Poor Stevie

Archive of ‘peanut butters of the world’ category

whoopie

Sometimes I have baking successes. This is a chocolate whoopie pie with peanut butter filling. It is a fist full of fluffy, delicious heart attack.

A scientific survey of three people suggests these whoopie pies cause excess happiness, followed by excess napping.

Sound good? I used this recipe from Taste

My recipe for peanut butter icing is:

30g of butter

3/4 cup of smooth peanut butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 cup of icing sugar

Mix it, sister!

peanut butters of the world: the new york edition

In Paris I had the most amazing life moment. (“Life moment” – you can tell I’m writing live from downtown Philly while Dr Phil gabs in the background.) Was it my first sighting of the Eiffel Tower? No. Catching a glimpse of the Mona Lisa amidst a bustling bunch of losers taking blurry photos? Hells no. Walking along the Seine on a drizzly afternoon? Shutup, you sentimental losers!

Nope, I reached the height of contentedness in the Jardin des Tuileries when I bit into the most perfect, delicious, decadent, exploding-bro-fist-incredible raspberry macaron.

Here is what that moment looked like:

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I didn’t think I could get much happier. That was until I mixed my two favourite things – food and massive castles – and had a picnic in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. So Frenchy, so chic, so HUNGRY.

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So when we flew out of Paris, I tried to come to terms with never, ever eating such beautiful food again. It was like losing a family pet. A tasty, perfectly light and puffy family pet.

Little did I know my wildest eating dreams would come true in New York City. The following pictures need no explanation.

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(Also – before I go and try a Philly cheese steak, allow me to share this terrible photo of THE WORLD’S BEST NACHOS EVER, JERKS with you.)

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peanut butters of the world: the sarajevo edition

I think I am swiftly becoming more qualified to write about toots of the world (hands down, Holland has the weirdest. They look normal until you open the lid to find a mysterious platform about half way up the bowl. Its all a bit too “in your face” for my toilet tastes) than I am peanut butters. The only foods readily available in Europe are pizza, pasta, ice-cream, and beer and beer and also beer. Sounds alright to everyone who doesn’t have a digestive system like a defective fire hose. But, all of those foods grant me the opportunity to get my PhD with honours in plumbing. For weeks, nay months, we have been trekking around Europe, with me wailing “FRESH food, J-man, FRESH food”. Occasionally I come across a fly-blown banana from Equador, but otherwise it’s been dairy, wheat and death carbs the whole time. Bloating has gotten so bad, I’ve been asked three times if I am pregnant and I swear a lady on a bus in Dubrovnik gave up her seat for me after looking at my belly.

The good news is that our surprise mini-break to Bosnia has provided some relief. The food is rich, yes, but the kebabs are overflowing with salad – tomato! hello lover – and their national dishes have been a vacation for my intestines. Even if the most famous dish here, ćevapi, looks like this:

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And then there’s the coffee. Oh my, my, the coffee. I’m not one of those coffee wankers, hells I practically lick Nescafe instant out of the jar, but I don’t think I can ever turn back after having Bosnian coffee. This is not me posing by the way. It’s me casually scoping out the nearest WC.

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And Bosnia, sweet, sweet Bosnia. Unlike its neighbours, it stocks peanut butter. Crunchy peanut butter. My life blood.

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***

On a blog I mostly dedicate to my bowels, public humiliations and love of breakfast spreads, I didn’t feel like I could even attempt to tell you about how much I have loved Sarajevo. It is a wonderful city, with incredibly friendly people, a buzzing atmosphere, amazing cuisine and a content, easygoing vibe. All of this just over a decade since it was completely surrounded and devastated by regular bombings and brutal shootings. I have been moved and changed by meeting people who lived through that time. The locals are passionate about people discovering their city, and the rest of Bosnia, not because of its bloody history but because of its inherent beauty and everything it has to offer. A destination that will stay with me.

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peanut butters of the world: the salzburg edition

In Austria souvenir shops sell a sign that would look great on the mantelpiece in the good room, right next to your beloved yard glass and the portrait of  your sadly departed blue ribbon greyhound . The little yellow sign has a picture of a kangaroo, subtitled “Austria – No Kangaroos”.

It really is just as well Austria doesn’t have any kangaroos because they would charge your €50 just to approach the ticket booth to the marsupial show, another €50 to talk to the salesman, who would then cavity search you and charge you €100 for your back row seat.

J-man and I should have fled the country after our first morning here. After arriving early in Vienna, a girl at our hostel recommended we go to a nearby traditional Viennese coffee shop for breakfast. After eating three croissants that magically appeared – unordered – with our coffees and all five (5) bread rolls that came with Joel’s plate of eggs, we felt fat and triumphant. Until we got our bill for €35  ($AUD1,000) which charged us for each roll we ate, each of the croissants we didn’t order, the milk in the tea and just a little extra to cover the waiter’s child support payments. Since then we’ve paid 40 cents for whipped cream that came with a slice of cake, €4 each for a breakfast made up of cold bread rolls and warm milk and we are fighting for a €26 refund from the Austrian rail system after we bought the wrong type of Vienna Card, an all-included transport and sightseeing pass, which has several different types all conveniently titled “The Vienna Card”. Well done, Austria, well done.

