“Featherlight” Peanut Butter Pancakes

Rosa Parks PancakesRosa Parks, the famous civil rights activist, loved peanut butter in her pancakes.  Her forthright thinking and no nonsense attitude  changed the racial landscape of the 1950’s south, bit by bit.  She was a complex woman, full of keen observations of her place and time.  Many of these thoughts were recorded in hand written letters and notes scrawled on stationery, or scribbled on scraps of paper in pencil or pen. After some legal wrangling, her papers were purchased and are now on loan to the Library of Congress. As an archivist pours through the boxes of papers, a clearer picture of our country’s figurehead of integration has emerged.  Her family walked a fine line between abject poverty and a more genteel down- at – the – heels lower middle class existence.  Money was tight, ethics were paramount, and Rosa liked to cook.

On the back of a small brown envelope, the kind you would get cash in from a withdrawal at the back, is written a recipe in Rosa Park’s hand, for ” featherlight pancakes”.  Here is it:

Featherweight Peanut Butter Pancakes, by Rosa Parks

Makes about 18,  4-inch pancakes

1 cup flourRosa Parks Pancakes in process

2 tablespoons baking powder

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup peanut butterRosa Parks pancakes 3

1 1/4 cup milkRosa Parks Pancakes 4

1 tablespoons oil or melted butter

  1. In a small bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients and stir well: flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  1. In a separate small bowl, mix the egg and peanut butter until well combined. Whisk in the milk and oil until smooth.  Fold and stir in to the dry ingredients.
  1. Bake on a warm (275° F) lightly greased griddle until golden, and flip, cook until firm. Serve warm, with maple syrup and more peanut butter, if you choose.

Finding a recipe like this amongst Rosa’s writings is of interest in so many ways.  First, she had the inclination to cook, or by writing down and keeping the recipe, the desire to cook even when her activism was at a peak. The recipe seems so current, even though it was written in the late 1950’s, we just had to try them.  Yum…their name “Featherlight”, became clear, light and delicate with a surprise of peanut butter within.  Rosa was a  visionary, understanding and working to change the racial make up of the south.  And she seems to have been a visionary in the kitchen, mixing kitchen staples affordable to most anyone in the south,creating a special breakfast treat.  February is Black History month, and February 4 was Rosa Park’s birthday.  A fitting tribute, and celebration of both.



Creamy Crunchy Nut Butter Dip #NutSnackoftheWeek

creamy crunchy nut butter

In the fall, we are always looking for tasty ways to use our abundance of freshly picked apples. Sliced and dipped in our Creamy Crunchy Nut Butter Dip, our crisp apples make a great breakfast, mid day snack, or night time treat.

2 cups reduced fat Greek yogurt

1 cup natural nut butter, almond, peanut or cashew (or any you prefer)

4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup chopped nuts (almonds peanuts or cashews)

Serve with sliced crisp apples

  1. Combine the yogurt and the nut butter in a small mixing bowl and stir well to mix.
  2. Mix in the maple syrup, vanilla and nuts (reserving a few to sprinkle on top)
  3. Serve immediately with slice apples.


Recipe reprinted from In A Nutshell: Cooking and Baking with Nuts and Seeds by Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. Copyright © 2014 by Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Peanut butter and honey in space

I just watched a video of a Canadian astronaut making and eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich in the weightless atmosphere of the International Space station.  Out came the airtight wrapped tortilla (with an 18 month shelf life), spread with peanut butter stored safely in space in a plastic pouch.  The pouch needed to be snipped open with a space scissors, the scissors remained tethered to the wall with a ribbon. The honey came out of a typical plastic bear container, squeezed from the tip of his head.  The tortilla was folded in half, and eaten happily by the hungry astronaut.  No regular bread, crumbs would defy gravity and float everywhere.

crunchy? smooth?  It doesn’t matter.  Peanut butter has shown itself to be ultimate convenience food.  Tens of thousands of miles, and months away from earth, peanut butter provides protein, and an undeniable sense of home.

Peanut butter oatmeal

My Uncle Jacob passed away this weekend at the age of 91, and he was a remarkable man.  A playful adventurer and an opinionated intellect, Jacob was a publisher by trade, and an always willing helper in the kitchen.  He mandolined French Fries, peeled carrots, and pushed warm, cooked apples through the food mill.  He loved nothing more than a fresh baked roll with butter, and he washed every soiled dish he could find.  He rightfully earned his nick name FOSP, for Food Service Professional.  Prepping was his speciality, not cooking, but there was one thing he created and prepared, and it is a nut filled breakfast staple that he has passed on to my children.

Jacob made oatmeal in the mornings, and when it was almost finished, right off the stove, he would swirl a heaping Tablespoon of slightly sweetened peanut butter in to it.  The heat of the oatmeal nearly melts the peanut butter, and the resulting cereal  is streaked with warm streams of protein packed goodness.  Top it off with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts, or a dollop of jam, and you are all set for the day.  We’ve tried almond butter, not necessarily Jacob approved but delicious.  Nutella is a natural addition too.

I’ll miss Jacob, for many reasons.  He stood fast for his beliefs, said what he thought, and always lent a helping hand.  Oatmeal swirled with any nut butter will always be his signature dish to me, and we can remember him each day we prepare it for breakfast.