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Susan S. Yeske: Recipe of the Week -- Two days mark celebration of peanut butter

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True peanut butter fans don’t need a single day to celebrate their favorite nut spread. But there are at least two days each year designated to celebrate this sandwich favorite of children and adults.

Peanut Butter Day was Jan. 24, while National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day falls this Monday on March 1(nationaltoday.com/national-peanut-butter-lovers-day/ ).

The history of peanut butter goes back centuries to the Incas, who may have been the first to grind peanuts into an edible paste. It became popular in the United States after doctor and nutritionist John Harvey Kellogg of cereal fame filed for a patent for peanut butter in 1895. As early as 1896, Good Housekeeping encouraged homemakers to make their own with a meat grinder, and suggested spreading it on bread.

Today we find many more uses for peanut butter that just sandwiches. We bake it in pies, muffins, cookies and cakes, and use it in a variety of candies and ice creams. Savory peanut butter dishes include soups, stews and stir-fries. And many local breweries offer their own take on peanut butter beer.

So cheers to peanut butter by raising a sandwich in its honor. Or you could try this easy recipe for peanut butter fudge from tasteofhome.com. (I would substitute chocolate chips for the walnuts.)

Peanut Butter Fudge
1 pound white candy coating
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Melt coating in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in peanut butter and walnuts. Spread into a greased 8-inch square pan. Chill until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares.

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