There’s a reason patience comes before peanut butter (alphabetically speaking), I think to myself.
With every homemade peanut butter Easter egg I make I suck in heaping amounts of patience, patience, patience. I find it also helps to sandwich a little peanut butter between my patience, and my tendency to mutter, “Oh mother.”
“Well I guess I doctored these eggs up a little bit over the years, but they always turn out good.”
“Mom, how much confectionery sugar do you actually use, because last year I think you told me ½ to ¾ pound, but I wonder if you mean half a bag?”
“Oh I don’t buy my sugar in bags, I buy the boxes, but only when they’re on sale, when I can buy them at a dollar each. No, no I use about half a pound, is that a cup? After you add the peanut butter you can feel how much sugar you need to add.”
“Okay, the recipe I have from you reads ½ cup of butter, ½ to ¾ pound confectionery sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and then just peanut butter until creamy. How much peanut butter is that, mother?”
“Oh well, sometimes I use a 16 oz jar or if I can get it on sale the 20 oz jar. You know you can always add a little bit more peanut butter, it’s more creamy that way.”
“Do I melt the butter before adding it or just add softened butter?”
“No, don’t melt it, just set your butter on the counter a few hours before you start. If you forget you can add a little bit of cream cheese, just a tiny bit to help mix in the butter. “
“But that’s not on your recipe, mother. Why would I add cream cheese to the peanut butter eggs?”
“Well, you’re going to make the coconut eggs, right? So you already have the cream cheese, in case you need it to soften the butter.”
By the time I’ve stirred the ingredients together while sucking in huge sighs of patience, and tucking in little tastes of peanut butter I am ready for what my mother terms, “such a playing.” One by one I roll the peanut butter mixture into dozens of little eggs. I had asked her how many eggs this recipe would make and she laughed,
“Don’t worry you’ll have lots, just make them into nicely shaped tiny eggs.”
Pardon me, here’s my crazy cook confession, “I do not roll uniform size candy eggs, neatly shaped to line up side-by-side. “
In fact, on purpose the rebellious, free-spirited teenager of the seventies surfaces and suddenly those eggs look a little bit short, a little bit long, and a little bit wide. This cook’s rolled one-too-many Easter eggs through the decades!
This year I thought I would escape the candy making ritual due to bidding farewell to one son as he escaped to the shores of Hawaii, and having surprised the other son with his favourite cookies, and sour jelly beans on a recent visit. Then my mother called to share her news.
“I’m sending along my recipe for Easter candy so you can give it to Catherine at her wedding shower. I know this is one of Christopher’s favourite things so I wanted her to have my recipe. But you should try it first and write down exactly what you put in, because sometimes I change it while I’m making the candy.”
Yes, that’s the truth. That’s why I always roll up some patience with my peanut butter eggs. How much? Oh maybe ½ to ¾ pound, or maybe more. I’ll be able to tell how much I need by the way it feels.