Friday, October 01, 2010

Peanut Butter Supplies at Critical Lows

Peanut butter. Do you take it for granted? I can almost guarantee that if you're an expat, you do not. We hoard the stuff and it is difficult to find in Russia. For me, a spoonful of peanut butter helps the oatmeal go down. That with a few raisins thrown in is a comfort food from childhood. But peanut butter is out of stock at the moment. Except for the one choice, below. . .

Sad isn't it. Here we are in the ice cream section, where peanut butter is stocked but there's one lonely little jar sitting there, left. It's from France. It doesn't even speak Russian. We. Or Wii. Or Oui Oui. Nor do I. But there it is. See that's $7.70 for that jar (235 rubles w/ 30.5-ish rubles to the dollar) and it has a different taste. It reminds of peanut butter-flavored icing. Say, let's go check in the honey section.

Here we are in the Department of Honey. Click to enlarge because of course you want to see this yourself. ;) It's mostly honey but at the bottom left, there is some peanut butter squirreled away. But it's that French variety again. They call it pate because they're kind of fancy, even with peanut butter.

Seems as though twice a year, this big supermarket gets a shipment of peanut butter from Kentucky. It comes crunchy, smooth or light. I go for the crunchy, thank you for asking, komrads. So I stop by regularly to see if they're restocked so I can hoard. It's not inexpensive and it's not light to haul it home but, boy howdy, it's so good stirred into that bowl of steamy hot oatmeal. And in breakfast burritos with mashed banana and raisins. But to each her own.

Well, this honey is reminding me of something back across the store. Come along, please. May I call you Honey? Oh, that was my mother's nickname as a child. Honey. And according to family legend, that's the only name she would answer to at home. Funny though, we got away with calling her Mom. Come to think of it though, I'd gladly call her Honey, if that meant having a few precious moments together. . . Just realized that if my dear mother where still in the land of the living, I wouldn't even have to think about peanut butter, she'd be sending it to me regularly. Now that I'm complaining, you understand, just wistful.

Here's the Department of Honey from the Don Region, not to be confused with that commercially canned stuff from who knows where. Seems as though the Queen Bee of this little department has zipped on home for the evening but that doesn't stop us from looking. Look, all different kinds of local honey made from various flowers in the area. And I had to take this picture pretty fast because, well, there were reasons. . . let me just say that sometimes in these parts, we gotta be surreptitious about things.

Honey or nyet, there's no real peanut butter to be found in this store, and if it's in any other store, that's a well kept secret. You know, I used to haul jars of it from the US back to Rostov, back in the days when we were allowed two 70-pound bags on international flights. And I remember bringing back lots of peanut butter, thanks to cousin Earl who's with Smuckers, and they do peanut butter in a big way. But those days are history because can you believe, there are things more important to pack than peanut butter.

Interestingly, over the years, several packages sent me from the US have never arrived. Mysterious, yes. Those packages had one thing in common: They each contained a jar of peanut butter. Hmm, maybe the guys at the customs office have started adding peanut butter to their oatmeal, too. ;)


Donnadman said...

Hello! I love following your blog! I would love to send you some peanut butter from America!! Please e-mail me!!


Anonymous said...

Hello!I heard that peanut butter is sold in the store Kooperator Dona. Here is the map