But here’s my favourite screw of all: On our first night here in lovely Salzburg we found a cheap Japanese restaurant for dinner. Once inside, the waiter took our drink orders then handed us a menu, which was completely different to the one displayed downstairs and much more expensive. The cheaper one was allegedly the lunch menu. As an act of revenge, we ordered only spring rolls and Miso soup. When our bill came we were pleasantly surprised to find that, with a glass of Coke and a wine, we owed close to €30. Ah, the waiter explained, that glass of wine I poured you? That was a double. It might be different in America, he said, but that’s how we do it here. Oh yeah? Go check if there’s kangaroos in Texas, jerk face.

So, I’ve taken solace in tasting some of the cheaper local delights:

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Mmmm, sweet, sweet €2.50 erdnuss creme.

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peanut butters of the world: the cambridge edition

Hanging out in Cambridge was like all my travel dreams rolled into one. J-man, my friend T and I wandered through the cobbled, narrow streets catching glimpses of historic, ivy-covered colleges with luscious grounds. We marvelled at all the people riding retro bikes. We went punting on the River Cam with a charming tour guide who cracked jokes about Australia’s convict past (“You Aussies keep your fingers to yourselves”), recent sporting failures (“Cricket…something something … Rugby something, also”) and tourist attractions (“You know that scene in Harry Potter where he learns to fly? That wasn’t filmed here”). We reclined on the narrow wooden boat sipping ciders, looking at the classic English landscapes and feeling alive.

But all of that was shattered by something I shall now refer to as King Intef’s curse on the flesh-coloured underpants.  I wore those beauties again on my trip to Cambridge because I was wearing a vaguely sheerish dress and thought I might distract the scholars from their studies if I wore my fetching neon green ones. Anyway, the day went very smoothly until I went to the gals’ room in an old pub. Just after I sat down a woman burst in on me and screamed. The toilet stall was very long and wide and there was nothing I could do to slam the door, so we just kind of looked at each other in sheer terror – me with my flesh-coloured underpants around my knees, her dignified in a matching linen outfit. After she shut the door, I tried desperately to secure the lock, pants down,  only to be burst in on seconds later by a teenage girl, who also screamed.

After urgently ushering T and J-man out of the pub I told them that was it. The Cambridge dream was over. Luckily T knew exactly how to mend my broken spirit – with fudge! Peanut butter and chocolate fudge! I haven’t actually had any peanut butter while in the UK because it seems the Brits love berry jams and Marmite on their toast and the spread of the gods is reserved solely for sweets and fudge.

Observe:

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I’ll admit this looks like something you might find if you were a plumber. But actually, it was a delicious specimen from The Fudge Kitchen in Cambridge. Also known as the happiest place on Earth, second to bed.

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Peanut butter fudge cures all ills. Except travel hair and face disease.

(Hello! I’m actually writing this from Germany (see: öööäää), weeks after leaving the UK. I’ve also since been to Holland, where internet was mostly nonexistent. Hopefully now I’m in the land of the schnitzel I’ll be able to update more. Sheesh!)

peanut butters of the world: the thailand edition

After almost a week in Thailand you might expect me to write just a little something about our adventures.

Maybe you’d want to know about our arduous pastimes:

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Perhaps you’d like to see a little of Thailand’s hideous, nay, disgusting wilderness:

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I suppose I could write about boring things like speedboat rides and snorkeling in the Ang Thong National Marine Park:

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Or I guess I could describe swimming off a nearly deserted island (if you ignore the swarms of sweaty, plump fellow tourists):

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But instead, I bring you the first installment of what I hope will be an extensive, in depth investigation into (dramatic pause) Peanut Butters of the World. Holler!

Joel and I decided to take a luxurious holiday to kick off our six month overseas trip. After spending a bunch of time being thrifty, saving up and depriving ourselves of lots of things, we wanted to splurge. So, I don’t feel too guilty saying one of my favourite parts of our Thailand trip is breakfast. Every morning we head downstairs for a buffet breakfast, which includes a parade of fruit, French toast, pancakes, pastries, donuts, fried potato (!!), bacon, eggs, omelettes, cheese, yoghurt and lots of different types of bread to toast. It took me a couple of days to try the peanut butter here, because I was too busy dancing on tables eating donuts off every finger between mouthfuls of greasy, crispy potato and fatty bacon. This actually isn’t far from the truth for some of our fellow guests – we’ve seen a grown man smearing Nutella on a chocolate donut and a woman getting a plateful of chocolate croissants, donuts and danishes and taking a tub of Nutella with her to her table.

When I finally had peanut butter on toast, I was a touch disappointed.

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The peanut butter here is called Skippy. I couldn’t read a lot of the label, except that it’s imported from the US and is milked from a kangaroo. It was actually a lot like most of the food we’ve tried here in that it was quite mild, which I suspect is an attempt not to offend any Western tastes. It was smooth, stuck to the roof of my mouth and was creamier than the peanut butter I usually eat. The one thing it was really missing was the actual taste of peanuts. And that, to me, is the ultimate offence. Until next time …