Dec 30, 2014

Stirring the 3-Pound Mini-Bucket of Almond Butter

three pound container of almond butter

I bought a 3 pound mini-bucket of almond butter from Amazon.

When it arrived, the oil had separated and risen to the top of the container. As I am experienced in nut butters, this was no surprise and to be expected. You simply have to mix that mess up. The issue presented by this particular mess of almond butter was the volume, specifically the depth, of the container. No spoon in the house could reach the bottom and provide ample length to grip above The Butter Line.

My immediate proposed solution was to see if both beaters of the hand mixer would fit through the mouth of the bucket. They would. Reader, I hope you've surmised by now that your narrator is no fool. Having used a hand mixer approximately zero times in life, I delayed implementation of my master plan in favor of seeking the advice of my girlfriend, whom is an avid and frequent baker of baked goods, therefore a practiced and skilled mixer of batters and doughs, substances not unlike this very almond butter. Reader, she was dubious and made her doubts known...

Explanations followed. The physical properties and potentially volatile energies of almond butter are, apparently, deeply esoteric, especially once entered into a relationship with an electrical hand mixer. Lotus called upon childhood memories we all share, of cookie dough being mixed in a large, metal bowl... and all the little splatter marks made up near the wide rim of the bowl by cookie dough being whipped at such velocity... This was Friday, these explanations. Four days ago, as of this writing.

A mind's inquisitive nature borders petulance, at times. Mine? I'll divulge that I've more-than-once caught myself uttering the words, "Fuck you," out loud, to myself, directed towards my own thoughts, of course while completely alone... I tried to accept that I should not put the electrical hand mixer into the mini-bucket of almond butter and turn it on, not even a little bit:

'But what if I just use the lowest setting? It can't get that crazy.'

"Tyler, I've used that hand mixer. The lowest setting is faster than you think it is."

'OK.... Explain it to me again, though. If the blades of the beaters are completely below The Butter Line, then the only moving parts above The Butter Line are the smooth, vertical rods. I can't see them whipping much of the butter all over the place?'

"If the beaters are all the way under the butter, they will create an Air Bubble that will displace the almond butter. The butter has to go somewhere and there's only place for it to go..."

Representative examples of conversations my poor girlfriend has had to put up with on multiple occasions, daily, since Friday. Each time my thoughts would return to the problem, I would track her down in the house and make her explain it again.

Last night, we went out, to celebrate a friend's birthday. It was a great time. Thirty seconds unpunctuated by laughter didn't pass. Amidst the riotous conversation - covering such topics as an occult amplification of The Shocker, once-discovered, now lost to memory; shitting while birthing; how I don't think The Wire is a great television show and it isn't (get mad); scissoring; this psychotic undertaking to throw the best New Year's Eve party ever in Nashville (#4DNYE) - I hope I didn't seem too distracted from the goings on...

"That fucking Air Bubble..."

On the ride back to the house, we listened to Wire's A Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck, a fantastic record and one you should hear. Conversation was minimal, as is fairly typical since Lotus doesn't like me to talk to her while she drives, particularly if I've been drinking as I will forget to speak more quietly than feels natural, which I must always do because electric guitars, louder than God, for thirteen years. I had been drinking. But, also, I had made a decision.

When we got home, well past midnight, I was going to go into the kitchen, get out the mini-bucket of almond butter and electrical hand mixer the fuck out of it. I no longer cared of potential consequences. I simply had to know what would happen. Thankfully, my mother and (visiting) grandmother were still awake but, frankly, I'd have done it anyway. I announced my intended course of immediate action. Lotus went to the bedroom, wanting no part of it. My mother and grandmother came to the kitchen to bear witness. I made all of the necessary preparations, placing everything in its right place, double checking that the beater blades would indeed fit through the mouth of the container and completely below The Butter Line, slowly submerging the beater blades completely below The Butter Line. In the empty air alongside the parametric speed selector, as a golfer will practice his swing beside the ball before The Real Thing, I practiced the movement and control of my thumb necessary to turn the hand mixer off ASAP if things got hairy....

I held my breath and turned on the mixer. Reader, there are moments you must make every effort to keep in your memory. You can actually make a practice of this. The next time you're about to do something worth remembering, make a conscious effort to grasp the phenomenon of your present experience of life becoming a memory. Ride the wave of your consciousness' journey from present to future... Or is it from future to past? Who knows?

Oh, you want to know what happened? It fucking worked. It didn't make any mess whatsoever. I even kicked the speed selector switch up to second gear and really whipped that oil back into that almond butter. It was amazing. It was triumphant. Have you ever seen Rocky? It was nothing like that. But it was still pretty great. In a bizarre role reversal, my mother and grandmother each took one of the beaters to lick. What a family moment. Now, I know this whole story could seem like an overblown "I told you so" - and it totally is - but what's important here isn't that anyone else was wrong about anything.

What's important is that I was right... The whole problem wouldn't leave me alone because I knew there was an answer. There is always an answer. Sometimes you already have the answer but you're letting yourself be talked out of it, by yourself or someone else. And, sometimes, you need to say, "You know what? Fuck it, let's see what happens."

Thank you for your time. I am available for TED Talks.


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