Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Great Debate

I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In fact, I’ve been eating them my entire life but until this past weekend, I had no idea that I was making them wrong.

At least that was the pronouncement from Husband No. 1, the same guy who just an hour earlier returned from Market Basket -- crazed with grocery store rage -- because the Cool Whip had been relocated with “no advance notice”(he emphasized) to a new location that he insists makes no sense. “I asked why it was moved out of the freezer case where it’s been for 15 years and they said they thought it would go better near the frozen pies but if you come down the aisle from the other direction, you see the pizza first and not the pies. Who’s going to look for Cool Whip near the pizza?” he ranted.

OK, I stopped listening then. My concerns these days tend more toward world peace and whether I’m ever going to get the Christmas shopping done. But I thought I should include this information so you can understand why one probably should not give too much credence to the PB&J opinion of a guy who thinks they should post a sign at the entrance to the grocery story that says “Cool Whip Moved to Aisle 15,” which he really did say, by the way.

Anyway, Husband No. 1 informed me Saturday, after 30 years of marriage mind you, that he could not believe that I am so wrong when it came to sandwich-making. The jelly should go on first and on the bottom of the sandwich, he said, so that it works the best with your taste buds – you bite into the sweetness first.

Say what? First of all, I never analyzed how I make the sandwich beyond my preferences for the varieties that go into it (natural peanut butter and jellies that involve berries) so I had to stop and think about how I do construct a PB&J – and which layer ends up on top when it goes into my mouth. And second, I never even noticed that my beloved husband makes his sandwiches in a different order than I do, wrong though it may be. Could this mean my marriage is in trouble?

As it happened, my parents were present during this heated PB&J discussion and of course, agreed with me. So then we wondered, was it a Kansas thing? (We tend to blame all of Husband No. 1’s oddities on being from a different region of the country. It's just easier that way.)

I decided to take the question to the Internet. I went to http://www.google.com/ and typed in “how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich” and up popped several sites with very elementary instructions. Some even had video to go with them. Guess which ingredient they said should go on first? Yep, the peanut butter.

But surprisingly there were no instructions on which piece of bread should be placed on top or how to put the sandwich in your mouth. So I need you, dear readers, to settle the argument: when the PB&J sandwich meets your taste buds, should the peanut butter -- or the jelly-- be on top and, even more important, does it matter?

(I thought this issue might be a whole lot more fun to discuss than Tiger Woods, although I suppose there is somewhat of a connection since both incidents involve husbands who are wrong, wrong, wrong.)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember a 6th grade project where we had to write intrsuctions about how to make a PB&J. The next day, the teacher brought in the ingredients and we had to follow our own instructions to the letter! If we had not said to use a knife, we had to use our hands etc. I remember one kid said spread PB on the bread and the teacher made him spread in on top of the whole packaged loaf. It was very funny... Husband no. 1 would have enjoyed that day.
btw, PB goes on first, and jelly goes into your mouth on top... beacuse the jelly side is more delicate, so the heavy PB goes on the bottom~ :D

Sheila Connolly said...

Common sense: it's much harder to spread peanut butter on jelly. But what if you spread one on each side and then join them in perfect harmony? But then, which goes on top? Decisions, decisions...

Anonymous said...

Your mate number 1.0 is partially correct. In the midst of the competitive verbal jousting, he apparently forgot that the first thing to hit a guy's palate ought to the taste of a Red Hook ESB or Smuttynose IPA. Then it becomes a jump ball as to whether PB or J immediate follows.

Posted by a neighbor who is also a transplant from the "fly over" country of the Midwest USA.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what difference it makes what is spread on the bottom first -- PB or J. You can always flip the sandwich to get whatever taste you want first. Jeez, even a Mezkin would understand this.-- RP

PatRemick said...

OK, so I made another PB&J sandwich today and flipped it over numerous times. No question --- it tastes better with peanut butter on the bottom!

Paula Butturini said...

LOVE this blog, Pat. Has Husband No. 1 ever tried to spread peanut butter on top of jelly?? My guess is no, or at least not in recent memory... the physics of it all just doesn't work. Tell him that if he wants the jelly on the bottom, all he has to do is turn the sandwich over... Bests, P

Candy said...

Forget the stupid jelly. And the stupid PB. Spread both pieces with Nutella and you'll never go back. Oh, and husband #1 should not be eating Cool Whip, which is just whipped oil that's been sweetened with hydrogenated corn syrup plus chemicals to give it the half-life of a black hole. If you must, use Reddi-Whip. It's real. And you can squirt it in your mouth.

Pam Feinstein said...

Hi Pat (and Frank)--I can tell you it's not a "Kansas thing" since I would agree with Pat that you spread the PB first and then the jelly (for one thing, the jelly first means the bread can get too soggy quickly). I think it's settled!

Pam Feinstein

SharonD said...

I agree with husband #1 not about the PB&J necessarily, but that it BUGS me when they move my favorite items at Marketbasket. How dare they? I say the customer is always right and maybe we should stage a sit-in like they're doing in CA where tuition is being hiked to 10K per year for residents (fyi, UNH is 20K per year for residents.)

PatRemick said...

It's surprised me just how right I am (LOL) AND how many of you have told me privately that you agree about the grocery store mysterious moves... I sense another blog subject coming.....:)