February 9, 2014

Fire Ants on a Log

(dreamy ants on a log closeup)

Darwin hops, a little, when he's excited. He's hopping now, as I slick some spicy peanut butter onto a celery stick, and stud the sticky stuff with dried fruit: 1950s throwback snack, with a hot sauce twist. I give him the plate.

Are those the ants?

Yeah!

They're not really ants, though.

Are you sure? They look like ants to me.

They're raisins!

I can't fool this kid.

But I am relishing his new interest in crunchy vegetables. He's been toothy enough to handle them for more than a year, but his expression chomping a raw carrot has long communicated, I disapprove of brittle plant matter.

Now that he enjoys crudites more, sticking to our veggies-with-every-meal-and-snack mantra has become a little breezier. Raw snap peas, cucumbers, carrots, and celery out-convenience most cooked veggies (not that we're abandoning those, of course), and even many packaged foods. And though Darwin's munching is sometimes tentative, and he occasionally aborts a a bite midway through, I take satisfaction in knowing he's tackling this messy business of learning how to eat well, one snack and meal at a time.


I started making this spicy snack, sans ants, many years ago in San Diego. I first shared it on the vegan recipe site Veg Web, where I described it as "reminiscent of buffalo wings and spicy Asian peanutty dishes."

*
reminiscent of Buffalo wings, and spicy Asian peanutty dishes. - See more at: http://vegweb.com/recipes/spicy-peanut-butter-and-celery#sthash.qCuiu39Y.dpuf
reminiscent of Buffalo wings, and spicy Asian peanutty dishes. - See more at: http://vegweb.com/recipes/spicy-peanut-butter-and-celery#sthash.qCuiu39Y.dpuf

Fire Ants on a Log
Serves as many as you like

celery stalks, rinsed and cut into 3-inch pieces
natural peanut butter (buy peanut butter with oil separation)
Frank's Red Hot sauce
raisins or other small dried fruit

In a bowl, combine a few Tbls. peanut butter with a few dashes of Frank's, to taste

Smear peanut butter on celery, top with raisins, and serve.

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