PB+J: The Cure for a Case of Nostalgia
We have embarked on yet another new semester of college and I — just like every other year — have fallen victim to the nostalgia-fest that the media seems to push on us every August. Back to school is the ultimate nostalgia point for me. I can’t help but pine for those days of school supply lists sent out by grade-school teachers. They arrived in the mail and included, you know, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, and maybe a colorful binder. Sigh.
Unfortunately, as I am a sophomore at American University, I don’t get to partake in the same activities as those youngsters I see on TV or any other media source. Thus, I usually try to find a way to bring that feeling of childhood back, even if only for the time it takes to eat lunch. Which brings me to my real focus: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Can you get more nostalgic? I think not.
In fact, the commercial that makes me yearn the most for the “good old days” (aka prepubescence) is the Jif commercial. Nobody yanks at your reminiscences quite like that cute little boy that makes his mom a PB+J sandwich. I just squeal with joy at the sight of it (and so do you).
So, since I’m away from home and away from everything that brings me back to childhood, I decided to bring some childhood to my dorm room. I cannot even begin to imagine the number of PB+J sandwiches I’ve made in my life. And, as I’ve become more of a sell-proclaimed “foodie,” I’ve become quite the connoisseur of PB+J variations. You can basically take any nut butter (even sunflower butter) and combine it with any kind of jelly/jam/preserves you like. No matter what, you will end up with that unbeatable combination of the salty creamy butter with the sweet fruit jelly and hearty bits of bread.
Recently, I went a little fancy with my sandwich with a little help from Eataly — an incredible Italian market in New York City. I bought had my mommy buy some Black Fig jam that is simply delicious. I put it with some almond butter on whole wheat bread. It may not be the classic, but it is every bit as enjoyable and still brings me back to the days of composition notebooks and mommy’s lunches.
Here’s my recipe for fail-proof PB+J sandwiches (if you fail then I suggest you never attempt to cook anything else in your life)
What you’ll need: two slices of sandwich bread, nut butter, jelly
1. If they have been in your fridge, the peanut butter and jelly should sit out at room temperature for at least one hour. Using cold spread could cause ripped bread, which is never fun.
2. Take out two slices of bread and put them on a plate.
3. Using a knife, scoop out the desired amount of jelly and spread it onto one piece of bread. Then, use a different knife to scoop out the desired amount of peanut butter (I like a 50:50 ratio) and spread onto the other piece of bread.
4. Put the two pieces of bread together (with the jelly and butter on the inside).
5. Optional step: place the sandwich in the toaster oven and set to medium (I love to do this because it makes the jelly and peanut butter get all melty and delicious).
6. Cut the sandwich diagonally and enjoy!
Posted in AU Gourmet