Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Grown Up PBJ

I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch when I was a kid, from the time I began gumming solid foods until I started eating hot lunch at school.  I've recently brought back the trend.

Since I cut my hours at work, and therefore my wages, so I can stay home and write more, my family has been looking for ways to save money.  The biggest savings for us has been eating out less.  When I worked full-time I often treated myself to lunch out because, you know, I worked so hard and who wants to bother with the drugery of fixing a sack lunch at 7AM?  Same with Will.  Now that I don't have to be at work at 8AM every day, it's no big deal for me to spend a few minutes each morning filling Will's lunchbox with goodies from home: leftovers, sandwiches, odd concoctions of whatever we have on hand to remind him that his kooky wife loves him despite her culinary skills.  Will smiles like a lion whose pride keeps him well nourished as his coworkers come over to investigate the contents of his lunchbox each day in the breakroom.

For myself I almost always fall back on my favorite: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  The sandwich I eat now looks different than it did when I was a kid, but it's essentially the same: bread, ground up legumes, smashed sugary fruit.

This is what my PBJ looked like in 1973:

2 slices of Wonder bread, crusts cut off
2 tablespoons of Skippy peanut butter
2 tablespoons of Welch's grape jelly

This is how my PBJ had evolved by 1993 (although it was most often eaten at midnight after a night of binge drinking rather than at noontime while watching Sesame Street):

2 slices of whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons of Jif peanut butter
2 tablespoons of Smucker's strawberry jam

And this is how my PBJ is today, in 2013:

2 slices of Whole Foods 365 Organic Early Bird bread
2 tablespoons of ground-in-the-store organic peanuts
2 tablespoons of Whole Foods 365 Organic strawberry conserve

Sometimes I substitute the strawberry conserve with its Whole Foods 365 Organic brand cousin, concord grape jelly.  And sometimes I even use the Bonne Maman peach preserves, imported from France, because now that I'm a grown up sometimes I feel fancy like that.