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October 24, 2016

Peanut Butter & Jelly: You’re Doing it Wrong

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Dear Reader,

Today I am about to impart you with a colossal mountain of knowledge in the culinary arts. This is a recipe that you may have encountered at some point in your life but most people choose to wing. They’re under the impression that they “know what to do,” or even worse, that it’s a “simple dish.”

What I’m talking about is such a classic that one might even call it a staple: The P.B. & J, otherwise known as the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Of course, in most parts of the word it’s called a peanut butter and jam sandwich, but that is a topic for another article, possibly titled, “Jam and Jelly: What is the difference?”

If you think that the P.B. & J. is just a matter of two slices of bread, some peanut butter and some jelly, you should probably stop reading right now. You’re beyond help. If you are, however, intrigued to know what you’ve been doing wrong all your life, read ahead.

The Recipe for a PB & J.

Peanut butter (It’s up to you what kind, but it’ll affect the rest of the recipe drastically. No, I’m not misusing the word drastic. I’m going to go with the classic smooth variety.)
Jelly (Again, the kind of fruit is up to you, but studies that I will not cite show that grape is the most commonly used jelly.)
Bread (You want to use a multigrain variety that is just porous enough for ⅓ of the thickness of the slice to absorb the liquid.)
Salted butter (You’ll see why.)

Day 1

  1. Take bread out of the refrigerator and let rest for 30 minutes in a cool, dry environment.
  2. Begin preheating Preheat oven to 350°. Four minutes and 21 seconds after you turn it on, place one slice of bread in the oven for about two minutes and one second. Using a pair of tongs, take the bread out of the oven.
  3. On the warm bread, use a large knife to spread an even layer of jelly (¼ inch thick). On the very edge of the bread, allow the jelly to go up to 9/32 of an inch. Place this slice in the refrigerator and let marinate overnight.

Day 2

  1. On a pan, heat a tablespoon of butter at medium high heat and, using tongs, hold the second slice of bread over the pan at a height of four point three inches above the butter. This will allow the aroma of the butter to enter the bread without ruining the consistency of the sandwich.
  2. Throw the butter out and for a brief second (not a regular second, that would be too long), press the face of the bread on the hot pan which still has traces of the butter. Quickly, (in less than 57 seconds, or you’ll have to start again) spread an even layer of peanut butter on the bread. Here you want to use ⅕ of an inch all over and 7/32 of an inch at the edges.
  3. Preheat oven to 200° F. Three minutes and 11 seconds into the preheat, place the slice from day one into the oven, jelly face up. One minute and 15 seconds later, place the second slice, peanut butter face down onto the first slice. Place some kind of weight on the top slice (stones work well) to make sure the two slices do not fly apart due to electron-electron repulsion as the separation → 0.
  4. 131 seconds later, take the sandwich out of the oven. Let it rest on a large plate for about 30 seconds.
  5. Eat it. Send me a thank you letter for changing your life.