When I peel the top off a new jar of peanut butter I like to pretend I’m a scientist peering through the world’s most powerful telescope, catching Earth’s first glimpse of a new, strange and distant planet. “It’s got a smooth surface,” I exclaim to the lab of giddy professors standing breathlessly beside me. “Yes, it’s a beautiful airless landscape, untouched, undisturbed, and light brown.”
Because seriously, that’s what the top of a jar of peanut butter looks like to me. I almost feel bad thinking about what I’m about to do, because it’s just so perfect, smooth, and dense. But I put some bread in the toaster anyway, grab a spoon from the drawer, and then go right ahead and dig that spoon in there deep, catching a heavy handful of thick PB when I pull up, a loud, wet, satisfying schthlop plopping out of the jar.
It’s a great feeling.
After that, I’m an artist. I can just leave a big, gaping hole right in the middle of the jar, or I can do it all up real fancy and twirl and swirl it around a little, or I can painstakingly carve a moat around the outside of the jar, leaving a perfect, flat island in the middle, becoming more and more unstable with every passing day. The options are unlimited.
Really, I think getting the first dig in a jar of peanut butter is the kitchen equivalent of stabbing a flag into the moon and claiming it as your own. I mean, you mark that peanut butter. You brand it. You add your little stamp and you put it back in the pantry, ready and waiting for the next big schthlop.