Friday, February 19, 2010

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

You know that Leona Lewis song that goes, "I don't care what they say / I'm in love with you"?  Think it's called Bleeding Love.  Anyway, that's how I feel about PBJ sandwiches, or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, for all you Brits out there.  I don't care how much you English people make gagging noises when I'm at the toaster at work, putting the finishing touches to my PBJ toasted bagel (which I'm enjoying right now) or how you shake your head at me when I express my desire for a PBJ afternoon snack, asking, "How do those two things go together?  One's sweet and the other's savoury.  Eugh, eugh, eugh."  No, I don't care what you say, I'm still in love with PBJ.  So there. 

My fellow Americans will be able to relate to the familiar childhood comfort a PBJ sandwich on white bread with a glass of milk brings.  As soon as I bite into one, I'm immediately brought back to the time when I had a pink plastic Mickey & Minnie lunchbox with a school-house scene on the front.  That's when everyone else was into Lisa Frank and I was totally uncool but my mom wouldn't let me get a new lunchbox because mine was "perfectly fine" and besides, "why would you want to fit in?  It's cool to be different" - not that I was bullied in elementary school or anything (and not that I'm still bitter about it today). 

Sorry, I've digressed.  It's hard to find good peanut butter in the UK.  There's always something slightly off about it - it's either too salty, or not creamy enough, or just ... weird.  I like good ol' Skippy peanut butter and strawberry or grape (which doesn't seem to exist in the UK either) jam on mine - with slightly more jam than peanut butter.  See, everyone has their own secret "PBJ ratio".  You gotta test out it a few times to get it right. 

I like to have peanut butter jelly time at work.  This consists of going downstairs to the Canteen in the morning and making myself a toasted sesame seed bagel slathered in peanut butter and jelly.  I've felt the stares, I've heard the giggles.  But then, one day, someone couldn't resist saying something to me:  "What are you doing?" asked the man beside me in a rather thick but charming French accent (imagine this yourself, I'm not going to be offensive and do a phonetic interpretation here).  "Excuse me?"  I asked, confused.  He pointed to my bagel.  "What are you doing with ... that?  What is that?"  "It's peanut butter and jelly," I replied, proudly.  "Oh!" he said, slightly amused.  "I've never seen that before."  "It's an American specialty," I assured him.  "You're American?  Yes?  Really?" he said in disbelief.  "Um, yeah ..." I said.  "But ... but ... how could this be?  Americans are so -" and then he puffed out his cheeks and widened his arms, as if to copy a puffed up balloon, "- and you are so ..." He put his hands closer together as if to illustrate a stick figure.  "Um ... right ... well, I won't be if I keep eating these every morning!  Ha ha!  Ha!" I said as I inched away from him.  "Oh well," he shrugged, in the way only a French person can, "Maybe I will try it myself sometime!"  "Yes, do!" I encouraged.  I was going to launch into my explanation of the PBJ ratio but I decided that was probably too much, too soon.  You've got to ease your way into the PBJ love.  Like a cold swimming pool.

Photo source


  1. I totally agree, having never had a PBJ sandwhich until Lauren entered my life, I now totally adore them. However I have mine on toast and the peanut butter we use and love is Whole Earth crunchy peanut butter..mmmm

  2. Ahhh ... finally, a true Brit who appreciates PBJ!

  3. oh i do love PBJ though i never seem to have enough motivation to make it for myself.

    and btw. i was totally the really awesome kid in grade school who had cold cut sandwiches on pepperide farm bread and no snack food because it was unhealthy. my first (and i think only) fist fight was in second grade because some boy made fun of my lunch, so i punched him and then he hit me back, i was too stunned for words. i mean in texas boys don't hit girls. or so i had been told. it was a quality moment.

  4. Rhea, I want to make a PBJ sandwich for you right now. You know what I used to love to do when I was a kid? Make PBJ then cut it into four squares. I loved eating it in little pieces for some reason.

    I used to get made fun of my lunch b/c I brought a rice box and my mom would put delicious left overs we had for dinner the night before and I'd have hot rice in a separate compartment. And kids would go "EWWWW!!!" and laugh at my lunch. I hated it even though I loved my lunches and I asked my mom to stop making them and make me sandwiches instead. I think that's really sad, now that I think about it.

  5. I am a huge fan. I will always bleed love for PB&J (and eat PB by the spoonful)!

  6. I must admit I can't do the PB&J thing (never been a huge fan of jam) BUT I am officially converted to PB and Fluff. So there you go, I'm not doing too badly.

  7. so sad that he thinks all Americans are fat! tell him to come to nyc, where there is a diversity of sizes. :)

  8. I know, that's kind of why I wanted to post that story as well, to show what kind of stereotypes Europeans have of Americans - not just vice versa. Actually I'm going to blog about fitness in the UK soon, I think, which you might find interesting!


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