Peanut Butter & Jelly

So many of my childhood memories are built around food.

My mom made THE BEST peanut butter & jelly sandwiches when I was a kid. Her secret? Spreading margarine on both slices of bread before putting the peanut butter and jelly on. This made the sandwich extra smooth and creamy. I think it made it more healthy, too…but I could be wrong.

While we’re on the subject of mom’s sandwiches, I remember being disappointed, and probably very ungrateful, about how she would cut my sandwich…triangles. I was in the first grade, surely I deserved to have my sandwich to be cut into rectangles. That’s what the all cool kids got from their moms.

Apparently lunch was a really important thing to me as a first grader—my memories are very vivid and have become somewhat nostalgic. Sandwiches cut into triangles, wrapped in wax paper (yes, wax paper—my mom had an art to that), and the ultimate first grade medium for self expression—the lunch box. My lunchbox was based on the TV cartoon the Hair Bear Bunch. I remember sitting in the lunchroom at Brandenburg Elementary in Irving, Texas, studying the cartoon scenes on my coveted box. Those were some hip bears for sure.

What about today? I still enjoy a PB&J but for me, the days of the margarine coated white bread version are long gone. Now I typically opt for a whole wheat bread, sun-butter (made from sunflower seeds) and grape jam sandwich.


ps. Nothing like a good story to prompt an excuse to play with peanut butter and jelly. Below are the results.

grape jelly smeared

closeup photo of peanut butter and jelly sandwich

smeared peanut butter

smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Food Photographer • Kyle Dreier  |  Food Stylist • Katelyn Hardwick

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