PB and Me
According to The Peanut Advisory Board, the average American child eats 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before graduating high school.
I exceeded this number roughly five years ago. I have eaten a PB&J for lunch everyday
since kindergarten. My peanut butter and jelly sandwich has changed over time just as I have.
In my elementary school years, my mother made my PB&J with white bread and she placed a note on top of the sandwich. She also made sure to cut the crusts off or I would not get near the sandwich.
In middle school, my sandwich graduated to whole wheat bread. I even started eating the crust. My mother still prepared it each day, but instead of a note, she would make smiley faces in the bread with M&Ms. I would get teased about eating a peanut butter and jelly and M&M sandwich, but the next week, they would have M&Ms hidden in their bread as well.
I was very experimental in my high school years. I had a chunky peanut butter phase, but that did not last long because my heart belonged to the smooth peanut butter. I tried organic peanut butter for a while, where the liquid would rest on top of the peanut butter and you would have to stir it for a good five minutes before eating it. As much as I love peanut butter, this took too long.
I have tried raspberry, strawberry, grape, and peach jam. I have had peanut butter and honey sandwiches and peanut butter and nutella sandwiches.
If I did not have any bread left in my house, I would improvise. I have made a PB&J with quesadillas, pita bread, and baguettes. My newest twist on the PB&J has been to toast the bread so the peanut butter gets gooey and warm.
One of the most traumatic times for me at Chapman was during the salmonella scare with peanut butter. The cafeteria did not serve peanut butter for about month. I thought I could live without this sticky goodness, but a week later, I was having withdrawals. It got so bad that my best friend has to steal her roommate’s peanut butter for me.
During the second week of the peanut butter famine, I succumbed. I was not as strong as I thought I was. I ran to Ralph’s and bought a family size Jif Creamy Peanut Butter.
For another two weeks, I had to lug around this giant container. It would fall out of my bag during class, which would make for very awkward moments. Eventually, the cafeteria brought back the peanut butter (it was a joyous day).
That family size Jif Creamy Peanut Butter now sits on my nightstand, near my bed. It is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see when I go to sleep.