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Slice of Life

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PB&J can still delight adults

Admit it. There are times when all you really want to eat is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I know we all tend to relegate peanut butter and jelly to lunch boxes and the under-12 crowd, but seriously, the average American child will eat close to 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they finish high school and adults over 30 still manage to put away 10 or more a year.

There is no clear date for when the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was invented. While purists say that in order to create the perfect sandwich you need equal parts peanut butter and jelly, everyone who’s ever made a sandwich knows that’s absurd. You just glob on as much of either as you like and chow down.

I’ve read that grape jelly is the preferred choice with strawberry a close second. Seriously, I don’t care which flavor I get, I’m an equal-opportunity PB&J fan.

The following recipes are wild and crazy variations on the peanut butter and jelly theme, and I hope you enjoy eating them as much as I did when I was testing the recipes.

Pan Fried PB&J

2 slices good quality egg bread (challah)

Peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

Jam, your choice of flavor

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

Make a peanut butter sandwich using your favorite jelly or jam. In a skillet melt about 1 tablespoon of butter. Using 1 tablespoon butter, butter one side of the sandwich and then the other. Place the buttered side down in the hot pan. Press down on the sandwich with a spatula for 10 seconds. Once the side in the pan is golden, turn it over. When the second side is done, remove the sandwich from the pan, place it on a serving plate, cut in half and enjoy. Makes one sandwich.

Pineapple PB&J

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

Hot sauce, to taste

1/2 cup sliced or crushed pineapple

1/4 cup shredded carrot

8 slices bread (thicker is better)

In a bowl combine the peanut butter and cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the hot sauce to taste. Spread the mixture on the bread, place the pineapple and carrots on top of four slices of bread and then top with the remaining slices. Cut in half and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Peanut Butter, Bacon and Cherry Jam Sandwich

8 slices bread of choice

4 tablespoons cherry jam

1/2 cup peanut butter

8 slices bacon, cooked crisp

2 apples, sliced

Spread the peanut butter on four slices of bread and the cherry jam on other four slices of bread. Layer the bacon and apples on the peanut butter slices and top with the slices covered with cherry jam. Cut in half and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.