Saturday, March 12, 2011

Best Ever PB&J

I know this is kind of a silly thing, but the other day I was making myself a PB&J sandwich for lunch and I realized that I am very particular about how I make it. Then, I realized that I've had whole conversations with others about the best way to make said sandwich. It's strange, but it seems like everyone has an opinion when it comes to this delightfully simple recipe. And this is just my 2 cents.

What you'll need:

2 slices of Whole Grain bread - You know, the more expensive kind that comes in the shape of a rectangle, not a square - there's more to enjoy this way...
“You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then still ain't open. That's why I don't buy it, I don't need another step between me and toast.” - Mitch Hedberg
Unlike Mr. Hedberg, I think this bread is worth the extra effort.
1 jar of CRUNCHY Peanut Butter - I'm not even going to dignify the opposing, "Creamy Peanut Butter" argument with a debate here - Crunchy is definitely where it's at. End. Of. Story.
1 jar of Jam - Personally, I'm a fan of Strawberry but the flavor is up to you. The only real requirement is that you use jam, and NOT jam's under-achieving, texture-less, watered-down cousin (jelly).
1 Butter Knife - I'll address the "cross-contamination" issue later, but I've heard the 2-knife argument and there is just no need for that ridiculousness.


Start with the jam. For oh-so-many reasons, this is the absolute only acceptable order. First reason: if you start with jam and you scrape the knife on the sides of the jar before moving onto the PB, you can avoid almost all of the contamination risks! Second, even if you do end up with some contamination (I, for one, welcome it!), having a little jam in your PB is the right way to go! PB in the jam, however, is just gross! And, if someone in your family has a peanut allergy, and you always make your sandwich in this order, you don't have to worry about mistakenly sending them into an allergic reaction when they go for their toast w/ jam at breakfast!

I like to spread about 2 "globs" of jam on to the bread. I'd give you this amount in Tablespoons, but c'mon, like you're going to get your measuring spoons out to make a sandwich. Spread the jam out to make a nice even layer across the bread. I like to leave a little room from the edge of the bread so that when the sandwich starts "squishing", the jam doesn't drip off the edges. This is especially important if you are, despite my expert advice, going ahead with using jelly.

Now add your peanut butter. I shoot for about a 60/40 ratio between the PB/Jam. However, I have had hankerings some days for more of a peanut-buttery, 70/30 ratio. I find that those sandwiches are still excellent, just make sure you have a tall glass of milk handy.

Now, assemble your creation and prepare to be amazed. Enjoy! I'd love to hear your comments/arguments on this topic!

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