Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I almost blew up the microwave this morning.

You know, you hear all the blah blah blah about not putting certain stuff in microwaves (gremlins...cats...metal...etc.), but let me tell you, it makes a whole different impression to actually SEE something catch fire.

The offending item this morning (lest you fear I tried to nuke the Monkey) was a peanut butter jar. Now, I was a little concerned about the peanut butter jar early on because it was plastic and I didn't want it going all melty on me. But I figured ~30 seconds wouldn't be a big deal.

The flames flared about 3 seconds in -- so my concern shifted from the jar melting to the entire building melting... Which, I suppose, would have melted the jar somewhere in the process....but, anyway...

Turns out that while the jar itself was innocuous enough, that peely cover that you have to take off before you get to the peanut butter isn't just silver in's actually some kind of metal or metal-like substance. And if you haven't managed to get every last bit of peely stuff off, your peanut butter jar will start to resemble a roman candle. Spectacular, yes...but kind of scary too.

....and, to answer your question, I was trying to microwave the peanut butter to soften it up. I buy the really gnarly, natural peanut butter that you have to stir up and refrigerate. The last bit of it never seems to retain much of the oils no matter how much I it gets really hard and is tough to spread. Usually, a few seconds of microwaving will soften it up...or, on days like today, will make it a little extra-roasted.

On the bright side, I did not burn the building down, destroy the microwave, or melt the peanut butter jar...and the peanut butter was entirely salvageable (if difficult to spread) for the Monkey's lunch.


towwas said...

Yknow, my mom gets natural peanut butter, but it doesn't separate like that. I'm guessing it's because it's pretty freshly ground when she gets it (hasn't spent six months sitting in a warehouse or whatever they do with the regular stuff), and also we go through it fast. It does get a little rocky sometimes by the bottom, but usually it's still spreadable the whole way through. (It comes from a natural foods store that mushes their own.)

Me, my first jar o' peanut butter at the new house came separated. Sigh.

miss shirley said...

Yep, separated all the way. Aren't we healthy? (Yes, we have all been to the golden arches together. So what.)

Look, I commented on towwas's blog so I had to stop by yours to say hi too. Hi!

BASSO said...

Fresh, Wholefoods NOT jarred is the way to go I think. I've never had pb blow up myself, but could rationalize it somehow having to with the oil and a strange microwave induced transmorgification of the plastic into - what? Phosphorus?