By Request

By Betty Shimabukuro

Wednesday, March 31, 1999

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Loaded with peanutty taste, Peanut Butter Bread contains
no eggs and no butter, oil or shortening.

Quick bread takes
long journey

This is the story of how two women on opposites ends of the country found common ground in peanut butter.

In Kona a generation ago, Mona Kahele learned to make Peanut Butter Bread from her grandmother. They even made their own peanut butter from peanuts grown on their farm in the days before everyone planted coffee.

Enter Diane Ward of Melbourne, Fla., searching everywhere for a beloved but long-lost Peanut Butter Bread recipe. She'd gotten it as a new bride in the '60s, out of a set of World War II cookbooks given her by an aunt.

"It was one of those recipes formulated for war-time cooks, and did not use any butter," Ward recalled. "My family loved it, and the neat thing I loved was that it was both inexpensive and easy (I was cooking on a wood cookstove back then) and it would stay fresh for days."

Years after losing the recipe, Ward discovered the Internet and sent her request here via e-mail. It was printed in this column, and within days, in came a call from Sigrid Southworth at the Midkiff Learning Center, Kamehameha Schools. Southworth had reached way back in her brain and connected the request with "The Kahikolu Country Cookbook," published in 1982 by Kahikolu Congregational Church, on the road to Kealakekua Bay on the Kona Coast.

The recipe was credited to Mona Kahele, now living in a retirement home in Captain Cook.

Kahele remembers adapting her grandmother's recipe, adding more peanut butter, "because I have a daughter who loves peanut butter so much."

That daughter was among 23 children -- two adopted and the rest hanai -- raised by Kahele and her fisherman husband.

She said she learned to cook in the home of her Portuguese grandmother on her father's side. "Everything is bread, bread, bread."

That's a long story for a short recipe. But sometimes the journey is just as interesting as the destination, which in this case is a loaf of quick bread baked with six simple ingredients.

If you love peanut butter, it's worth a try. As Ward says, it's quick, easy and cheap. And it's particularly good fresh out of the oven, when it's reminiscent of peanut butter cookies.

If you feel like venturing further into peanut butter land, try the Frozen Peanut Butter Pie, made with tofu, that follows.


Peanut Butter Bread

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
1-1/4 cup milk

Combine dry ingredients. Add milk to peanut butter; combine well. Add peanut butter to flour; mix well.Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Makes 18 half-inch slices.

Bullet Approximate nutritional analysis, per slice: 130 calories, 6 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium.*


Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

"Tofu cookery," by Louise Hagler,
The Book Publishing Co., 1982

1 pound tofu
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 9-inch baked pie shell

Blend filling ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into the pie shell. Freeze.

Thaw 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.

Bullet Approximate nutritional analysis, per slice: 529 calories, 29 g fat.*

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
By Request, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Food Section,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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