolics, currently being studied for their antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.

Purple group foods are rich in the antioxidant monoterpenes that protect tissues from free radical damage. Aubergines are members of the solanacae family, which includes peppers and tomatoes. In animal studies, rabbits fed aubergine were protected against the formation of plaque, even when fed a high cholesterol diet. The active ingredients in the aubergines bind with cholesterol from the diet in the intestinal tract, thereby preventing it from entering the bloodstream.

Black aduki beans are the quickest of all the beans to cook, the lowest in calories and the highest in nutritional content. The beans help detoxify the body and, like all beans, are a good source of folic acid, which aids the formation of red blood cells. They also provide magnesium and copper, both of which are needed by the body to utilize vitamin C and calcium.

Sarawakiana said...

thanks for all the information. I really need to read about food for heart conditions.
Hope all other readers will find your note significant.

Gaharuman said...


Pomegranate is good for the heart and related diseases. It is a miracle fruit, some called it. Find out more from google search. In the United States, the last few years, there was a craze for the juice and they sell it in supermarkets there. The price suddenly went through the roof. American and Isreali scientists have been conducting research on the fruit but the studies are not completed yet. Early result indicates that it can slow down prostrate cancer. Also, it can lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The fruits planted locally are a little bit sourish but I understand you can get sweeter one in Brunei (imported from Spain). The fruit is full of seeds and the flesh little. However, from the internet, you can learn ways to separate the seeds from the flesh. One of the way is to cut the fruit into two and the squash them like lemon forr the juice.

Sarawakiana said...

Thanks. I think I will go and buy some immediately.

God bless,

Free Bird said...

I didn't know peanut butter was so easy to make.

I watched an episode on Sesame Street when I was a kid, and I can still remember vividly how the machines twisted and twirled the peanut butter. And a little african american girl would stick her finger into the bottle.

I can imagine how much better the home made peanut butter is compared to the process, just need to find a way to make it really really creamy.

Do you know how to make it creamier?

Gaharuman said...

The fruit can be eaten out of hand by deeply scoring several times vertically and then breaking it apart. The clusters of juice sacs are then lifted out and eaten. The sacs also make an attractive garnish when sprinkled on various dishes. Pomegranate fruits are most often consumed as juice and can be juiced is several ways. The sacs can be removed and put through a basket press or the juice can be extracted by reaming the halved fruits on an ordinary orange juice squeezer. Another approach starts with warming the fruit slightly and rolling it between the hands to soften the interior. A hole is then cut in the stem end which is placed on a glass to let the juice run out, squeezing the fruit from time to time to get all the juice. The juice can be used in a variety of of ways: as a fresh juice, to make jellies, sorbets or cold or hot sauces as well as to flavor cakes, baked apples, etc. Pomegranate syrup is sold commercially as grenadine. The juice can also be made into a wine.

Gaharuman said...,M1

Gaharuman said...

Notes onthe medicinal values of the fruit,M1

Gaharuman said...

Pomegranate news on BBC

Free Bird said...

I remember the two best recipes my sisters have ever given to me,

The mat salleh version of Ayam masak Lemak.

Tasty Chicken cooked in concentrated chicken soup from the can with a little dash of spices.


Bovril Beef.

Double in Flavour!

Sarawakiana said...

Thanks Gaharuman and Freebird.

Now that the prices of oil, rice and other daily necessities have gone up so drastically, we have indeed to plant more vegetables in our backyard!!

Peanuts have doubled its price this year.


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