Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some serious dough...

 Everywhere I look there are peanuts .  They are sold on every street corner here in Abuja, and even by vendors weaving through traffic.  You can get them either roasted and packaged in empty Rum bottles, or Boiled in their shells.  Either way they will be balancing on someones head until  purchased.  With all of the peanuts everywhere, I'm dumbfounded that no one here has decided to grind up a few of them into a paste and make some peanut butter!   Seems simple enough since I remember doing this in my Kindergarten class with 20 other five year olds.  It's just one more thing about Nigeria that I just don't get (I will make a list of the others later).  Seriously, Peanut butter is a rare commodity here, generally just used by people like me....foreigners.
Young Peanut Vendor we met this weekend...
He followed us around watching Sawyer play Batman
Roasted Peanuts are sold in old Liquor bottles...
because there are plenty of old liquor bottles.

Alexis and Logan buying Boiled Peanuts from a really sweet
peanut vendor.  N50 (30 cents) can buy a whole bag of them!
 My family depends on peanut-butter.  It is it's own food group at our house.  PB is consumed for breakfast in Tyson's protein shake, It makes it's way between two pieces of bread in the kid's lunch boxes, and eaten by the spoonful by our little chubby Sawyer.   Unfortunately, our stock of Crunchy Jif we brought with us from the US has dwindled rapidly leaving us to either do without, or pay whatever insane amount of money we are charged. 

The dough that costs some "serious dough"
Since there are few that bring Tyson more joy than eating peanut butter (especially when accompanied by chocolate),  the decision is simple. Buck it up and pay whatever you have to pay to keep that smile on his face, and my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are the easiest way to do that!

So, the other night, I made a batch of Tyson's favorite cookies, and for curiosity's sake, kept track of the cost of each portion of each ingredient so I could get an idea of the cost of one batch of these cookies!

Here goes.
I used
1 1/2 cups Peanut butter.......
-Peanut butter is mainly used by foreigners here, so it comes at a price, and that price is (calculated for the 1 1/2 cups I used.)..$11.49

2 Cubes of butter...
-We had butter shipped from the US in a Refrigerated shipping container.  That's the best way to insure that it has been pasteurized etc.   We spent $112 on 10lbs of butter.  So, two cubes would be a little over... $6.

2 1/2 cups Brown Sugar....
-Finally an ingredient I had the foresight to ship from Costco ahead of time.  Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!!

1/2 cup Milk....
-The Soy milk that came in our Frozen Shipment ended up costing $23 per quart!  Yes, it is being strictly rationed, and might be wrapped up as birthday gifts for the kids! 

- Made do without!  This isn't Mexico, the land of fragrant Vanilla in gallon size bottles. 

2 eggs...
-I am seriously considering buying a chicken... or snatching one of the stray, featherless ones I've seen walking around town.  A flat of  18 eggs costs N1800 or about $13.  That makes my precious eggs $0.72 each... $1.44 total

3 1/2 cups Flour... 
-The flour aisle at the grocery store had me stumped!  There was Corn flour, Yam flour, potato flour, Yam Starch, and a few other flours that I had no idea existed!  Where is "normal flour"?  Finally I found a mysterious, unlabelled bag of white powder.  It was among the other "flours", so I took a chance that it was good old fashioned white flour!  I hope I was right!.... $5.40

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
-Luckily I had packed these with my household items and had them on hand!!!

Chocolate chips...
-Chocolate chips arrived in our frozen food shipment for $8.20 per 10 oz bag! I am treating each morsel as if it is an entire Hershey's Kiss. Ya, 8 bucks is a lot, but what would you pay when you are in desperate need of Chocolate???

So, how much is batch of Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Cookies worth in Nigeria?.. ....$35.09!

The Smile on Tyson's face when he bites into the warm peanut-buttery goodness..PRICELESS!
They were pretty good...but a little different than normal.  I'm blaming it on the Flour!



  1. Diana, you guys seriously need to invest in a peanut grinder. You may have to find a way to get one next time you get a shipment. They had one at the Marriott School Blue Line Cafe until this semester and it would grind fresh peanut butter that was soooo good.

    Also, you'd think that chocolate wouldn't be so expensive being so close to the Ivory Coast and all . . . what the crap!?


  3. That is insane!!! But I do understand the importance of keeping Tyson in chocolate. Definitely worth the price!