In the Kitchen with Panda and OvenMitt: Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise


Sometimes the story behind a recipe is as interesting as the recipe itself. Some recipes are handed down with great ceremony from one generation to another, while others come from hours of painstaking research looking through old obscure cookbooks or careful sessions of trial-and-error in the kitchen spent working out the perfect balance of ingredients and techniques. If you’ve ever been the recipient of your mother’s lasagna recipe or found a seemingly obsolete yet delicious German potato salad recipe, you know what we mean.

Some recipes, however, come in a moment of inspiration like a bolt from the blue– one second, you’ve never even thought of the idea, and the next, it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise is one such recipe, one that, once you’ve tried it, you will be eating and feeding your family for years!

The other morning, as they often do, Panda and OvenMitt were texting each other– she from Vancouver and he from Seattle. (In any relationship, but especially a long-distance one across an international border, it’s always important to find little ways to let each other know that you’re thinking of them– a good morning text is a great way to do that!) It was a typical morning exchange, filled with “How did you sleep?” and “Did you dream about me?”, when suddenly the subject switched, as it sometimes does, to breakfast. (OvenMitt is in blue; Panda is the grey)


And suddenly, from a tiny miscommunication, a great idea was born! Grape Nuts and peanut butter on toast– what could be better than that?! OvenMitt has made this a breakfast staple ever since– and when you see how easy and delicious it can be, we’re certain that you will want to, also.


Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise


1 cup peanut butter (preferably crunchy)

1/2 cup Grape Nuts cereal (+a sprinkle for the top)

Bread for toasting as needed

In a mixing bowl using a rubber spatula, carefully mix the peanut butter and 1/2 cup of the Grape Nuts. Meanwhile, toast the bread in the toaster– make sure it’s crisp but not burnt! When the toast is ready, use a knife to spread the Grape Nuts Peanut Butter spread carefully on. Sprinkle a few more Grape Nuts on top and enjoy!

Note: Leftovers will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator in a sealed glass or plastic container.


Bon appetit, everybody!


Hockey Card Album


Back in the spring of 1991, Panda had to travel to Toronto to do her EEG practicum at Sick Kids (aka the Hospital for Sick Children). While she was in Toronto, Panda lived in a dorm-like residence with her own room but a shared bathroom. Panda did not know anybody in Toronto, so, when she wasn’t working, wandering around Yonge Street, or going to the mall to buy a now-long-lost silver bunny bracelet, she would go to the sports cards shop to buy Upper Deck hockey cards. Panda would always buy a pack or two at a time, and, even though there was no bubble gum with these cards, she would still be excited to open and then carefully place them in a blue hockey card album (pictured above). At the time, Panda made the decision to organize the cards alphabetically by team name (rather than by city name– a decision she is still happy with today) starting with the Blackhawks (Jeremy Roenick) and ending with the Whalers (Dean Evason).


Above: end of the Bruins pages and start of the Canadiens

Whenever she got a card, rather than playing those games that kids play with them, Panda would carefully figure out where they went in the binder and put them there.

Below: Rod Brind’Amour!


Eventually Panda finished her EEG practicum and left Toronto, and the album went into into Panda’s mom’s bookcase in her dusty British Columbia basement. There the cards sat for decades until finally Panda met OvenMitt. Shortly after meeting OvenMitt, Panda found out that they had a shared interest in ice hockey and knew that OvenMitt would want to see the hockey cards, so she went to her mother’s house and found them. And now last weekend, after a long week of waiting for OvenMitt to drive up in his truck to Vancouver from Seattle, the two of them finally got to look at the hockey cards together.


What could be more fun than that on a rainy Saturday night? And what other hockey-related memorabilia could Panda possibly have to show OvenMitt?


Sidenote– While looking through the hockey card album, Panda and OvenMitt also took a trip down memory lane watching postgame coverage of this year’s NHL Heritage Classic. Look– it’s Gretzky and Hawerchuk on the television screen!