Friday, February 8, 2013

Foodie Friday: Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

I've learned to like (and love) a lot of things I'd never thought I'd even be able to tolerate. SPAM? Red chili pepper paste? Raw tomatoes? Bring it on! I WILL BURY YOU.

Sometimes, though, what you really need is an old favorite, one that'll never let you down. It's been there through all your bag lunches, all your starving college days, all your bad relationships. I'm talking about peanut butter and jelly, of course! It's also the perfect thing to get me through Snowmageddon Nemo that's due to hit tonight, which is why I thought it'd be a good entry for Foodie Friday.

So if you Google Image search for peanut butter and jelly, one result is this bland, nameless piece of stock photo:

Noticing this is kind of hypocritical, given my past rant about corporate shilling, but really—my peanut butter and preserves/jam have names, dammit! Those jars look so naked and empty without their labels!

With peanut butter, I've grown to be quite finicky. I mean really, aren't we all? Everyone has that one brand they grew up with and that's (pardon the pun) their jam. I don't know about you, but I could always tell if my mom didn't buy Skippy at the store. The odd lunch at someone else's house—at a party, a playdate, or at your babysitter's—was a total crapshoot because they didn't necessarily have the same peanut butter in their kitchen as your family did!

But like I've said, my tastes have also changed over the years, and one of the arenas where I've become MORE picky is my peanut butter. The first time I tried organic peanut butter, it was like a religious conversion. I refuse to have anything else except under the most dire of circumstances. The only thing that hasn't changed? My undying allegiance to creamy. Sorry, nuts! No crunchy in my sandwich!

Most of the time "organic" is thrown on as a useless sales label—"greenwashing," as they say—and I don't pay attention (or care). With peanut butter though, there is a world of difference. It actually tastes like peanuts, instead of almost-peanuts. Of course the organic peanut butters separate very easily, but that's a price I'm willing to pay (plus I just stick mine in the fridge).

That's not even my REAL point, though! Putting aside my paean to organic peanut butter (there is a pun there to be made, and if you can make it you're a better punster than me), did you know PB&J could be so diverse? The good people at BuzzFeed have assembled 55 different PB&J-based recipes! Here are the top three I'd like to try to make myself:

6. Peanut Butter & Jelly Skillet Monkey Bread

54. Peanut Butter & Jelly "Chilly" Hot Dog

These all look delicious but also pretty easy—which is great because I'm lazy. There is another category, of course, and that's the top three I'd like to sample if someone ELSE made them:

(Minus the bacon, of course. I still hate bacon after all these years!)

42. Sticky Peanut Butter & Jelly Chicken Wings

Which recipes would you try? With what kind of peanut butter?

All my fellow northeasterners, stay warm and stay safe!