Ingredients: On one slice of bread spread the peanut butter on it, being carefull not to destroy the bread if the peanut butter is very thick. On the other slice of bread spread the jelly. Put the two slices together with the peanut butter and jelly sides towards each other. Enjoy!

Also known as a PB and J.

Nothing could be better than a PB&J, and yet no one seems concerned with that horror of the elementary school bag lunch: the goopy PB&J sandwich.

Oh, sure, your mother (or father, or caretaker monkey) made said bready comestible with the greatest of care and love, but somewhere in its travels from kitchen cutting board to cafeteria table there occurred an...incident.

I was the recipient of many such sandwiches; tasty enough in their own right, but oozing jelly or jam or preserves like sweet, viscous ichor, coloring both sides of the bread (bleached white only, thankyouverymuch; wheat bread being for those loopy kids who consumed stuff like bean sprouts and slices of seasoned tofu for sustenance) with red or purple or orange stains that stickified my wee fingers and hands beyond all reasonableness. And please don't suggest that I should have washed my phalanges after (or, God forbid, during) lunch. Everyone knew that the bathrooms were to be avoided unless severe gastrointestinal or urogenital distress was imminent, and even then, washing one's hands post-relief was something to be done in as swift a fashion as possible; sometimes completing the task of cleansing so quickly that the hands did not get wet at all.

But I digress.

To create a sandwich that does not, shall we euphemize, leak, please do as follows. Your children will thank you.

  1. Procure the following:
    • 3 slices of bread (you may opt for wheat, white, or whatever strikes your Bohemian fancy)
    • peanut butter (of a consistency desired by the intended sandwich eater...yes, even if you prefer something else, you fascist)
    • fruit-based jelly, jam, or preserves (again, matched to the recipient, not to your personal biases about what constitutes "fruit")
    • a spreading tool (probably a knife, but a spoon works if you are without options; spatulas (the rubber kind) work quite well too, and can aid in collecting the last remnants of PB or J should your container be on the cusp of empty)
    • a bag or container of some sort (large enough to contain the finished sandwich with just a little room to spare, but no gaping holes...think biohazard suit, not wetsuit)
  2. Lay the pieces of bread flat on your work surface, and with edges abutting:
    |_| |_| |_|
  3. Spread peanut butter on one side of two slices of bread:
    |PB| |__| |PB|
  4. Spread fruit-based stuff on one side of remaining slice:
    |PB| |J| |PB|
  5. Invert J-spread slice of bread and place on one PB-spread slice, such that a "conventional" PB&J sandwich is now next to a PB-spread slice of bread on your work surface:
    |_| |PB|
  6. Spread fruit-based stuff on other side of J-spread slice:
    |J| |PB|
  7. Invert and place PB-spread slice atop J-spread slice:
    |_|
  8. Slice sandwich if desired, but leaving au naturel will enhance the J-retaining powers of this uber-wich.
  9. Bag or contain appropriately and place in lunch bag last (or just under a bag of chips (they make excellent packing material)) to inhibit smashage.
This three-slice, double-PB, double-J sandwich is excellent served with a tall glass (or paper carton) of milk, and connoisseurs will appreciate the added solidity of the extra slice.

Next week:
The perfect ham and cheese sandwich

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