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CONFESSION
There are many of us out there. We don't often flaunt it, sometimes we keep it a guarded secret. But we're out there. We aren't hurting anyone so we go on doing it. Some do it in secret, others are out in the open. We eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.

Maybe we are trying to hold on to something we did as a child. Or perhaps it's the sensation of having desert for lunch. It might even be that we are trying to eat healthier and consider jelly to be a serving of fruit. Whatever the reason we take great pleasure in a daily treat of PB&J.

This page will give you specific instructions on how to make a propper Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. It will also provide tips and guidelines as to how you can best enjoy this mealtime treat. So sit back open your lunch bucket and enjoy.

PEANUT BUTTER
It doesn't get much simpler than this. My preference is to use what choosy mothers choose in the creamy variety. If you need to be an individual there are chunky, fresh ground and organic varieties available.


JELLY
Jelly as it's mentioned here is as complex as peanut butter is simple. First there are the flavors, Strawberry, Grape and Raspberry are the mainstays but many others are available. My most frequent choice is strawberry, grape is a fun change of pace. I like raspberry well enough but having seeds stuck between my teeth is a drag.

The other aspect is the texture since I consider Jelly, Jam and Preserves to all be valid ingredients. If someone suggests marmalade, just say NO.

Question: What is the difference between jelly, jam, and preserves?
  • JELLY is made from fruit juice. Jelly is clear and firm enough to hold its shape when turned out of its container.
  • JAM is made from a blend of crushed pieces of fruit and fruit puree. confiture, conserve
  • PRESERVES contain whole or large pieces of fruit, making them thicker and more fruit-filled than jams or jellies.

BREAD
One simple rule here, white bread. I like Canadian white, it's hearty white bread that has decent fiber content. Try to avoid slices with large through holes from gas bubbles especially if the sandwich must be packed for latter. Live dangerously and use hot dog buns or submarine sandwich rolls in a pinch. Darker wheat breads are taboo.


PREPARATION
Start with 2 slices of bread. They should be consecutive slices from the loaf. Maintain the orientation as they were sliced. Unstack the slices as if you are opening a book. Since bread is never perfectly symmetrical this is important to avoid mismatch and drips.
Lay the slices down on the plate, they should appear as mirror images. Spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Make sure the entire slice is covered and that it is an even coating. A common table knife is the preferred utensil.
Next spread 2 tablespoons of jelly, be careful not to push it off of the edge. The jelly may be difficult to spread but it will loosen up after a few passes with the knife. Place the peanut buttered slice over the jellied slice. The sandwich may be enjoyed this way or flipped over. If the sandwich will be packed for eating latter make sure that the peanut butter is on the bottom. This will delay messy saturation from the jelly.

NUTRITION
Nutritional Information
  Bread, 2 slices Peanut Butter, 2 Tablespoons Jelly, 2 Tablespoons Complete Sandwich
Calories 220 190 100 510
Fat 4g 16g 0 20g
Fiber 0 2g 0 2g
Sodium 360mg 150mg 0 510mg

GOURMET

Here's something you can do to bring your favorite sandwich into special occasions.
  • Start with finger sandwich rolls.
  • Slice them down the center then open them to accept filling.
  • Spread a ribbon of peanut butter in the bottom.
  • Follow that with a layer of strawberry jelly or preserves.
  • Fill the top of the sandwich with a layer of fresh sliced strawberries.
  • Dust the top of the sandwich with confectioners sugar.
  • Garnish with additional strawberry slices.
  • For a heartier everyday version make it in a hot dog or sub roll.

PBJ&F
If you really want to put your lunch in overdrive then add Marshmallow Fluff to your sandwich. It needs to be the real stuff from Durkee-Mower, none of that off brand marshmallow crème stuff. It's a great website, take time to visit this one, the home of the Fluffernutter!
Techincal note:
The background and text colors of this page were created by placing samples of peanut butter and strawberry jelly into a zip lock bag. The bag was then scanned and the color codes extracted from the resulting image.


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Created 3/19/2003 - Revised January 8, 2016