I grew up a middle child
sandwiched between tortured by two brothers.
My older brother Tyler used to pin down my shoulders with his knees and let loogies drip down from his mouth until they were .0000000002 millimeters from my face before he'd suck them back up. And worse: fart into his hand and then cup it over my nose and mouth. How I endured this kind of sick torture is beyond me. I should be way more scarred. Maybe I am and I just don't know it.
I always tell people I was really shaped by The Muppets and All Things Jim Henson but as I write this I realize most of my sick sense of humor and general oddness must certainly stem from being farted on as an adolescent. Apparently that really shapes you.
Tyler could dominate me physically but my younger brother Josh tortured me psychologically. He'd do things specifically just to get under my skin. Like pee on the toilet seat (daily) in the bathroom that we shared. That was a real treat. Sometimes I'd sit on it when it was freshly sprinkled and sometimes I'd catch it hours later. Oh, would you look at that! I just thought of another thing that shaped me: Washing sticky boy pee off my thighs. Awesome.
I'm sure I fueled the fire with both brothers by whining and tattling........I was the Goody Two Shoes of the group and what's more fun than sticking it to her? They both got away with murder though. Josh was the cute one who could charm the pants off anyone, and Tyler was the cool one and I think our parents were a little scared of him.
Knowing our history, it's hard to believe that now my brothers are two of my favorite people on the planet. The amount that I love them is in direct proportion to the amount of grief they gave me when we were little. And knowing the evil they're both capable of, it's hard to believe they're both now upstanding members of society--Tyler, a business owner with a heart of gold and Josh, an entrepreneur-y business man with a razor-sharp funny bone who is also one of the best dads I know.
Who knew he was also a secret chef? Josh gave all of us giant jars of his (self-named) "Josh's Nut Butter" for Christmas after he started following The Paleo Diet. Since there's no
sugar or carbs fun allowed, this concoction is a legal food choice (that happens to taste amazeballs). So he was sharing the love but mostly, I think he just loved hearing us all say we really enjoyed his nut butter.
Josh's Nut Butter
yields one quart
If you like almond butter and you like coconut, you will not believe how freaking good this is. We started enjoying it daily in protein shakes, spread on apples or unapologetically by the spoonful. Plus, if you're doing any kind of sugar-free, carb-free diet you will freak out that this is allowed.
1 16oz. jar creamy almond butter (with or without salt), at room temperature (see notes below)
1 16oz. jar coconut butter (make sure it's not coconut oil, you want the flesh in there)
2-5 packets Nu-Stevia powder to taste (Josh says it must be this exact kind. I didn't argue.)
1/4 t - 1/2 t fine sea salt
1 T coconut extract (optional)
Place the jar of coconut butter in a pot of super hot tap water for 15-20 minutes to soften. Stir the almond butter for a couple minutes in its jar. Combine both nut butters in a blender or bowl and mix well. [I've used a blender but that said, once the blender seized and I ended up just stirring it by hand which was way easier than I thought it'd be. If your coconut butter is sufficiently warmed up this will be easy.] Mix in the contents of 4 stevia packets and 1/4 t salt. Taste and adjust as desired. If you want the flavor to lean a bit more on the coconut side, add the extract. With or without, it's delicious. Pour into a clean 1 quart (32oz.) jar and refrigerate a few hours to set. It's very viscous at first but chills to the perfect spreadable consistency. After it's set, store it at room temperature.
**Update on 5/21/12**
I've made several batches since this post and noticed that as the weather gets warmer, the nut butter gets runny due to the melting point of the coconut oil. To combat this, Josh recommends no-stir almond butter (This brand is great) which contains a bit of palm oil to keep it more stable. I've only found it in 12oz. jars which will just make your mixture a bit more heavy on the coconut (but still delicious). It also contains a bit of sugar which will require less stevia so taste as you go.