Lifestyle, nutrition: SunButter: a school-safe substitute for peanut butter?

Lifestyle can mean constant self-tutoring. The tutor introduces SunButter as a possible solution to the “No Peanuts” rule in so many schools.

I’ve talked to parents who point out that peanut butter and jam sandwiches are their kids’ favourite. Others say that, at the very least, their kids will reliably eat them. As a parent with two kids in school, I understand the challenge of filling the lunchboxes with appealing foods.

With peanuts forbidden at so many schools, the PB&J, for many, is out. Yet, the SunButter and Jam, or SB&J, might be a viable alternative.

SunButter is made from sunflower seeds. On the jar it claims to be “school safe,” being free of peanuts, tree nuts, and numerous other allergens.

Yesterday I did a taste test of SunButter vs Planter’s Peanut Butter. I’d describe the SunButter as being more oily, with a lighter, sweeter taste.

I tried giving SunButter to my younger child at home, pretending to serve a PB&J. He didn’t seem to notice until afterwards, when I told him I’d used SunButter instead of peanut butter. Kids can be surprisingly conservative about food. I believe he would eat a SunButter and jam sandwich if I put one in his lunch box, although I haven’t tried yet.

In my experience, SunButter is more dear than peanut butter.

SunButter is made by SunButter LLC, based from Fargo, North Dakota:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Seasons, lifestyle: first day of spring 2018

Tutoring, you watch a year’s progress and notice season changes. The tutor gives his annual reflection about the start of spring.

In my post back on January 26, 2015, I define the first day of spring as the first day of the year that’s sunny with positive double-digit temperature. Here, for 2018, that was yesterday, February 5.

Over the years I’ve watched the season’s arrival and how it affects people. I’d argue that the coming of spring matters particularly to kids, for a few reasons:

  1. Kids have to get to and from school, and most can’t yet drive. While many get rides, not all do.
  2. Kids typically escape home by meeting their friends outside, weather permitting.
  3. At school, during breaks, time outside can be very important.
  4. Kids in PE often must do runs, etc, outside, regardless of weather, so they notice when the weather turns pleasant.

Last night, driving to judo, one of my sons pointed out the lingering daylight; a few weeks back we drove to the club in nighttime darkness. The road was dry, and people were out walking: spring is in the air.

I have yard work that’s backed up from winter, but won’t get to it just yet….

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: President’s Choice Milk Chocolate Caramel Pecan clusters

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares one of his habits, with a discovery.

Of course I’m a dieter, and of course I love chocolate. I try to limit my intake, but you only live once….

One of my habits is to pick up chocolate post-season. Sometime in January I noticed some and decided to bite.

I believe I was at Shoppers Drug Mart when I found President’s Choice Milk Chocolate Caramel Pecan clusters. I love confections like that, so I picked them up.

They taste rich and buttery. I recommend them.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: The Vault, Nanaimo, BC

Visiting a town means self-tutoring. The tutor mentions The Vault, Nanaimo.

I’d describe The Vault’s location as corner of Wallace and Albert, Nanaimo, BC. I started going there this week.

The Vault’s atmosphere is peaceful and welcoming, and the staff are, too. They have vegan food there. I’m not vegan myself, but I notice their effort to have something for everyone.

I often get both a date square and a Nanaimo bar. The Nanaimo bars I’ve had there, the chocolate layer on top is thick. The date square is substantial, too. In concert, the Nanaimo bar and date square can sustain you through many hours of concentration.

The soft music there, and the really sweet staff, along with the baked goods, make The Vault worth walking to, even through the cold January rain.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, Canadian brands: coffee: Best Gourmet Coffee Company, Kona Blend, ground

The tutor discusses more lifestyle self-tutoring: maintaining coffee quality when you’re living from a suitcase.

My wife says that my taste buds aren’t very refined – I can’t tell the difference between good food and great food. Likely, she tells a true story.

With coffee, however, we change roles: I’m the picky one, while she’s less discriminating. The truth is, I think I’m a discerning coffee connoisseur. Even though I drink two pots a day, if I can’t have a really good cup of coffee, I’ll usually pass altogether.

