THE PEANUT BUTTER CONSPIRACY *: Jarred up and ready to spread

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THE PEANUT BUTTER CONSPIRACY *: Jarred up and ready to spread

I think his name was Peter and he was South African. And, as was the way with it when I was young, people like him just appeared in our lives for a while.

I was probably only about eight or nine when the bullish but friendly Peter entered the scene. I was probably only a few months older when I would have seen him for the last time.

I only recall one story about him, that when he was at a multi-course dinner at some lord's stately home in England he lit a cigarette after the first course and never saw a morsel of food for the rest of the night.

His Lordship had informed the butlers that the guest had indicated he'd finished eating.

A good story.

Ours involving Peter was less so.

It seemed Peter could import a lot of peanut butter into New Zealand in those days when you needed an import license for just about everything.

And so my parents – most probably my dad – decided there was a profit to be made out of this.

I didn't know there was a peanut butter shortage, but then again I was just a kid and adults probably had a clearer picture of the supply and demand ratio in the world of peanut butter.

And so it came to pass that peanut butter from South Africa arrived at our house. A lot of it.

At least one 44 gallon drum of the stuff.

Now just pause for a moment to consider what happens to peanut butter in that quantity – indeed in any quantity – when it is just standing around for probably weeks on end before it is landed in Auckland.

When we opened the drum there was a very deep layer of just oil. And all the heavy peanut component was in a solid if slightly slushy mass beneath it.

We took turns churning the gluggy substance, for days on end.

I recall that when it reached the stage where it resembled recognisable peanut butter as we know it that my mum – and probably my older sister – had the joyful task of transferring it into big Agee preserving jars which were placed storeys high in the tall cupboard in what we called the back kitchen.

I guess there must have been about 30 jars of South African peanut butter on those shelves.

I don't remember being subjected to peanut butter on a daily basis and I suppose it was on-sold over time . . . although I suspect it was mostly given away.

I never much liked the stuff then and rarely eat it now.

The only person who did well out of this I guess was a chain-smokin' South African called Peter who was never mentioned again in my hearing.

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The heading here may be a little obscure but the Peanut Butter Conspiracy were a psychedelic bands from LA in the mid-late Sixties. Up until the floods I had a couple of their albums. 

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These entries are of little consequence to anyone other than me Graham Reid, the author of this site, and maybe my family, researchers and those with too much time on their hands.

Enjoy these random oddities at Personal Elsewhere.

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John White - Aug 4, 2023

Peanut Butter Conspiracy "The Great Conspiracy" First album I ever bought. Still have it today! Still love it.

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