Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Downfall Of An American Institution: The Peanut Butter-And-Jelly Sandwich: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I love peanut butter. I can literally eat an entire jar of it. If it wasn't so damn fattening, I'd have empty jars littered around my apartment, with me passed out against a wall, a peanut butter-laced spoon hanging from my mouth and a dopey, happy look on my face.

So needless to say, I am a fan of peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches. And the only thing better than a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich? When it's made by Mom.

This is a known fact that has spanned the generations. No peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich tastes better than when your mommy makes it for you. Only Mom can spread the peanut butter and jelly exactly how you like it. She doesn't even have to ask you. She just knows.

So last weekend, when I was over at my Mom's after picking her up from the Flyaway bus, I was thrilled at her offer to make me a PB and J.


"What the hell is that?" I asked.

In my mom's hand was a jar. A single jar. Featuring multiple colors.

"It's peanut butter and jelly mixed together," she said.

Now look, I'm a purist. I'm OK with change as as long as change is warranted. But when it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's my philosophy, and it's served me well through the years. And PB and J ain't broken.

"Why did you buy that instead of getting separate jars?" I asked my mom.

"It's easier this way," she replied.

Easier? When was it ever complicated? You buy some peanut butter, you buy some jelly, you spread the peanut butter, then the jelly, and it makes for a nice, happy meeting on the bread. Is this difficult?

And speaking of bread:

"What the *$#&^%* is that?!?!?" I exclaimed.

In my mom's hand was a loaf of some brown concoction with what appeared to be nuts on the crust.

"It's multi-grain bread," she said.

Good Lord. Enough was enough. First, you can't trouble yourself to mix the peanut and jelly yourself. And now you're using something other than white bread? Everyone knows that PB and J is only good on white bread. People may disagree about war, religion, and what to do about the rainforests, but white bread for a PB and J sandwich isn't up for debate.

"Don't you have any white bread?" I asked.

My mom sighed.

"Nevin," she said, "white bread has no nutritional value."

I hate this health-conscious society of ours.

But I ate the sandwich. With its "mix" and its "good for you" bread.

And I wasn't happy.

Two days later, I was at work and I decided to order a PB & J from the cafe in my building downstairs. But before I placed my order, I wanted to get the facts.

"Is your peanut butter and jelly in separate jars?" I inquired.

"Yes," I was told.

"And you have white bread?"


"And i can have my peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich on white bread?"


"And you won't lecture me about white bread's lack of nutritional value?"


"White bread is bad for you?"

Perfect. We were ready to go.

Ten minutes later, I go downstairs, pick up my sandwich, take it back up to my desk and open the box.

The bread was toasted.


Peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

Another simple pleasure.


And now for this week's:


I heard the following Starbucks ad on the radio the other day:

David is, like, the major of the store. He comes in every day, stays a few hours, jokes with us, talks with us. He...knows...everybody. And we're like, "Don't you work?" And he just laughs. But that's OK, because we like when our customers hang out with us.

That's right. Let's encourage people spending all day at Starbucks, drinking black coffee with fancy names, in cups with fancy names. God forbid they should get JOBS!!!

Ya know?

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Kristy said...

oh my god...i hear that starbucks coffee ad ALL THE TIME and it bugs the freakin' shit out of me. first of all, why is someone staying in a starbucks all day...don't they have better things to do?? and second, i highly doubt that these "baristas" love having him hang out there.

Elly and Jeremy said...

I prefer PB&H (honey). But, then again....I'm not a fan of peanut butter to begin with... *runs and hides from Nev's tossing of peanut shells* ;)

Amber said...

Nev, next time you're at our house I'll make you a PB&J or PB&H (Kevin's preferred method) sandwich the way god intended. But I do NOT cut off crusts. That's for whiners. LOL

Stephanie said...

Multigrain PB&J is delicious!

Though the pre-mixed jars are definitely an evil of our modern world.

I'm also down with the PB&H. Yummy!

You know what scares me though? Organic PB from Trader Joe's... that stuff is scary.