Having the coffee I appreciate is typically easy, since I’m a homebody: I just wait until the coffee I like is reasonable, then buy a lot. Good quality coffee is always reasonable, somewhere.

For freshness, beans have a distinct advantage over ground. At home, it’s convenient to grind the beans for each pot.

When you’re traveling, however, having tasty coffee isn’t necessarily so easy. Coffee needs to be drunk from porcelain, in my opinion, for the best flavour. Therefore, simply getting take-out coffee isn’t my best option, no matter how high-quality the coffee they serve.

Right now I’m living out of town, and have left my grinder at the workplace, along with the coffee pot I also brought down. Where I’m staying, I don’t have a grinder, but only a coffee maker. What to do?

My solution is to buy ground coffee, but to make sure I get good stuff. I don’t buy much ground coffee, so I’m not well educated about it.

Last night, at Country Grocer, I searched the shelves and found Kona Blend ground coffee, by the Best Gourmet Coffee Company. This morning I opened it and brewed some up.

I imagined some sort of foil peel-back closure. However, this coffee comes in a can; the only way I can figure to open it is with a can opener. (There happens to be one where I’m staying, but if you’re in a motel room or camping, you mightn’t have one.)

I brewed up a pot; I’m impressed. The flavour is agreeable, and I can taste the mellow sweetness of Kona. Being pre-ground, it’s not what I’d drink regularly at home, but for on the road, I recommend it. If I notice whole-bean coffee from Best Gourmet Coffee Company, I will definitely want to try it at home.

From the label, Best Gourmet Coffee Wholesalers, Ltd, is based in Maple Ridge, BC.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: Mambo Gourmet Pizza, Nanaimo, BC.

Becoming familiar with a city means self-tutoring. The tutor discovers Mambo Gourmet Pizza, Nanaimo.

I’m based in Campbell River, but am working in Nanaimo for a couple of weeks. Times before, my wife has done the driving, etc. This time she stayed home, so I have to find my way around.

At lunchtime I went to find some food. Away from home, I often eat straight from a grocery store, but didn’t find one.

Along the sidewalk I passed Mambo Gourmet Pizza, noticing a couple of people eating inside. Half a block later I turned back, deciding to give Mambo a second look.

Entering, I could tell it’s a place that regular customers frequent. It’s warm and plain, with fresh pizzas on display at the counter.

I think a slice of pizza cost me $3.75. It was pretty large, but so good I decided halfway through that I’d get another one. After all, I had many hours left of instructing.

I’d say I was there for twelve minutes and two slices. Mambo Gourmet Pizza might be too good. Usually, I lose weight working away. This time, with Mambo just a few blocks away, I might end up gaining.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, cooking: what is parboiled rice?

For me, learning to cook means constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares what he discovered about parboiled rice.

Parboiled rice
When rice is harvested, each grain is inside a protective, inedible hull. During parboiling, the rice is steamed while still inside the hull, and nutrients dissolve from the hull into the rice grain.

Moreover, parboiled rice, when cooked, has grains less sticky, but rather more distinct, than has non-parboiled rice.

Parboiled rice is also called converted rice.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: cooking: what is freezer temperature meant to be?

Lifestyle, for me, leads to endless self-tutoring. The tutor shares the answer to a question he’s often wondered.

ideal freezer temperature

Freezer temperature is meant to be -18C or below (0F or below).

Apparently, food stored at -18C will remain safe to eat, although it may eventually lose its tastiness, depending on the duration.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, cooking: microwave cooking: standing time

Still more lifestyle tutoring evolves as the tutor researches cooking with the microwave.

Standing time:

similar to resting time, it’s a period food is left alone after being cooked in the microwave.

The microwave targets some food molecules – water, for instance – preferentially. They absorb energy during microwave cooking. After removal from the microwave, that energy can transfer to surrounding food molecules, causing the portion to heat up. Therefore, the temperature of the portion can rise during standing time.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, cooking: can you use wax paper in the microwave?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor researches if wax paper can safely be used in the microwave.

This week, I’m out of town, living in a hotel room that has a microwave oven. I don’t have any plates, bowls, etc.

I wondered if I could heat a sausage roll wrapped in wax paper, so I researched the situation:

Apparently, wax paper can safely be used in the microwave.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.