When I was pregnant with my son I ate a peanut butter sandwich every single day. Sure I would change it up with my favorite jelly, jam or honey to keep it varied, but I never missed a day. If I didn’t have a sandwich for breakfast, I ate one for lunch or for my 10p late night treat. I tell people all the time that one of the reasons I had kids was because I couldn’t wait to make them PBJ sandwiches.
You can imagine how I felt in my parenting class when I found out that there were studies proclaiming peanut butter was not good for kids under the age of 3 yrs old. WTF? First of all, I felt ignorant because I was THE ONLY parent in my class who didn’t know about this study and second of all, I was crushed because I adore peanut butter. Everything happens for a reason and I’m lucky that my class had this discussion on that day because it is how I came to form one of the best friendships I have to this day. After about 10 weeks of this parenting class (ECFE in Edina -Google it!), the parents had gotten to know all the personalities of the group pretty well. There were all sorts of us in the class coming from lots of different backgrounds. One of the moms took her role as a mom very seriously. She was well-read, always had data to support theories and frankly, she scared the $#@^ out of me when it came to parenting skills. And no, she was not a stay-at-home mom like me, she worked. Week #10 is when I found out that the serious mom practiced yoga and she gave me the best recommendation (Blooma - Google it). Because of this information, I was able to get back to what I loved most - YOGA. Plus, when I asked the moms (there was one dad who came regularly to class) for recommendations for a gynecologist the serious mom shared her thoughts. Well, now it seemed we had more in common than I thought. The Peanut Butter discussion was week #14 of class and I heard the serious mom say, “Well, I don’t care what the studies show, I give my daughter peanut butter all the time and nothing has happened to her so I am going to continue to give it to her.” That’s when I knew this mom was going to be one of my BFFs.
And isn’t it nature’s trick to have two kids who won’t even touch a PBJ sandwich in my house? When other people serve it, they will eat a sandwich and they will think it’s wonderful. But when I make it, no thanks.
On Sunday, April 2nd it’s officially Peanut Butter & Jelly Day - otherwise known as PBJ Day. Time to pinch your favorite PBJ lover. There are plenty of recipes for jellies and jams out there so why not make some and offer a container of it as a thoughtful pinch? Or you could buy jars of really expensive peanut butter and give it to the PBJ connoisseur in your life . Or pick up a loaf of your favorite bread from the local bakery and give store-bought jars of Skippy PB and Smuckers' Jelly. If you know someone who avoids gluten you can give them a bag of these Hunkolas - which is like having a PBJ with a twist of granola instead of a slice of the soft white Wonder Bread (which doesn't offer much in terms of nutritional value but still a favorite bread for a PBJ).
Uncommon Goods sold a kitchen utensil years ago. The colors are cheeky but it makes the point that instead of washing two separate knives, one for peanut butter and the other for jelly, you only have to wash one. I do think at 11.5 inches it’s a little too long but the concept is spot on. For another bestie, a friend I’ve known since I was ten years old, I sent her this utensil as a thoughtful pinch because she shared with me that she and her husband ate pbj’s regularly like me when I was pregnant. Of course I had to have one for myself, too.
Now there’s a group of you that will read this post and wonder, what about the NO PEANUT policies that are enforced everywhere these days? This does pose a problem to those of us who covet our PBJ sandwiches. I look at it this way, there will be many opportunities to enjoy this tried and true combo - a perfect blend of salt & sweet. We can nosh on these sandwiches in the comfort of our own homes. This optimism only works if you live in a home where there are no peanut allergies. If you happen to live in a home where peanuts are not safe, think positive - if there’s a will, there’s a way! Perhaps one day science and research will make it possible for peanut allergies to go away. Can you imagine raising money for research in order to save PBJ day? All things are possible. Let’s all sing, “Peanut, peanut butter and jelly!”