Homemade peanut butter cups

Here was a good afternoon project: peanut butter cups. They were time-consuming, but fairly easy to make.

Food you'll need:

• 2 boxes Baker's chocolate (I used 54% cacao, which has 6g sugar per serving; could probably have used darker for healthier)
• Fat (I used 2 sticks butter; if you want healthier, go coconut oil; you'll probably need about 8oz)
• Peanut butter (I used a kind that has peanuts and a little sea salt; use a regular brand if you don't mind the extra sugar)
• Some water

Equipment you'll need:

2013-02-01 13.09.55• Double-boiler (or a metal bowl fitted over a saucepan, pictured, like I used)
• Rubber spatula
• Muffin pan
• Spoon

Get your double-boiler going (or, if using the fake one, fill a saucepan about a quarter full with water and start getting it warm over medium heat). In the top part of the double-boiler (or the metal bowl), put half your chocolate and half your fat.

Once the water is starting to get hot (it doesn't need to get to a boil – it'll get there eventually), start melting the chocolate and fat, stirring with the rubber spatula. When it's liquid, pour evenly into muffin pan.

2013-02-01 13.24.14

Put the pan in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, until the chocolate hardens. Spoon some peanut butter on (I'm a peanut butter junkie; I used a full 2-tbsp serving on each). You could, in theory, just use a dollop. I could not.

2013-02-01 15.37.31

Repeat the first bit with the other half of your chocolate and fat, pouring the liquid on top.

2013-02-01 15.51.37

Put back in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until it all hardens.

I mutilated this one taking it out, but this is what I got for the final product.

2013-02-01 17.29.25

When did DIY become a thing?

I was out in the backyard folding some tarps and looking at our (once again) overgrown lawn when I had this thought. When did DIY become a thing? Didn't it used to be that most projects were DIY?

This is the time of year for reflection for those of us ascribing to the Jewish calendar. The new year has begun and we're in the 10 days of reflection between the start of the lunar year and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, when we look back on the past year, seeking opportunities for improvement over the coming year.

Reflecting on the past couple of months alone, I'm seeing some leaps in my life I never thought I'd take, and upon further reflection, it seems ridiculous that those are big leaps.

For example: I bought a couple of door slabs and hung them myself. It took some time and a second person to help out, but would I have been better off spending $100 per door to have someone else hang them? Certainly not. (For comparison, an interior door slab costs $30-$60, depending on what, if anything, needs to be cut.)

Also: I called AAA to come help me out with a flat tire. By the time they got there, I already had the doughnut on. I'd never changed a tire before, but then, I'd never tried. Why not? I dunno. Scared, maybe? It's a 10-minute job, once you figure out how the jack works.

And: Remember when we hired a company to find our lawn? They did an amazing job. But then we just went and neglected the lawn again, so it got overgrown. Rather than write another $81 check to them, I spent $91 (including tax) and bought my own weed whacker. It took longer than Yardsmith did (apparently they don't make those batteries for hours of continuous use, so I had to stop after about 30 minutes and charge it for a few hours), and sure it's not perfect, but mission accomplished on the lawn.

But back to my original question. When did DIY become a thing? When did it start being normal for us to hire out for virtually everything? I understand some of it. I'd want someone with specialized knowledge to repair my roof and look at my electricity. And I see the benefit of buying stuff instead of making everything for your wedding (check out all the stuff Ting and Ashlea made at their wedding – it was amazing, but damn it was a lot of work). Why is my first thought always, "Who can I hire to do this for me?" instead of, "Which pliers will help me get the job done?"

We've become such a service-based economy that for a lot of us, we don't know how to do some basic work on our homes or vehicles with our own hands.

Next up: I might just learn how to change my own oil.