Sunday, July 29, 2012

PB&J Grandma's Way {Deluxe PB&J}

Put 500 words on a page about anything food related and I'm likely to read it. Very likely. Case in point, earlier this spring I came upon an article about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that forever changed my take on the lowly workhorse of childhood lunches.

We've begun calling it the Deluxe PB&J around these parts, which is kinda funny because ever since the first one was crafted, we've not gone back to the dark days of plain ole PB&J, it's just too easy to go  Deluxe.

The difference maker? The ingredients.

Though a thick piece of homemade white bread would probably be ideal, bagged wheat is more realistic in the middle of the day. Onto that bread, spread a thin coating of butter, just like my grandma always did. No matter what was going onto that bread she began with butter, do likewise.

Just as you'd expect, follow with peanut butter on one of the slices. It takes a quick minute to get the hang of skillfully spreading peanut butter over the butter, but you'll be glad when you've succeeded. After you've added a nice amount of peanut butter, reach for the kosher salt and sprinkle with a conservative hand onto the peanut butter's surface. Don't be too zealous here, we're talkin' about twenty grains of salt, evenly spaced.

Now the sweet to offset that salt. It's very important to use jam instead of jelly and honestly, red jam is the route you want to take if you really want to aim for the stars. Strawberry is our jam of choice. Spread an amount that you feel is just enough to be extravagant but that won't create laundry issues for you later on.

Introduce your salted peanut butter slice to your gleaming red jam slice and cut into two pieces, triangles are lovely but trickier to place into sandwich bags, and simple rectangle shaped sandwiches are solid, but lack the whimsey that Deluxe PB&Js deserve, but cut it you must.

{Ruth Reichl, the author of the original PB&J article suggests that cutting the crusts off of the sandwich is necessary, do what you will here, but my Grandma wouldn't approve. Also, Ms. Reichl suggests placing your assembled beauty into the microwave for 8 seconds which she says will, "melt the ingredients into a texture so [alluring] you will barely recognize the innocent sandwich of your childhood. It will transform the flavors too, marrying them into perfect harmony.I haven't tried this yet, but once more, I'm pretty sure Grandma wouldn't approve of an alluring PB&J at all. It's just too much to ask of a sandwich. Please, feel free to make your own call here though, as my Grandma is likely (except in a few circumstances) not your Grandma.} 

If you're really bold, you'll take your fancy Deluxe PB&Js, pack them into a medium-sized soft-sided blue cooler-bag, toss a wet cloth in there too in case you went overboard with the strawberry jam, load your children in the car, and call your Man at work and say, "Picnic in the park in 30!" 

"Man cannot live by bread alone, he must have peanut butter."
James A. Garfield
20th President of the United States 


G'ma suz said...

Guess what we are having for lunch! Pretty certain the "we" will be 'I' since Dad is a bit detained and his suit would probably not do well on the graveled parking lot between our establishments where we would have to meet to eat. Great picture. Could be a commercial.
Love, Mom

Mr R said...

Do you butter the jelly side too?

Gretchen said...

We do, but in the original PB&J article by Ms. Reichl only the peanut butter side is buttered. Also, today we had these deluxe PB&J and I gave 'em a whirl in the microwave. Worth a try. Not sure which way was better!

Mr R said...

I will research and let you know.

Gretchen said...

So kind of you!!!

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