[And yes, my sister did send me a text saying "Happy PB & J Day!" this morning. Because that's how awesome we are.]
But really, why not find a reason to celebrate every day?
And if that reason happens to be the staple sandwich of small children’s diets everywhere…
…well, so be it.
We all have our peanut butter and jelly preferences, and making what seems to be a simle sandwich actually involves answering a series of very personal questions of tastes:
- white or wheat (or cinnamon-raisin?)
- crusts on or crusts off
- grape or strawberry
- chunky or creamy
- cut into rectangles, squares, or triangles (two…or four?)
And don’t even get me STARTED on peanut butter-to-jelly ratio.*
*written as PB:Jelly in mathematics circles
PB&Js are–as they say on HGTV’s Get It Sold!–very ‘taste-specific’ (in other words, something you think is “the best design decision ever” might be someone else’s cue to run for the hills—or at least the next Open House on the block). For me, the ultimate PB&J is white bread (sorry, it’s the truth), crusts on, creamy peanut butter, strawberry jelly, and cut into two right triangles.^
^Making Pythagoras proud, one peanut butter and jelly at a time.
Smucker’s Goober PB & J, a product that always intrigued me as a child,* but was shot down by my mother as a marketing ploy like Lunchables, a “must-have” (and less healthy—HCFS, nitrates) “if you are a kid you must have this” solution to something that was never really a problem in the first place. [I mean, is it really that hard to open two jars instead of one?]
*Along with green ketchup. Remember that?
And yet, despite it’s plethora of problems–most notably the issues of PB:Jelly proportion and that when I was little it only came in grape, which I had a strong aversion to for an unknown reason–I couldn’t get the idea of peanut butter and jelly in a jar (PBAJIAJ?) out of my mind.
Since I happened to have a whole bunch of strawberries left over from my spontaneous 3lbs. strawberry purchase last Friday…
…I thought, WTH,* let’s make some PBAJIAJ! [Pronounced pee--badge--eee--adge.]
*WTH [interjection]: “what the hell?”; see also closest thing to cursing in The Smart KitchenBest thing about it? Only two ingredients.
Two cups of strawberries plus your food processor…
…makes a delicious almost-want-to-stop-with-the-experiment-and-just-eat-this puree of strawberry sweetness.
Scrape around the edges…
…and maybe sample a wee bit?
Then, choose your favorite peanut butter. [Or not your favorite, and just whatever you've got going on in the pantry.]
Add four tablespoons to the strawberry puree…
…and blend until smooooooooooooooth.
Scrape the sides and blend again, just to make sure everything is all mixed up.
…stirred into some cereal. It was like a yogurt substitute! [And can I just tell you the PBAJIAJ---which should have been eaten out of a jar...sorry--tastes absolutely incredible with bananas...]PBAJIAJ
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
4 Tbsp. chunky or creamy peanut butter
1. Puree strawberries in a food processor.
2. Add peanut butter. Process until smooth.
3. Use immediately as a sauce, or store in a jar in the fridge until thickened.