I grew up in a traditional peanut butter and jelly household. Sandwiches were made on white or wheat bread and cut neatly neatly into quarters. Separate utensils were used for the peanut butter and the jelly so there was never any co-mingling in the jars. Crusts were sometimes even trimmed. It was all very neat and orderly and timeless. The way peanut butter and jelly was meant to be.
When I was around ten or eleven, I was at my best friend’s house during lunch time. We rummaged through her cabinets searching for the best offerings. I really want a PB&J sandwich, I said. She set out the peanut butter and the jelly and opened the bread box only to find it empty. I think we have hot dog buns, she suggested. I recoiled. Hot dog buns? Ewwww. Those are for hot dogs. Jill, she sighed, “they are bread. The same bread that you would usually have, they are just in a different shape. I’m not suggesting you eat an actual hot dog with your PB&J.” But, I couldn’t be convinced. This was the girl who mixed her playschool people with her Barbie dolls and put her Lego’s in my doll house. Something was wrong with that way of thinking. I turned down the sandwich, so she made one for herself, oohing and ahhing over just how delicious it was while I sat, hungry, counting down until dinner time.
Flash forward 30 years.
A few months ago, we were out of bread for Ben’s daily peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Desperate, I remembered that day and presented him with a PB&J on a hot dog roll. A hot dog sandwich? Awesome, he responded and devoured the entire thing in a few gulps.
From that day on, I’ve made his sandwiches almost exclusively on hot dog buns. It’s neater with no messy jelly drips from the sides and it’s easier, as there is no assembling and cutting. Plus, it’s just more fun than a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It kind of makes me wonder what else I missed out on, thinking so very much in the box.
But, I do stand by my Barbie playing rules. Mixing species is just plain wrong.