Peanut Torture

Today is National Peanut Brittle Day.

While I’ve never had anything against Peanut Brittle, it wasn’t one of my favorite things to eat, back when I still ate sweets.

Maybe, because as a kid, you go through that phase where all your teeth are falling out. That time when the baby teeth finally leave the body, and we get our permanents in. The normal time period for this begins when a kid hits about six years old. And those teeth keep dropping out until the 12th year.

So there we are, for six young years of our lives, with a bunch of piano keys hanging from our gums, waiting to fall, or be yanked from our mouths at any moment.

When the first one goes, it is pretty traumatic. And it is a big dang deal. Invitations get sent out to all the relatives. There is a Go Fund Me Page for the young traumatized victim of the tooth loss. The Tooth Fairy flies all the way in from Las Vegas on a weekend night. Not everything stays in Vegas. It is big.

But, by the time the poor schlep hits 12, no one is really paying attention anymore. There we all are. Sitting around the dinner table, eating Pot Roast, and Gravy, and such, and Kyle spits something in his hand, and murmurs, “Whelp. Lost another tooth.” He places it on the tablecloth, and someone says, “Just keep it away from the gravy boat, boy.”

That’s how life goes with a lot of things. We get jaded. Inured.

Oh. The Peanut Brittle. Yes, so, for those entire six years, eating things like Peanut Brittle is a little dicey. Same with Taffy, or Bit-O-Honey. It leaves that slight post traumatic stress disorder in its wake. At least, for me, that was the case.

At every holiday gathering, or most certainly at Christmas, Aunt Trudy would pull out her world famous foil wrapped plates of Peanut Brittle. Batches, they were called. “I made a fresh batch of Peanut Brittle.” As soon as I’d hear those words, I would shudder a bit. The flavor was always good, but the ceremony was completely unkind. I had a nervous tick in my left eye, when she’d hand around the plate.

Being the trooper, and not wanting to offend Aunt Trudy, I would always take a piece or two. From the batch. I would try to finagle it into the back of my mouth, where the molars were, and go at it that way. But holy-be-goodness, it would always rock around in my mouth, with all those flopping teeth. Always. A real crap shoot.

For the record, I don’t think I ever lost a tooth eating Peanut Brittle. But to this very day, I am marked. A few months ago, someone brought a “batch” to a Board Meeting. Unfailingly, they say, “I made a fresh batch of Peanut Brittle.” I think people say this, because they WANT you to know it is fresh. How would you tell otherwise, if it was one hour old, or one month old? But there were all my fellow board members, making terrible faces as they bit down on the brittle. All of them scrunching their eyes and noses, tensing their mouths, as they crunched, just waiting for a tooth to chip.

It scared me. It scared me as a kid, I suppose.

I just wished someone would have made Peanut Butter Pie, instead. Or Tapioca Pudding. I liked Tapioca Pudding when I was six. That National Day is July 15.

But for today, we will have to be glad for Peanut Brittle. One of life’s backhanded pleasures. I suppose.


“Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book


“Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.”
― Victor Hugo


“Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.”
― Alfred Hitchcock