From the sandwiches you have to dry-swallow when visiting your boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents for the first time, to the first time you both eat the same salmonella-enriched chicken and the awkward shared hell of food poisoning that follows – food can make or break a relationship by testing its foundations.
A great date is defined by great food, and a bad date is defined on the same standards. Meals shared together are the ones your relationship counts on.
I recently realised how peanut butter is now part of my baggage, and my significant other is taking the bull by the horns by embracing the fact that peanut butter is pretty much part of his life too.
We have a truce. I’m allowed to shovel peanut butter down by throat – as long as he doesn’t have to pick up after me as I leave a trail of jars around the house.
He’s learned to embrace peanut butter spirited into in his food, as well as peanut butter-inspired dishes.
He’s tolerant of my whimsical approach to the stuff, and that on any given day I might have a jar as breakfast, lunch or dinner – or any combination of these meals – and on these days he is left to fret for himself, and cook his own food.
Peanut butter disrupted our idyllic life three weeks ago for the first time when we drove to Umhlanga together.
The deal was that we’d go in his car, and he’ll foot the bill for petrol. I was put in charge of the cash for the numerous N3 toll gates and snacks.
The snack list included a few cold drinks, water, biltong, crisps and a chocolate for him… I was happy with a jar of peanut butter and a plastic spoon.
The weekend passed and we were back at our abode. Then another week or two passed before a shocking discovery shook the foundations of our relationship. I had left one of my sacred vessels (a cheap plastic jar) in Mr Tolerant’s glove box (empty to my dismay, because right after the discovery I could have done with a spoon of peanut butter).
Not only did I break the sanctity of our truce, I did the one thing you should never do – mess with a guy’s car.
See, if food’s the foundation of a relationship, a car is the brickwork. You can’t have a great foundation and shoddy brickwork because the whole thing tends to implode.
Words like “banning” and “rations” were suddenly part of my life.
I took the barking at strides and had to admit I was wrong. I sheepishly agreed to never do it again, apologised and offered to make up for my infringement of the rules. I agreed I have a problem, and basically asked for our lives to continue as it were before Gloveboxgate.
We settled the score. I was no longer allowed peanut butter in his car, we agreed to be tolerant of each’s feeling about peanut butter, and continue, unified with a new decision in our lives.
What we also had was a quick discussion of tolerance. Thanks to peanut butter, I had an affirmation on something each human being on the face of this earth needs – the realisation that tolerance should be the cornerstone of our relationships. See, food’s instrumental role in life continues, teaching tolerance in its wake.
Peanut butter product of the week:
This week I finally opened my first Peanut Butter Crunch Futurelife energy bar, which I dipped in Yum Yum No salt and sugar peanut butter.
The bars really just taste like protein shake mix, and they need the help from actual peanut butter to taste like peanut butter.
The Yum Yum No salt and sugar peanut butter should have a religion dedicated to it.