By: Sarah Ashley
Having spent the better part of the past year shrouded in worn wool sweaters and socks meant only for trips to powdery slopes, the coy arrival of Spring has bewitched me. Light solar kisses on my cheeks and a flirtatious breeze caressing my neck, delicately lifting my hair, evoke a sensation not unlike puppy love. I become childish in my giddy anticipation of lunch outside on a porch, holding Spring’s hand, happily giving in to my infatuation with her scent and charisma.
What better way to celebrate this tantalizing new romance than with a dish familiar to childhood whimsy? Indulge your inner adolescent today with a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
They, or perhaps we, say that opposites attract. The wild child finds a steady hand in the control freak; Pig-Pen elopes with a cleaning lady. We tell ourselves that these matches click like an airplane seatbelt because we find beauty in the absurdity of it all. Or, perhaps it is because peanut butter complements jelly so marvelously.
One symptom of surviving childhood and graduating to adulthood is certainly a matured collection of refrigerator tenants and pantry squatters. You’ll notice the “low sodium” exclamation hovering above the guilt-free “natural” banner smeared across the JIF jar. You’ll scoff at the pretentious use of the phrase “Product of France” displayed upon the face of Bonne Maman’s blackberry preserves. Ingredients for a woman more familiar with child’s pose than child’s play. Forgive me this transgression and feel liberated to use more classic versions of the lovers you see pictured above.
2 slices bread
2 tbs. peanut butter
2 tbs. jelly
The amounts listed above are approximations; I’ve experimented with increasing the ratio from 50/50 to 40/60 in favor of peanut butter from time to time. Taste as you cook to build the sandwich to your liking.
Begin by slathering the peanut butter across the top side of one slice of bread.
Repeat on the other slice of bread, though with jelly this time.
Now bask under the sunny situation in which you find yourself. Life passes us by so quickly, like a jackal on a Serengeti hunt: a rush of an adventure that inevitably ends in death. Enjoy this small moment of potential. Examine your ratios. Appreciate the perfect opposites.
Join the two slices in holy matrimony by placing one slice – peanut butter or jelly side down – on top of the other slice.
A match made in heaven, to enjoy on a day that feels to me like what I imagine heaven should feel like. If you’re inspired by your newfound love, split it in two and share it with your sweetheart.
Bite into the soft bread, close your eyes and bask in the juxtaposition of that sticky, salty peanut butter pressed into the smooth, sweet jelly. Chew in three four time because those flavors will be waltzing along your tongue. Share the dance with your honey bunny.