There are few things that can evoke memories of childhood faster than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you grew up in America, odds are that you have eaten enough peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to fill a medium size U-Haul trailer. Or, in my case, a plain peanut butter sandwich, because there is just something about jelly that makes my stomach churn.
It’s not the taste so much (though I don’t really care much for the sickly sweet taste of the stuff either), but the texture. The texture will get me every time. It’s just too gooey, too slippery, too much like thick, gelatinous mucus for me to handle. Doesn’t matter what flavor it is, or if you call it jelly or marmalade or jam, it’s just nasty. I hate it. Loathe it. Dislike it. Detest it. Abhor it. If I could come up with a dozen more synonyms, it wouldn’t even be enough to express my distaste for the stuff. I simply won’t have it ruining an otherwise delicious sandwich, thank you.
My husband, on the other hand, loves peanut butter and jelly. Grape jelly is his weapon of choice. Sometimes in the evenings, just before bed, Steven will get a hankering and disappear into the kitchen. I’ll hear the soft thud of the pantry door opening and closing, the clinking of the knife against the plate. Moments later, he’ll return, usually with a stack of two sandwiches and a tall glass of milk.
Steven likes to slather on the jelly as thick as the peanut butter. Sometimes, he’ll smack his lips and give a loud “Mmmm…” after a bite, knowing that I’ll glance over just in time to see a great big blob of purple jelly fall from the corner of his mouth and plop onto his plate. I try not to gag. He thinks it’s hilarious that I get so grossed out by jelly, and I swear he started slathering it on extra thick after we started dating. I just do my best to ignore him. Isn’t that the key to a good marriage, after all?
For me, it’s the simplicity that really makes a great peanut butter sandwich. Two slices of wheat bread, a generous layer of creamy peanut butter, and I’m in heaven. It doesn’t matter if you’re four, fourteen, or forty-two, there’s nothing quite like a peanut butter sandwich to make you feel like all is right with the world.
Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to one of America’s most famous sandwiches. However you like it, it’s just plain good.