Yesterday I was invited by the school librarian to come to her home and “visit with her”. When we were walking to her home she asked me what Americans eat? I mentioned the stereotypical American food, pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, and peanut butter. Her face lit up when I said peanut butter. She translated- TOTOM-VANJO! She grabbed my hand and led me to a small epicerie and proceeded to buy three cups off raw peanuts! Smiling she led me to her home, repeating “We make! We make! Same as America!” Arriving at her home, I was greeted by her sister, neighbors, and many many children. She proudly gave me a tour of her families traditional homes-made from ravinala and palm leaves. (These one room palm leaved homes are wonderful in the heat because they allow for much aeration!)
Next we sat on mats in the sand and made a small charcoal and wood fire to roast the peanuts. After constantly stirring the peanuts until they become a dark brown, we sifted through them, taking the shells off. Next, placing the peanuts in a mortar we took turns pounding the peanuts to a perfect soft silky consistency! Once my new friend was happy with the creamy peanut butter, she grabbed my hand and scooped some peanut butter onto my finger- “Manandrana!” taste!
Absolutely delicious. I left with a container full of freshly pounded raw peanut butter. No preservatives, no additives, just simply pure peanut butter made with love from my new friend.