The company that I work for really cares about the community. I am sure that many people can say that, and it is probably true, but I know my company cares because they allow each employee to spend 40 hours of company time volunteering in the community – each year. As the company has a volunteering focus on helping and educating young children, there are ample opportunities to fulfill that mission that appeals to everyone.
Several years ago I signed up to assist with a day care center that serves a disadvantaged community. I showed up with ten others from the company and when we arrived we were divided up into those that were going to help inside (painting and cleaning) and outside (cleaning up a playground out back). Being a nice October day and relishing the chance to be outside (unlike my typical day living at my desk), I decided to help with the playground. We walked through the building and out onto the playground. We found a small area with a few pieces of playground equipment with a decent number of weeds and vines growing out of control. In the middle of the yard was a single large tree that had dropped its load of nuts for the year. They were all over the yard and they were…..buckeyes!
For those who are not regular readers, I am a graduate and big fan of The Ohio State University. OSU’s mascot is the Buckeye, which is a poisonous nut that is native to Ohio. It is called a buckeye because it is mahogany in color with a white spot that is reminiscent to the eye of a deer. One common thing for the fans to do is take the nuts and make a necklace of them or turn them into other decorative items. As this is a popular thing to do, it is actually difficult to find a quantity of nuts to use and a market of purchasing buckeyes has developed.
One of the tasks we were asked to do was to pick up all of the buckeyes and throw them away. WHAT?!?! Throw away these beautiful, valuable nuts? I started picking them up and put the broken ones (where a squirrel had broken through the tough exterior) in a bag and the good ones in my pockets. Quickly my pockets were filled and after walking a full bag out to the trash, I made my way to my car and dumped out my pockets. I found a few grocery bags and stuffed them into my pockets. Over the next hour or two I continued my “one for you, one for me” and filled the grocery bags. When the team broke for lunch, I ate quickly and went back to picking up more buckeyes. They thought I was dedicated, but I really wanted more buckeyes.
I took the buckeyes home, spent a week drying them out and threw them into a container. I later purchased a lamp with a clear base and filled it with my beloved buckeyes and it sits in my living room.
These buckeyes are a lot safer and a whole lot better to eat!
A limited amount of ingredients.
The peanut butter mixture.
Roll them into balls the size of a ping-pong ball, or smaller.
Melt the chocolate.
Dip each in chocolate, leaving a face of peanut butter. This gives it a similar look to a real buckeye.
A sweet dessert for a great team!
Makes: 3 dozen
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon shortening
Combine the melted butter or margarine, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter and the vanilla together and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on waxed paper.
In the top half of a double boiler melt the chocolate chips and shortening, stirring constantly. Use a toothpick to dip balls into the melted chocolate, leaving a small uncovered area so balls resemble buckeyes. Place balls on waxed paper. Use fingers to blend in toothpick holes. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Enjoy!
Amount Per Serving Calories: 367 | Total Fat: 22.4g | Cholesterol: 14mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database