Celebrating National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. This is the day to celebrate America's favorite sandwich. A day to recognize the wonderful ingredients and maybe even do things a little bit different.
Tradition holds that the infamous sandwich that is so much a part of American cuisine originated during World War II. Food was rationed down in the trenches and peanut butter and jelly were common products distributed to the soldiers. In order to have something different at chow time, the soldiers combined the two and a new sandwich was born. Supposedly, when the war was over and the soldiers returned home, the sales of both products skyrocketed and the daily lunch included a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Peanut Butter and the Peanut
You cannot have a PBJ without the peanut butter. You cannot have the peanut butter without the peanut. What is up with this significant part of the ultimate sandwich?
Peanuts originated in South America where the Incas created an early version of peanut butter by making a paste out of the nut. Eventually, explorers discovered the plant; and it made its way to Africa where it became a staple part of the daily diet. It expanded into North America where it quickly took root.
We can thank George Washington Carver for the many ways we use peanuts today including peanut butter. He found over 100 ways to use peanuts. Because Carver did not feel that man owned food and that it was a gift from God, he never patented the ideas so technically is not called the father of peanut butter. (Mr. Carver, we thank you for all your work and skills to bring us so much.)
Over time other inventors appeared on the scene and helped remake and recreate peanut butter to what we have today. The process that makes our modern peanut butter involves slowly roasting the peanuts, removing the skin and the heart which is bitter and grinding it up into a paste. Vegetable oil and sugar help finalize the product. Believe it or not, peanut butter does not require preservatives added to it. It never needs to be refrigerated. It naturally preserves itself for an extremely long shelf life.
You can find creamy peanut butter and crunchy ones. Stroll down the grocery aisle and see the various brands and kinds that are there for your enjoyment.
Jelly and the Fruit
The perfect partner for peanut butter is the jelly. There is no substitute. What kind? The old favorite has been grape. But that hasn't stopped others from trying strawberry and all the other fruit flavors. You can use jams, jellies, and preserves. There is no limit to what you can use here.
Jams and jellies have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. It has been the standard way to preserve fruits across the globe. The grocery stores have probably hundreds of brands and flavors. In fact, make your own and put your on twist on things.
So, how do we celebrate this wonderful day? There are so many ways that I could not possibly name them all. So let's begin with these simple few.
- Have a Sandwich - This is the obvious way to celebrate. Enjoy a wonderful PBJ with a glass of milk. What could be better?
- Variety - Use a different jelly. Go to the store and choose a flavor that you have never had before.
- Party - What is a celebration without a party? Have everyone bring a different variety of peanut butter and jelly and try them all. Have a variety of breads to use and mix it up a little.
- Smiley Face - Spread the peanut butter and then make a smiley face with the jelly. Have a little fun.
- Creative Sandwiches - Take cookie cutters and cut out pieces of bread. Make designer sandwiches and watch your kids smile. How about a PBJ rollup? There are so many ways to do this.
- Dress the Part - Wear purple and brown clothes. Be a large version of a PBJ. Kids can really have fun with this.
Spread the Love
One of the worst things about making a PBJ is that the jelly gets in the peanut butter jar and the peanut butter gets in the jelly. What a mess. Not anymore.
Celebrate by getting this spreader that is designed for each of the sandwich parts and keeps it all apart. The two should not mix until they meld together between two slices of bread.
They Are So Cute
Celebrate with your little ones by getting them this cute set. Together they will be the perfect meal. One outfit is the peanut butter and the other is the jelly. What a sweet set!
I Hear Ya!
Don't let the little ones have all the fun. Remember the young days of having a PBJ right after school. Wear these cute earrings to celebrate your favorite sandwich. Smile as you bite into your meal and know that you can still enjoy the day and celebrate!
Don't Forget Your Canine
Give your dog a chance to celebrate National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. They can enjoy this bone with the delicious flavors of peanut butter and jelly as you enjoy all your delightful items. They will wag their tail in love and appreciation over this.