Legume Me, Martha!- Peanut Crisps- 73 eggs, 57 1/2 cups of sugar, 54 3/4 sticks of Butter, and 58 1/4 cups of flour used so far- 134 recipes to go!

July 6, 2010

Martha's Peanut Crisps

André's Peanut Crisps

There are probably few edibles as versatile as the peanut. Dr. George Washington Carver documented over 300 uses for this close relative to beans and lentils and it’s production contributes more than four billion to the U.S. economy each year. Martha offers many recipes in her Cookie Book using this tasty legume.

Today’s recipe, Peanut Crisps, is probably the simplest and most basic implementation of Mr. Peanut. The batter is a simple mixture of butter, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, baking powder, eggs, and salt. No different than if you were making chocolate chip cookies except in this case, lightly salted peanuts are added in place of chocolate morsels. These cookies have an amazing aroma and a crisp texture. Many folks like soft and chewy cookies. Not me. I like my cookies with a bit of crunch. These certainly have earned their namesake as they are crispy, sweet, with just a touch of saltiness. My favorite candy bar is Pay Day and these cookies are quite reminiscent of that sweet and salty treat.

I delivered a container filled with over two dozen of these cookies to a group at my workplace. They have been following my blog religiously and were the first to deliver an empty cookie tin for me to fill and send their way. Here’s how their review read:

“When we lifted the lid off of  the  cookie container, the aroma lifted us off our feet.  The peanut smell is absolutely divine!  Had we read the name of the cookies, we may have been better prepared for the first bite.  Martha has appropriately named them “Crisps.”  Wow, are they crispy!  Half of the group admitted to being soft cookie lovers and the first bite threw them off.  The other half of the group just admitted to liking any and all cookies no matter what level of softness or crunch.  We all felt that there was a very familiar taste to the cookie that wasn’t peanut and we feel the flavor of the cookie betrays the aroma of the cookie.  Over all, we felt that the cookies were good.  Not bad, not great….just good.  We think three of five stars would be appropriate.”

There you have it. A mediocre reception at best. Hopefully they’ll send me back their container so I can redeem myself with the next batch.

Having worked as an actor, I’m pretty used to disappointment. When I taught theatre I’d tell my students to make disappointment their friend. I wasn’t saying it to be cruel or to come across as the jaded acting teacher filled with regret of a youth ill spent. I just wanted them to understand that disappointment is not the same as failure. Disappointment is the long, dark tunnel we traverse towards future opportunities. Don’t get me wrong. Disappointment still sucks but its a temporary suck. (Not very eloquent. I know.)

I taught high school theatre at Baton Rouge Magnet High School for a few years in the late 90s.  I taught a few intro classes, a theatre history course, musical theatre, and a few units of stagecraft. Stagecraft was the closest any course came to resembling a shop class at this particular school. This school didn’t have a football team, why would they offer shop? Kids were expected to work with an array of power tools under my supervision. Miter saws, band saws, electric drills, circular saws, and a host of other potentially body-mangling devices were part of everyday use in class. I stressed safety above all else. No open toe shoes. Safety glasses must be worn. Hair must be pulled back away from the face. No horseplay!

This course made me a nervous wreck. I would have nightmares involving students lopping off important appendages followed by me having to explain to their grieving and litigious parents what had happened. Fortunately, I taught this course for two years without incident. Not so much as a scratch.

Intro to Drama, however, proved to be a little more dangerous. In the first week I focused the curriculum on breathing and trust exercises. We started with the simple exercise where one student closes their eyes, stiffens their body, and falls backwards into the arms of another student who, in turn, catches them. Simple enough. Every student completed this exercise successfully. The following class, I decided to up the ante. With the class gathered at one end of the stage, a student was selected to stand 20 feet away facing their classmates. The student was then to close their eyes and run as fast as they could towards the group with confidence in the fact that their classmates would not let them be harmed.

Again, each student reluctantly took the plunge and the class gently caught them proving their trustworthiness. I couldn’t have been prouder. That is until they asked me to have a go. I confidently shut my eyes and ran full force at the group. A couple of pranksters had decided to push people out of the way causing a wreck of twisted and bruised bodies.

When I was finally able to return to work with a leg brace protecting my dislocated knee cap, I sat down and gave the nervous class my disappointment speech. I relayed my thoughts around disappointment being a long, dark tunnel we traverse towards blah, blah, blah.

Their tunnel was going to lead them towards an enriching growth experience. A growth experience known as detention.

When apologetically asked if I’d ever trust them again, I responded, “I trust that something like this will never happen again.”

To this day, whenever I see teenagers misbehaving, my knee hurts.

One Response to “Legume Me, Martha!- Peanut Crisps- 73 eggs, 57 1/2 cups of sugar, 54 3/4 sticks of Butter, and 58 1/4 cups of flour used so far- 134 recipes to go!”

  1. Russ Says:

    At least nobody had a switchblade — those teenagers!

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