My lunch choices when I returned from work this afternoon seemed limited, and most options were varieties of leftover items from meals earlier in the week. My eyes gravitated toward a loaf of plain white bread we bought last week when my 5-year-old nephew visited, and I suddenly had the urge to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
There are few foods more quintessentially American than PB&J, and as a kid I carried quite a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for to school for lunch. Eating a PB&J sandwich as I write this short post brings back a flood of memories, mostly pleasant, from my childhood.
One could live and thrive for quite some time on the humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There is quite a bit of protein in the peanuts, and the jelly and bread cover quite a range of carbohydrates, including dietary fiber. While far from a perfect food, a person could do a lot worse than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
And there is a timeless quality to the simple PB&J, something that reaches back to our earliest years and connects us with the past. Even a young child can figure out how to smear the ingredients and slap together the two halves of the sandwich, and the PB&J can be tolerated by even the queasiest of stomachs and weakest of constitutions (save for those unfortunate to suffer from peanut allergies). I finished my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, smacked my lips, and found the experience to be - at least for the moment - the equivalent of the finest steak dinner.