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How to Make a PBJ in 21 Easy Steps

Updated on September 11, 2014
This photograph of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was produced by the United States federal government, and is thus in the public domain.
This photograph of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was produced by the United States federal government, and is thus in the public domain.

This writing prompt came from the school where I work. An English teacher we had gave her students an assignment to write foolproof instructions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It sounded like fun to me, so I did the assignment right along with the students.

I tried to think of anything that a person could possibly do wrong performing this simple task, and made sure they would have all the guidance they would ever need, and then some.

Consumer Hotline – (800) 555-8093

Technical Support – (800) 555-2195

User's Manual

Congratulations on your purchase of an ACME Deluxe Sandwich Assembly Kit!

The purpose of this User's Manual is to aid you in the proper use of your Sandwich Assembly Kit. Just follow these simple instructions and you will soon be making delicious sandwiches quickly and easily.

  1. First, please check the contents of your kit. You should have all of the following:

    1. One loaf of sliced bread, wrapped in plastic wrap and tied at the end with a twist-tie to ensure freshness.

    2. One jar of peanut butter.

    3. One jar of jelly. The flavor is indicated on the label. If the flavor of jelly is not the one you ordered, please call our Consumer Hotline.

    4. One plastic butter knife

    5. A stack of paper towels

  2. If any of the above items are missing from your kit, please call our Consumer Hotline and notify us at once.

  3. Choose a clean, flat surface to use as your workspace. The workspace area should be large enough to hold all of the items in your kit without any items overlapping each other.

  4. Arrange the kit items on your workspace surface so that every item is within arm's reach. Take three paper towels from the stack and lay them out separate and flat.

  5. Untwist the twist-tie and remove it from the bread wrapper. Do not discard it; it should be kept to reseal the bag later.

  6. Open out the bread wrapper on the side where the twist-tie was just removed. Open it wide enough that you can reach in and take out bread slices.

  7. Take out two slices of bread. Taking the two slices that are closest to the opening of the wrapper will be easiest and will decrease the chances of damaging the rest of the bread. Place one of the slices your removed on one paper towel and the other slice you removed on another paper towel.

    1. NOTE: The first and last slices of the loaf of bread are “end pieces” which have crust covering one entire side of the bread. These end pieces are completely safe and nutritious. You may use an end piece as one of your sandwich slices if you choose. If you prefer not to use an end piece, simply choose the next two slices for your sandwich.

  8. After you have selected your two bread slices, reclose the bread wrapper and reapply and retwist the twist-tie to preserve the freshness of the rest of the bread so that it will be ready for future use. The wrapper and twist-tie should be closed the same way that they had been before the loaf was opened. If you have trouble closing the wrapper or applying the twist-tie, please call Technical Support for additional assistance.

  9. Store the loaf of bread in the location of your choice to be available for future use. The bread should be stored at room temperature in a dry place.

  10. Take the peanut butter jar and hold it firmly in your non-dominant hand with the lid pointing upward. Grasp the lid firmly in your dominant hand and turn the lid counterclockwise until it is loose enough to remove it from the jar. Set the lid down in an empty spot on your work surface.

  11. Pick up the butter knife with your dominant hand. The thicker end of the knife is the handle; the thinner end is the blade. Hold the handle end of the knife in your hand. Insert the blade end of the knife into the exposed peanut butter in the jar. Use the knife to scoop the desired amount of peanut butter from the jar.

  12. Set the peanut butter jar back down in an empty spot on your work surface.

  13. Spread the peanut butter that is on the knife onto one of the slices of bread on one of your paper towels. Most consumers prefer to have the peanut butter spread as evenly as possible to cover the entire surface of one side of the bread.

  14. Using the unused paper towel, wipe the knife clean of any remaining peanut butter. Set the knife down in an empty spot on your work surface.

  15. Put the lid back on the peanut butter jar by placing it back on the open end of the jar and turning it clockwise as far as it will go. It should take about the same amount of turning (the same number of degrees of rotation) to close the jar as it did to open it.

    1. NOTE: You must hold the lid parallel to the jar for it to turn and close correctly. If the lid is resistant to turning when it is clear that you have not turned it as far as you did when you were opening, or if it is does not seem to be parallel to the jar, you may have a misalignment problem. Turn the lid back counterclockwise to remove it and try again. If you have trouble aligning the lid and closing the jar properly, please call Technical Support for assistance.

  16. Store the peanut butter in the location of your choice for future use. The peanut butter can be refrigerated or stored at room temperature.

  17. To apply the jelly for your sandwich, repeat steps 10-15, using the jelly instead of the peanut butter, and spreading the jelly on the unused slice of bread on your other paper towel.

  18. Store the jelly for future use. The jelly must be refrigerated.

  19. The butter knife may be washed and saved for future use, or you may discard it if you have other butter knives of your own.

  20. Taking care not to touch the peanut butter with your hand, pick up the slice of bread that has the peanut butter spread on it, and lay it face down on top of the slice of bread that has the jelly on it. The peanut butter and the jelly should be directly touching each other and the two slices of bread should be symmetrically aligned.

  21. Your sandwich is now fully assembled. You may transfer it to a plate for serving or you may serve it on a paper towel.

Thank you for using the ACME Deluxe Sandwich Assembly Kit. Bon appétit!

© 2014 Joan Hall

Your comments are welcome

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    • Kappygirl profile image


      6 years ago

      This is so creative! I love it. You could always #22-cut the sandwich in half , if desired! :)

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      You can't go wrong with these VERY DETAILED instructions :) A fun read too!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      6 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Absoulty Wonderful! very nicely done! Thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is awesome! You may wish to add an asterisk, however, by your Number 9 instruction... for those of us who live in the south. Here in Florida, bread that is kept at room temperature tends to get moldy pretty fast. We keep ours in the freezer for that reason. Slow eaters of peanut butter in warm climates might wish to store theirs in the fridge for similar reasons. Peanuts get buggy in the heat. I suspect you will get suggestions from readers all over the world, since this article is likely to be shared many times because of its incredible usefulness. Will you be translating it into other languages?

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      6 years ago from So Cal

      Love this!


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