“How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”At some point in your life, you may have experienced real hunger. Not just “nibble on this or that” until dinner is ready, but genuine gut-puckering starvation. You enter your house thinking, “Gosh! drinking my own blood could in fact be a solution to my problem!” Before beginning any acts of self- cannibalism, you head into the kitchen with hope that there will something to eat that actually tastes good.
Upon opening the cabinet doors, you spot the one food that you know never goes bad, satisfies hunger, nourishes small children, and might survive a nuclear blast on its sheer caloric content alone: peanut butter! Anyone who has ever spent time with kids knows that if you combine basic ingredients with a few simple steps, you too can make a delightful peanut butter and jelly sandwich.Obviously, peanut butter will play an important role in this process. Choosing good quality peanut butter used to be a relatively mindless activity. Either your grind the nuts yourself (and honestly, who has time for that?) or you go to a supermarket and buy a jar.
“Jif” and “Skippy” used to be the standards, and they typically come in two varieties: “creamy” and “chunky.” Please note: sometimes “creamy” tastes a little like peanut-flavored Vaseline, which will almost always result in a substandard sandwich. “Chunky” has the advantage of tasting somewhat like nuts. There are now lots of health food varieties available for purchase, but think carefully before you buy organic peanut butter.
The actual nut solid has usually separated from the nut oil, and you will need the arm muscles of Hercules to stir them back together into a usable paste. But once you have a jar of peanut butter, you are ready to move on.Peanut butter is an incredibly lonely food without its lovely, sweet sister, jelly. Some people are confused by “jelly” and “jam,” or preserves.
For our purposes here, there isn’t enough of a difference to waste more verbiage (unless you are struggling to lengthen an expository essay, in which case, knock yourself out). Jellies and jams used to be made to take highlyperishable fruit, add sugar and pectin, and render them edible all throughout cold, dark winters. Now jams and jellies taste great by themselves on scones, and of course, on bread with peanut butter. Pick any flavor you like: strawberry will never let you down, but cherry is also nice.
With your peanut butter in hand and your jelly, all you need now is bread.For some, the only bread that completes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is either white or wheat sandwich bread. Like everything else, bread is a matter of choice, but if you are serious about making a fabulous sandwich, get someone (not me) to make you a fresh loaf of bread. A hurricane could be getting ready to land on your back door, your favorite pet might run away, your girlfriend might tell you that you are scum, but you will never be let down by the healing powers of fresh bread; it truly is the staff of life.
One caveat: try to avoid savory flavors when making a sweet sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly on rosemary olive focaccia bread might make you vomit. There you have it: the three key ingredients within your grasp, and you are ready for wildly simple process of assembling your masterpiece.If you are clever enough with a knife and a spoon and also have opposable thumbs, you can put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
First, lay one slice of bread on your palm. Some people make sandwiches on the kitchen counter, but peanut butter has a tendency to tear the bread, so you really are better off holding it in your hand. Next, take your knife and dip it in the peanut butter, taking out as much as you think you want to eat. Some people really like a thick sandwich; others hate that “tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth” feeling that unfortunately, can result if you eat too much.
Spread the peanut butter smoothly on the bread, then lay the bread on the counter and pick up the clean slice. Put your knife down and pick up your spoon. Dip the spoon in the jelly, again, taking as much as you want to eat. If you take too much, it will dribble out of the sandwich down the front of your shirt.
Don’t be a pig; go easy on the jelly. Using the back of the spoon, spread the jelly gently around the bread. When you have covered the bread, pick up the peanut butter smeared half, and put the twotogether. You can get a plate, cut the sandwich in two, and eat it at the table with a glass of milk.
Or, if you must, wolf it down in the kitchen when no one is looking.Obviously, it doesn’t require any great skill or talent to make a simple sandwich, but think about this: you may have knowledge or an ability that other people don’t have. My grandmother made up a recipe for potato cake that is so indescribably delicious that it quickly became a family tradition. She taught my mother how to make it, which was really good thinking on my old grandma’s part, because when she died, my mother was the only person who knew how to make this cake.
We begged her to write the steps down in all of their ridiculously awful, finicky detail. But at least now the recipe isn’t lost, which is, in a nutshell, why we write “how to” essays. Bon appetite!