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Peanut butter is a versatile food — and toy

Peanuts are an American favorite. One of the most interesting trips I have taken in my career was to the peanut fields of Alabama. I had no idea where peanuts came from until Jimmy Carter became president. As far as I knew, they came from a can or a jar.

I fell even more in love with peanuts and what you can do with them. On my visit to the South I learned that peanuts are a crop planted each year. They grow in the ground like a potato. In the fall they are pulled out of the ground in little tiny shells and are dried. Peanuts fresh from the ground are more like a bean in texture. After they are dried, they go to the processor where they are taken out of shells and a large percentage are made into peanut butter. Here are two of my favorite recipes:


PEANUT-BUTTER PIZZA

If you'd like something fun to prepare for lunch, try Peanut-Butter Pizza. Make you favorite homemade or packaged pizza crust and bake. Spread crust with peanut butter mixed with honey. Top with raisin, banana slices, walnuts, pineapple chunks and coconut. Sprinkle coarsely grated mozzarella cheese over the pizza. Bake in 350 F. oven until cheese melts. Slice and serve. Serves 8 to 10.


NUTTY PUTTY

3 1/2 cups peanut butter

4 cups powdered sugar

3 1/2 cups corn syrup or honey

4 cups dried milk powder

1 (6-oz.) pkg. chocolate pieces, if desired

Blend first four ingredients together. When mixed, give each child with clean hands a piece to mold into shapes, such as animals, flowers, trees, ice cream cone, etc. What is the most fun about this activity is that as the children mold and play with this, they can eat it and it will not harm them.


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