SATIRE: Right way to make PB&J exists

Is it a sandwich recipe or mind control?



The starting materials to make a PB&J sandwich include bread, peanut butter, jelly, a knife and your imagination. There is almost no way to make it incorrectly.

SAMANTHA RADCLIFFE, Evergreen columnist

Some families disagree over whether the Earth is flat. Others disagree over whether climate change exists. Not in my household. No, we have a long-standing debate about the correct way to make a PB&J sandwich. 

Using his fingers, my father evenly spreads the peanut butter on one piece of bread and the jelly on the other, like a normal person. For some reason, my mother uses a knife to spread the peanut butter and jelly only on one piece of bread while using the other to wipe the excess off the knife. 

Who in their right mind makes a PB&J sandwich like that? Maybe someone who also puts ketchup on their mac and cheese, or who has recently left a very oppressive food-based cult. 

Why waste a perfectly good piece of bread – that is craving the gentle touch of jelly’s sweet caresses – by simply smearing the insignificant excess? 

My mother strongly believes her way is correct because that is how her mother showed her how to make a PB&J sandwich (enter, our possible cult connection). But my sister and I obviously had our doubts. Thus, we sought second opinions on the matter.

First, we consulted my sister’s friend, Joe Jiff. He makes PB&J sandwiches like my mother, except he uses two knives and cuts the crust off of the bread. 

“Crust isn’t really bread,” Jiff said. “Also, it costs the same to wash two knives as one knife, but also we need to buy more knives in the house.”

This logic is so clearly flawed, but as every cheapskate knows, some people just live to pay a higher water bill. 

Despite the ability to use more cost-efficient options – like using your fingers to spread the peanut butter and jelly, or even the gluten-free method of forgoing the bread completely and spooning the peanut butter and jelly out of the jars – some people just want to watch the world burn while they eat their crustless sandwiches sitting on their throne of dirty dishes. 

But I digress.

Then, we consulted a friend of my mother, Janet Smucker. She makes PB&J sandwiches like my father, except she toasts the bread, uses three knives and cuts the sandwich diagonally.

Of course, this is the same person who does not allow different foods on her plate to touch, and has three pre-packed earthquake survival kits in her coat closet despite living nowhere near an active fault line.

Some people just need to feel in control

“What if an intruder walks into my kitchen while I’m making a PB&J sandwich?” she asked. “I always need to be ready, so that’s why I use three knives: one for peanut butter, another for jelly and the last for the intruder.”

After talking to more people, my sister and I concluded that my mother is less insane than others, but she still cannot make a PB&J sandwich correctly. 

Some people may believe everyone has their own biases because they were raised in different environments where the older generations passed down the “truth” to the younger generations. 

Outside the bubble of your parents’ beliefs, you can stop parroting their ideas and begin to develop your own opinions on important topics, such as religion, politics and cooking. 

My point being: you can begin to understand that using no knives is better than using any at all. Think about all the antibodies you can develop from using your fingers to spread the peanut butter and jelly. It is genius!

Remember: You are in college to learn how to think, not what to think. But also, stop starving one piece of bread from its nutritious jelly. Do not be like my mother and ignore your bread’s needs and feelings. It is only considerate.