Archive for April, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Posted on April 12, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. And by again, I mean now: “I like free stuff.” I suppose we all do. Not the junky throwaway free stuff you find at the bottom of a cheesy promotional bag, but the good kind of free stuff that you can use. Free bread from Nature’s Pride? This I like.

The bread was delivered courtesy of Foodbuzz–they have a big ad on the right side of my page. Click it. I’ll get a penny or something like that. Plus there is an entire universe of pretty pictures and food nerdery on Foodbuzz. Happy days. Anyway, the deal was this: I get a free loaf of Nature’s Pride’s new “Hearty Wheat with Flax” bread, I make something tasty with said bread, and then I talk about it.

What sort of tasty thing to make? I’ve made Awesome Steak Sammys and Apricot Ham and Cheese Melts with Nature’s Pride. (Seems like Nature’s Pride really likes to give me free bread. Thank you? Yes, thank you.) Previous experiments turned out well, so I thought it best to stay somewhere in the toasty sandwich field. But now what? Another meat and cheese combo? Brgh. Done that. Plus it was after midnight when this thought process was taking place. French toast sandwich then? On the right track, but too much work. And then, in a moment of glee, a suggestion was made. Peanut butter and jelly. Toasted. Yes. Happiness.

The Nature’s Pride Hearty Wheat with Flax toasted evenly. The thick-cut bread is perfect for a slathering of peanut butter and jelly. Ah, but there was trouble. What kind of peanut butter does someone who is pursuing a master’s degree in food studies purchase? Same dilemma for the jelly. The obvious answer is that the childlike glee of PB&J eating is best obtained by use of same peanut butter and jelly as in childhood–Jif smooth peanut butter and Welsh’s Concord Grape jelly. But this is not good. Both have changed considerably since my youth. Both, in fact, are crap. Horrible mockeries of peanut butter and jelly. So. I looked for better options.

I chose Woodstock Farms organic classic peanut butter mostly because I liked the way it was packaged. I know, I know. That’s not how a person should choose what to buy. Not a bad choice, though. Woodstock Farms is an organic grocery line that sells a variety of foods that include tomatoes, milk, and nut butters. The peanut butter had a great consistency, good peanut flavor, but could have used a little more salt. The grape jelly was made by Cascadian Farm. Cascadian Farm is Big Organic, but theirs was the only organic concord grape jelly for sale, so there it is. I could have bought some kind of artisanal raspberry and moonbeam jam, but a gleeful PB&J sandwich must be made with grape jelly. Period.

Ah. And what about the bread? They did give me free bread. I should probably let them know what I think. Well. You could lose the flax seeds. They don’t add any substantive nutritious value, and they have an annoying way of ruing the smoothness of a smooth PB&J. I’m sure your marketing person would disagree and tell you everyone wants flax–it has OMEGA 3!!!!!!! But seriously, the bread doesn’t have enough available Omega 3(!!!!!!!!) to change the world. So why pretend, right? Your bread has enough merits on its own, Nature’s Pride. The bread is made with quality ingredients, no preservatives, no superfructosehyperhyper sugar products, no trans-fats. In fact, it’s the best commercial bread I’ve tried.

Now…should we have a debate about Wonder Bread? We should, but briefly. I have Megapapers to write before the semester ends. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Nature’s Pride is owned by Interstate Bakeries. Interstate Bakeries makes really awful things like Wonder Bread and Twinkies. So…tough call. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of commercial baked sliced bread, and would prefer to support a local bakery anyway. But not everybody has that option, and for some people having a loaf of sliced bread is much more convenient than frequent trips to the bakery. I’d say if you have the option, try a local brand first. If you don’t like the local brand or don’t have the option to buy one, this isn’t a bad alternative at all.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich:
Do you really need a recipe? Toast bread. Smear peanut butter and jelly on inside of bread. Slice at 45 degree angle (because it’s better that way). Eat. Repeat.

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