Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are complicated. Or I should say that my relationship with them is complicated. On the one hand, they combine three of the world’s most fantastic ingredients (peanuts, sugary fruit, and bread), but on the other, they elicit grade-school flashbacks. Recently, while under the influence of PBJ, I was reborn as a second grader feverishly writing stories about animals on a typewriter, which my best friend Katie and I had monopolized for something like a month (much to the chagrin of classmates like Gideon and Derek, who probably wanted to write misguided stories about superheroes). However, despite our successful typewriter lockdown, Katie and I were consistently at odds as to whether the stories should be about horses — who are not only majestic, but also vital to the history of transportation and agriculture — or dogs — who are certainly amiable, and possess their own form of domestic and agricultural utility, but are often sorely lacking in the majesty department. I don’t think we argued the issue precisely along those lines, but the conflict did manage to reach a fever pitch, and I imagine that contributed to the title of ‘best friend’ being bestowed upon Amanda the following school year.
This was not entirely an unpleasant memory, but it was strange to be reminded that so little has changed in twenty years. My greatest love, obsession, problem, and social glue/Kryptonite continues to be the written word. But anyway, yeah, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches might have a certain mnemonic function, but I don’t necessarily want to face that kind of quasi-trauma every time I have them for lunch. Still, they are super easy to make and I don’t want to pack something that I’ll need to refrigerate, so I need a similar but perhaps more grown-up option. Today was my first attempt to find one. Behold:
Almond Goat Cheese Spread with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Olives
Ingredients (per sandwich):
-1 tbs almond butter
-1 tbs goat cheese
-1 tsp olive oil
-1-2 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
-5-6 kalamata olives, chopped
Instructions: Mix all of those things up and smear the resulting spread on toasted bread. Add your other sandwich fixin’s and gnosh away.
Simplest thing in the world, really, and thoroughly delicious. Next time I’m adding fresh herbs. This time around, though, I let arugula play the role of lettuce, and this satisfied my craving for a green flavor: I just squeezed some fresh lemon juice over it before putting it on the toast, and cracked a bit of black pepper over the top. Mmm. This nut butter sandwich experiment might last for weeks, so stay tuned.