My Chopped Peanut Caper

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  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
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2014/01/11 23:25:52 (permalink)

My Chopped Peanut Caper

My day consisted of finding and buying the ingredients to a tomato hamburger slather that my brother and I used to eat years ago at our long, gone, favorite hamburger place.
It was called Woody's Smorgesburger.  It was wonderful and we both miss it.  Their main items (for me) were charbroiled burgers and root beer.  Their fries weren't anything special but they did make an excellent house salad that had croutons and beets on top.  I had mine with thick blue cheese dressing.  They also sold steaks, but I never ordered one.
Anyway, they called the slather stuff salsa.  It wasn't salsa.   It was years before Mexican restaurants here started calling anything salsa. There isn't a place anywhere, anymore that serves anything like it.  It worked magic on the burgers. 
They also had a condiment bar for the burgers and you loaded them up yourself.  Included with the obligatory lettuce, tomatoes, sweet pickle slices, dill pickle slices, etc. was the salsa AND....  chopped peanuts.  Yes, we all put chopped peanuts on our burgers back in the day.  The salsa kept them in place except for the ones that slipped out the sides as you were biting or just lifting your burger.
The recipe that I got from someone who worked there years ago was...  pizza sauce, tomato paste, dehydrated onions and peppers, salt and pepper.  All restaurant brands and he didn't know quantities.  They made 5 gallons every day.

I had freeze dried onions in the pantry but wasn't sure if they'd do.  I needed the dehydrated peppers.  So.....
I drove up to Santa Monica.  I think it's 5 miles but it probably took 45 minutes to get where I was headed.... Penzey's Spices.  An entire store devoted to little jars of spices, herbs and other like things.
The sales lady told me that dried, freeze dried and dehydrated were all the same except with garlic.  I reminded her that I was looking for onioins and peppers.  Well no I didn't,  I just thought it.  She never told me why garlic is different and I never asked.
Being I already had the onions at home, I left Penzey's with the peppers and 3 other small jars I did not need.
Stopped at a chain market in Santa Monica and found the rest of the long list of ingredients for the salsa.  Now all I needed was chopped peanuts.

On to the nut aisle.  No, no chopped peanuts.  Over to the cake making aisle.  Lots of chopped almonds, pecans and walnuts but no peanuts.
Where's the ice cream topping aisle?  Finally found fudge on a special rack hanging from the end of an aisle that had nothing to do with ice cream, ice cream toppings or...  chopped peanuts.
Those burgers and the salsa aren't anything without chopped peanuts.  It was the sum of the ingredients.

Driving back towards Marina del Rey, while stopped in traffic I came up with what I thought a fabulous idea:  I' would stop at a self serve yogurt shop and fill my large container with only chopped peanuts!  That would work!!!  I'd overpay, but I'd have them.

There just happens to be a brand new Yogurtland that opened right across the highway from my condo.
I drove another 30 minutes thinking about how smart I am.
Amazing!  There was a parking spot right in front of Yogurtland and a paper sign on their front door:  No Power, Closed for now.  WHAT!!!
I looked around and the entire shopping center was without  power.  
Seemed to take forever getting out of the parking lot because everyone else was leaving.  Everything was closed.
I drove to the shopping center on the other side of my condo.  Both are walking distance from home.
Walked up to the counter of Pinkberry and looked at the yogurt toppings.  I don't see any chopped peanuts. 
I waited until the sales guy was finished and asked, "Do you have and chopped peanuts?"
"No...  but we have sliced almonds and chopped pecans". 
"We don't sell peanuts anymore because of the food allergies".
I thanked him and walked out without anything.  I wonder what he thought I was doing there.
Walked across the parking lot on the off chance that the health food store carried chopped peanuts.
I asked the checker and he said, "Yes!  We have litte bags and bulk in aisle nine".
Guess he never heard the word chopped.
Went in to the regular store in that shopping center and bought a small container of peanuts.  I looked for no salt and NOT freeze dried peanuts and of course the market didn't have any. 
I'll stop at Bigg Chill on the way to my brother's tomorrow or I"ll chop salty peanuts that won't be right.

Where do you purchase chopped peanuts when you're not buying from a restaurant supply?  (And you need the today)


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