"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

How to paint a PB&J

by Julie Tilsner on August 26, 2008

in Food News

The Internets have been good to me; opening hidden doors and pushing me through. I stumbled upon artist Duane Keiser’s work perusing Boing-Boing, where I go when I want to waste time. I was rewarded with hours of further procrastination spent enjoying his gorgeous small paintings.

So when I saw the above clip, I realized a marvelous synergy here. Consider the humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich. How dare I take up space on a food blog writing about that most basic of kiddie food?

Well, like the above clip, a good PB&J arises out of nothingness. Nothing to make. No better ideas. No more pasta. No time for anything else before the blood-sugar level of your progeny hits bottom and the screaming starts.

Nothing but two pieces of bread, a swipe of peanut butter and the very last blurp of jelly or jam between them. Nothing but comfort and familiarity to save the day. Nothing simpler to nourish the nits. Nothing like a quick PB&J for yourself as well, because as long as you’re making them, one will pull you through ’til dinner, and didn’t your mom make them for you when you were a kid? Of course she did. Nothing but memories.

Everybody has a different version they prefer. Certain brands of peanut butter, favored jellies. Some people like honey instead of jam. Lots of people still insist on somebody cutting the crusts off their PB&Js. There’s nothing to a PB&J, but we want them like we remember them. Like the ones Mom made us. And so, like the above painting so deliciously illustrates, turns out there’s a lot of something to be coaxed out of nothingness.

Tell me a favorite PB&J memory of your own.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

elfini (Dawn) August 26, 2008 at 10:09 am

That’s not how my mommy painted a pb&j.


Duane August 27, 2008 at 10:14 pm

As kids, my siblings and I demanded perfection in the manufacture of our PBJs. Mom had very little room for mistakes. If she used too much jelly, or, God forbid, used chunky peanut butter instead of creamy, or wheat bread instead of wonder bread, there was a riot in the kitchen before school– I mean, it was mass hysteria.
I really don’t know why she didn’t just kill us.


Kim August 27, 2008 at 8:01 pm

My son usually insists on triangles; it’s easier to eat around the crusts that way, but the crusts are still there if he’s really hungry.
His grandpa buys huge tubs of super-crunchy for the two of them.


julieR September 3, 2008 at 2:23 am

I ate peanut butter, butter, and honey sandwiches EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL DAY until the middle of 3rd grade when I suddenly reflected on this fact and decided, maybe, I would like to try something different….I still remember the honey squishing through the holes in the bread and crystallising on the outside of the bread…yummy


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