Dec 12 2011

The most basic of sandwiches

I rarely crave peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Like many others, I grew up eating these sandwiches; I learned to associate the simple pairing as important fuel to energize me for the afternoon, but not as a lunch option that made my mouth water with anticipation. When I think more closely about this most American of sandwiches, my aversion makes no sense: I love good peanut butter, and the jam or jelly component offers infinite possibilities. You can toast your bread, choosing between a variety of different grains. I think my overwhelming problem with a basic PBJ is that it's just too dry. Even typing this, I feel an underlying need to go get another glass of water.

Last Friday our cupboards were basically bare and I wasn't in the mood to pay $15 for lunch somewhere. We had peanut butter from Brooklyn Larder in our refrigerator and my homemade apple butter sitting beside it. Suddenly, I craved a crunchy, generously portioned Peanut Butter and Apple Butter sandwich. I hurriedly composed the sandwich as my craving lingered, not knowing how long it would stick around.

In this case, butter + butter equals a creamy, well-balanced sandwich. Brooklyn Larder's peanut butter is slightly salty and my apple butter is decidedly fruity. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch last Friday, and when 3 pm hit and I felt the familiar rumblings of hunger, I wished I had made a second sandwich for lunch. Unfortunately, by mid-afternoon, I was no longer in the mood for peanut butter and had to go out to find something else to eat! Cravings are fickle.