One of the Best Lessons I Learned from My Dad Involves a Clever Peanut Butter Trick

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peanut butter in an open jar with spoon and peanuts scattered on the table
Credit: Shyripa Alexandr/Shutterstock

My dad is not a complicated man. He’s career-driven, a disciplined gym goer, and always eats his vegetables. Phone calls with my dad have a 15-minute max; “Am I good? Work is good? Apartment is good? Okay, good.” He buys the same shirt in 10 colors, eats the same lunch every day, likes to admire his record collection, and watches SNL reruns in his free time.

At the end of a long day, my dad’s routine always ends on the same treat: ice cream. Summers involved regular trips up the road to the local ice cream counter, and our freezer always had a half-gallon of something. At one point in our childhood, my dad and sister formed a special Ice Cream Buddies club where they would go out for ice cream every Wednesday, be it a quick Dairy Queen stop or to the grocery store to pick out a new flavor. In its simplest form, however, my Dad’s nightly ice cream play was a small bowl of vanilla with melted peanut butter poured over top. 

Credit: Corynn Crutchley

What’s So Great About Jif Natural Low-Sodium Creamy Peanut Butter Spread?

We were always a Jif peanut butter family (Mom bought a different brand once, and let’s just say there were a lot of opinions). Jif’s smooth, consistent texture and sweet peanut flavor can’t be beat, and holds a nostalgic place in my family members’ hearts. The creamy — not crunchy — style is what he always uses. 

Recently my mom switched to buying Jif’s Natural Peanut Butter because there are no hydrogenated oils in this variety (personally, I think she was skewed by the ‘Natural’ on the label). But my routine-driven dad still has a jar of the red-lidded classic — specifically for his ice cream — in the pantry. His name is written on the lid in Sharpie, just in case we don’t know it’s his. 

Credit: Corynn Crutchley

What’s the Best Way to Use Jif Natural Low-Sodium Creamy Peanut Butter Spread?

The key to this treat is being gentle with the microwaving. Put a big spoonful or two in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it up in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until you get a runny consistency that drizzles off the end of a spoon. You don’t want the peanut butter to seize or heat unevenly, so the short intervals and stirring is key. Once it’s warm and runny you can artfully drizzle it over your ice cream or get right to it and pour the whole thing over top. It’s quick and easy, but the hot peanut butter makes it feel special and more like a sundae rather than a small scoop.

Any flavor of ice cream works here, but the classic vanilla-peanut butter combo was always in stock at our house. The hot/cold mix between the heated peanut butter and frozen ice cream is what dreams are made of. It’s smooth, nostalgic, and the perfect simple at-home treat. To pay homage to my dad, this dish is best eaten while sitting on the couch about 30 minutes before falling asleep with the TV on. 

Buy: Jif Natural Low Sodium Creamy Peanut Butter Spread, $2.99 for 16 ounces at Target

Do you have a food tip you learned from your dad? Tell us about it in the comments.

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: One of the Best Lessons I Learned from My Dad? This Handy Peanut Butter Trick.