PB&J, Elevated

I love peanut butter and jam on toast. Warm, crisp bread, with some peanut butter melting on it, and some jam gingerly spread on top to cool it all off and cut the thickness of the peanut butter with its sweetness. I’ll be honest, it pumps me up, about as much as anything ever has. Bold statement, I know; I stick by it.

I remember being very little, must have been just school-aged. My older brother, Andrew and I would wake up early and we’d go to the family room and watch cartoons and either my mom or my dad would make us breakfast - I remember more my dad, but I could be totally wrong on this. My mom says I “misremember” a lot of things from those days, #hardknocklife.

I remember Stickin Around was one of the shows we watched (real mature… Bradley). There was another one about these two kids who would go around and bust criminals who committed schoolyard crime. Throw some delicious PB&J made with love in there, mixed with being cozy with the fireplace on while it was still dark outside, and I’ve got a pretty beautiful memory to hang on to. I will tell you about my younger brother - who was diagnosed with a peanut allergy not many years after that, and effectively ruined everything nut-related (though we still love him dearly, we have to) - in another post; read it here.

When I first moved to Nanaimo, with my now-former-partner, we became hardcore Costco lovers. We would make an afternoon of going to Costco, and try and time it to get the best quality and quantity of samples.

I really like the organic Silver Hills Bread they have, for their sprouted grains which are easier to digest than their un-sprouted counterparts. We discovered this awesome Nuts by Nature nut butter mix, with chia seeds and hemp hearts in it, and I now prefer that to peanut butter, most days. I save peanut butter as a treat. Interestingly enough I still am wary when I eat it, probably from all the years avoiding all things nuts growing up.

We paired the toast and nut butter with the raspberry jam, and we’d hit the jackpot. We ate SO much toast when we first found the magical combination. A ridiculous amount, and we would devour it and savour every minute because it was the DREAM. Another time a delicious thing was tied to a beautiful memory. Another time it was about PB&J. No wonder I get so jazzed on it.

It’s hard to believe one would have so much to say about peanut butter and jam on toast. In researching recipes and coming across tons of blogs for my day job meal-planning and cooking dinner for clients, I noticed lately that no one just posts a recipe anymore. I was used to there being a quick blurb or description of the recipe, where now there are full stories attached to each. Because I was in a rush for work, I never had the time to peruse these full stories.

For whatever reason I was shocked that anyone would actually have that much to say about quinoa or oat milk, but clearly I’ve been going on about PB&J for eons, so I will have to go back and have a read of those others.

Sadly, the high sugar content of that delicious raspberry jam eventually turned me off of it, after the novelty wore off. Instead, I made a concord grape jelly with some grapes I got from an organic farm just up island. (For more on the farm, check out this blog post!) Such a deep colour, and so much flavour! I threw the grapes and some chia seeds in the Vitamix, and pulsed at speed 4, 16-18 times. You could do more or less depending on the texture you like. I would pulse more next time, because these grapes were seeded, and the Vitamix would have sliced them up into nothing and been imperceptible. This time around, I just get a little bit of extra crunch. Oh, the joys of homemade things!

I added a drizzle of honey on top of the jam as an antimicrobial excuse for a sweet treat, as the Christmas Plague is still lurking around the office. I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg for antioxidants. Then I dove in - after taking approximately 50 photos of the ordeal for this post.

Do you have a favourite food memory? Maybe a breakfast your parents (or parental figure) used to make for you? I want to hear about it! Leave me a comment below.

Wishing you beautiful food and memories,

Your friend,