Homemade Peanut Butter


I know it's been a while since I've done "Daddy in the Kitchen," but here's a quick one.  I've been starting to realize that certain things should never be bought, and should always be made at home, including apple sauce.  Once you've made it yourself, and realized how easy and incredibly delicious it is, you'll never buy another jar.
Turns out the same is true for peanut butter.  A friend told me a while back that he makes all his own peanut butter, and that it's very easy.  I was going to buy my own, but Yelena went and bought a giant two-pack, so she could send one to the soldiers in Afghanistan as part of a care package.  Her coworker's son is in the Marines and did a tour of duty there.  He's home now, thank God.  If you're interested in doing the same but don't know anybody over there, I highly recommend anysoldier.com.  My sister Amy has worked with them.  
Several months later, the obnoxiously large jar of store-bought is gone, and I see peanut butter back on the shopping list.  Instead of picking up a jar, I pick up a bag of peanuts from the grocery store.  Just plain roasted peanuts, absolutely nothing added.  Here's what you do:

Put the peanuts in a food processor.  You'll need a full-size Cuisinart or similar appliance; I nearly burned out my mini Cuisinart with this.
Process until it's as creamy as you want.
Store in an old fashioned mason jar for future use.

The food processor releases the natural oils in the nut, turning it into the creamy peanut butter you know and love.  Some recipes suggest adding additional oil, or salt, but I don't think either is necessary.  The entire process took less than 5 minutes, and the peanut butter is mind-blowingly good.  No, really; I've never had peanut butter this good before.
I am never buying store-bought peanut butter again.  But what I will do is mix it up - literally.  Next time I'm going to try a bag of mixed nuts.  You can also try your own mix, with varying quantities of cashews, almonds, and pretty much any other nut.  I have a feeling I'll be eating a lot more peanut butter in the near future!