I listened with interest to my son's podcast, as he and his co-host stopped every so briefly on the topic of making a peanut and jelly sandwich. It was his assertion that the correct way to go about this process was to put peanut butter on both slices of bread and then put the jelly in between. This, in his experience, would keep the jelly from seeping into the bread. The peanut butter creates a pocket to cradle the jelly.
My son's reaction? It blew his mind. He said as much, to his listening audience. Which included me. And I shared in his wonder. I have thirty-five years on this kid, a spend it never occurred to me to line the inside of my sandwich with peanut butter. All my previous attempts had focused on keeping those two ingredients separated until the last possible moment. I had also been concerned with keeping the knife clean between spreading the sweet and then the savory. The jelly went first, I came to understand and then wiped the knife on the lip of the crust. The now moderately sterile knife could then be stuck into the peanut butter without worry of generating an accidental goober and grape fusion. Only when all the spreading had been done could the two faces be mashed together and the sandwich accompli.
What if I could have been doing this all along?
My initial take was that it would be a revelation of sorts. A PBJ was always a bit of a comfort food, and the idea that there was an even more comforting version of this favorite gave me pause. Would I have been predisposed to making even more of them for myself over the years? And my family? They would have enjoyed this special treat with regularity. My son: "Dad, will you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"
That never happened. There was a lot more turkey with mayo and mustard slung around our kitchen. And with that extra layer of peanut butter, we would have had to buy twice as much. Could we have supported that kind of deluxe lifestyle? Difficult to imagine.
But I know what the future holds for me. And it blows my mind.