During my days in London, we had upstairs neighbours who would play loud ‘Duff Duff’ music at any time of the day or night, subjecting us to what felt like a rhythmic earthquake on a fairly regular basis. We were no strangers to loud dance music, having made it our unofficial mission to investigate the pros and cons of every nightclub in London, however the same racket was not quite so welcome at 2 am when we were snugly in our beds on a school night.
In addition to this, above my room is what I strongly suspect was a communal athletics track for several highly dedicated athletes who trained by sprinting across my ceiling at all hours. We of course tried many methods of negotiation including the highly sophisticated broom-banging-on-ceiling technique which I believe is used by the military in times of war, to no avail. So the ‘Duff-Duff’ continued to be part of my life until I moved out in pursuit of postgraduate study and improved sleep patterns.
In another flat in another part of London, I had the pleasure of neighbouring a devout, god-fearing woman who had been suitably blessed with a booming set of lungs and equally devout friends. The paper-thin walls meant that on some mornings at around 4am, I would be jolted from sleep by voices chanting the Lord’s praises punctuated by thunderous declarations of ‘JESUS WILL SAAAVVVEEE YOU‘.
Whatever I needed to be saved from, I was fairly confident that it could wait till sunrise.
In order to pay it forward, I have now become the neighbour who places dry roasted almonds in a food processor resulting in what the neighbours probably assumed was a vicious, albeit brief attack on the building by a machine-gun squad of some sort. All this to make my own almond butter which I assure you was totally worth the racket. In my defence I did (completely by accident) choose a day when there was work being done in the building so the sound of almonds on metal was nicely drowned out by a much more obnoxious jackhammer.
So to make almond butter you need a fairly tough food processor and a bag of roasted almonds. Alternatively, roast the almonds on about 160 degrees Celsius in the oven for about 10-15 mins. Careful not to over-roast them as this will result in a bitter butter (that Betty Botter bought).
Unless of course you’re into that sort of thing.
Then you throw the almonds, skin and all into the food processor, plug your ears, and hit start. Keep pulsing on high speed, intermittently scraping down the sides of the bowl. The almonds will first become a dry powder, then form clumps, then become a slightly oily butter. Stop at the slightly oily, smooth but still slightly coarse stage and transfer the almond butter into clean jars or containers.
I used 3 cups of roasted almonds which made about 2 cups (2 small jars) of almond butter. I have frozen one jar for later and am currently devouring the contents of the other spread on toast in the mornings. You can use all nut butters the same way that you would use store bought peanut butter but the advantage of homemade nut butters is that there is none of the added sugar or salt that you find in the packaged versions. I suspect the same process would work well with macadamia nuts, peanuts and brazil nuts.
Do you have any crazy-neighbour stories? Please do share in the comments below…….