The Best Ingredients for a Gourmet Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
My taste in food is pretty basic. One of my favorite lunches is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But not just any old peanut butter, jelly or bread will do. I’m going for the clean (no additives), high protein and as unprocessed as possible pb&j.
The peanut butter has to be made from peanuts and a little salt, and no skimming off peanut oil or adding anything else. Choosy mothers do not choose Jif! It has to be crunchy peanut butter.
The bread has to be toasted unless I’m taking one of these goodies in a backpack. Open face too unless it’s going in a baggie. So my two choices for bread are Original Recipe Catherine Clark’s Natural Wheat bread
texture is dense and the cracked wheat and unbleached flour colored it a rich shade of brown
or Kroger 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins with 7 grams of protein and made with molasses, not sugar. These are nice and dense the way bread should be, great for spreading crunchy peanut butter on after they pop out of the toaster. The warm muffin makes the peanut butter melt into the muffin. You could stop there and not even add jelly.
Now for the jelly. Usually the word jelly makes me run. Come on. Jelly is like thick Kool-Aid; brightly colored, highly sweet, flavored nothing.
I like preserves. The more of the fruit you can actually still recognize in the preserves the better. It adds to the experience of eating something substantial. With the dense bread and the crunchy peanut butter, now add the real fruit (all boiled down and sugar added or course).
The type of fruit preserves you choose has to be a little tart or exotic. Blueberry preserves are great and orange marmalade or ginger marmalade are good too. I like the marmalade because you get to eat some of the peels. Need I say more by now.
OK, so when my friend Dee Dee gave me a jar of Ketcham Pinot Grape Jelly I was interested. First of all you never get a chance to eat Pinot grape jelly. Where do you buy such a thing? The color was not anywhere close to the Barney purple of your typical Welches Grape Jelly. What a relief! And she and her daughter made this jelly with Pinot grapes from her daughter’s vineyard (see Ketcham Estate). How cool is that!
Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that since living in the B&B I’ve had a new “bread” to make my peanut butter and jellies on. My husband has Carmen make up a batch of really thick French toast using Trader Joe’s Challah bread and lots of eggs. Probably fairly high in carbs but you get the added protein from the eggs and it tastes great.
I nuke the precooked slices (slabs actually) for 30 seconds and the spread the crunchy peanut butter on top, not too much. Then ….. the Ketcham Pinot grape jelly!
The (solarized) picture does not do this amazing lunch justice. The Pinot jelly tops it off wonderfully. Not too sweet, its flavor is well suited to my favorite lunch. It has a nice thick texture and blends well on my French toast pb&j sandwich! Add a small glass of apple cider. Now we’re talking!
If the Ketcham Estate ever produces enough of the Pinot grape jelly to sell we will be featuring it here at Stone Chalet. I’ll keep you posted.