Ah yes…the peanut butter and jam sandwich. Classic. For some, making a simple sandwich might seem rudimentary, but for me…it is an art! Ah, but that is because I know the secret to making the best PB&J and I recently decided to share that secret with Stephen. I feel like he’s earned it. Since Chase started daycare, he took on the role of starting supper all on his own and his cooking repertoire has advanced from scrambled eggs to shake and bake chicken and rice. So one night after Chase was in bed and we sat in the living room watching TV, I decided I would prepare us a little snack. I went in the kitchen and began to explain why I felt he was ready for this big reveal. He shot me an unapproving look but I continued anyway.
“So the starting point for the best pb&j is the bread.”, I said reaching for a bag in the pantry. We don’t typically buy white bread anymore…who does really? It has almost become obsolete with the Atkins movement and it seems grocery real estate has slowly been taken over by the more nutritious whole wheat and ancient grain breads. Our last grocery trip just happened to be one of those rare times that we gave into the call of the white bread which was perfect timing for this PB&J craving.
“Next is the peanut butter and I know you won’t disagree on the fact that Kraft is the way to go.”, I said.
We usually buy no-name brands and have a sea of yellow labels in our cupboard but I believe that there are a few things you just have to spend that extra 30 cents for. Stephen actually convinced me of this. I once tried to buy no name ketchup and pour it into our empty bottle of Heinz but I was busted by the first burger! I can admit now that some things are better bought as brands and Kraft peanut butter takes rank for the ultimate PB&J.
“Now we can be flexible with the jam…I prefer homemade of any variety but whether it be strawberry or blueberry, it really comes down to personal preference”, I pulled out the sticky mason jar of strawberry jam and realized it was our lucky day having homemade jam and white bread in the house at the same time.
“Of course the yumminess factor goes up when you use these quality ingredients but the real secret lies in the assembly.” He shot me a disapproving look but I ignored it again. “Are you ready for this? ARE YOU READY?”, I taunted him a little.
“Most people put jam on one side and peanut butter on the other but in this sandwich we spread peanut butter on both sides of the bread and then one layer of jam on top of the peanut butter on only one of the slices…you got that?”, I think he might have rolled his eyes at this point…but I was too wrapped up in the making of a masterpiece to give it much thought.
Not only are you doubling up on the peanut butter which is the best part, but you also keep the bread protected from the wet jam. Ever open your lunch bag only to find a hole in your sandwich with jam leaking through? Never again if you use this method! I continued to explain that the last step is to cut the sandwich in half.
“Why does that matter?”, he asked. Okay…so he is listening!
“Well, once I finish one half I’m sad that it’s gone but then I realize I have a whole other piece! It prolongs the enjoyment for some reason. Sounds crazy I know, but take notice next time you eat a sandwich.” I carried a tray with two plates and glasses of milk into the living room. Stephen picked up the sandwich and inspected it…I watched waiting for his reaction and his face turned sour.
“You mean you didn’t use the blueberry jam?”, he pouted. So I decided to resign my cause there and took heed to the fact that maybe I’m just a little more passionate about PB&J than most.