top of page
  • Martin Castle

Ants on a log

I was trying to find out about the Ant Boat - a Saxon log boat found in the River Ant in NN because I thought it might have been made of elm (see blog post the Seasons Turn) but there was very little and anyway it is made of oak - you can be seen at the Time & Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth.

Time & Tide is a great little museum in an old herring smoke house. Well worth a visit - click on the photo to see what they have to offer whilst the museum is closed - and visit when it's open!

Anyhow, in my Google search, up popped Ants on a log - just a silly little recipe but I guess its silly little things that get the youngest among us excited about food? Its also a great way in to experiment with a basic recipe and you can make it look as fancy or rustic (code for NN) as you like.


A fun bit of stuff - maybe just for a snack when you fancy something a little crunchy

Ants on a log

Spread cream cheese, peanut butter, ricotta cheese or any number of spreads on celery and place raisins on top.

The snack name was first used in the 1950s.

There are numerous variations of ants on a log, including:

  • Gnats on a log: currants

  • Ants on vacation: without "ants", or no raisins

  • Ants on a Slip 'n Slide: add honey on top of the peanut butter before adding raisins

  • Ants in the Pants: without peanut butter

  • Fire-ants on a log: substitute dried cranberries for raisins.

  • Hippopotamuses on Thomases: Half English muffin with peanut butter and prunes

  • Ticks on a stick: replace peanut butter and raisins with cream cheese and chopped black olives.

I once had a book of comprehensions that I used with my class of 8 year olds. It was very glossy and colorful in a time when text books were often mono-colour. It was also tall and thin so an unusual shape. I remember two exercises in particular - one about Lazlo Biro and another about peanut butter.

Peanut butter is the go-to quick bread-and-spread snack for me. There was once a short period of time when honey on toast was what did it for me - they were tough times and they passed!

Peanut butter is a made from ground, dry-roasted peanuts and the best is just 100% peanut without the addition of ingredients that modify the taste or texture, such as salt, sweeteners, or emulsifiers.

Marcellus Gilmore Edson (1849 – 1940) of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, obtained a patent for a method of producing peanut butter from roasted peanuts in 1884. His cooled product had "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment" Mmmm 'peanut lard' - now there's a challenge for the marketing department.

John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) was issued a patent for a "Process of Producing Alimentary Products" in 1898, and used peanuts, although he boiled the peanuts rather than roasting them. Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium served peanut butter to patients because they needed a food that contained a lot of protein, yet which could be eaten without chewing. At first, peanut butter was a food for wealthy people, as it became popular initially as a product served at expensive health care institutes.

My current choice - no palm oil.

The two main types of peanut butter are crunchy (or chunky) and smooth (or creamy).

You can decide for yourself if it is a health food by reading the article at:

The comprehension exercise was about Kellogg and peanut butter - the children were always amazed that Kellogg was a real person and not just a name on their Frosties box.

At about the same time, I discovered the work of Shel Silverstein - author, poet, cartoonist, songwriter, playwright. This guy is seriously interesting and talented and thankfully (for me) wrote a poem about peanut butter - link on the image:

Two more of Shel Silverstein's pieces are at and

Robert Macfarlane's Word of the Day is ...

"Maienschein -- lit. "May-light", "May-shine"; the green glow of sunlight through spring leaves (also "Mayenschein"; German, poetic-archaic). cf Japanese 木漏れ日, komorebi (lit. tree-passed-through-by-sunlight).

photo: Couleur

ps: Thomas's is a brand of English muffins made by Bimbo Bakeries in the USA - really, that is a name of the company!


Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. “ - Corrie ten Boom
"The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." - William Wordsworth
39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page