Thursday, August 6, 2015

A RECIPE FOR THE ROAD from "Beauty on the Interstate"

Lots of people nod and smile at the mention of "car broiled peanut butter and jelly sandwich." I actually do have a recipe for this unique treat.  here it is!

“I fortified myself with a “car broiled” Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich which I had been tending on the dashboard since I left home.  It was nice and gooey – just as it should be.  I had noted as first one side, then the other, worked up a nice head of steam in the Ziploc bag on the sunlit dash.  Washed down with some ice cold lemonade from the thermos I had packed, it tasted like the ghost of  sandwiches from a dozen of summer trips past, laced with the excitement of a child strapped in the back seat of the family car.”                    ~ from “OR Highway 20” in BEAUTY ON THE INTERSTATE

RECIPE: “Car Broiled” Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
By Judith Cullen                     
(Serves One)

  • Two Slices of Bread – standard slicing, not thick sliced
  • Margarine or Butter – your preference
  • Peanut Butter – Chunky or Creamy, your preference, though I think creamy works better
  • Jelly – Concord Grape is the best, but decent results can be gained with Strawberry
  • One Sandwich Size Ziploc-type Bag – Fold closures will not do, it much seal closed
  • A roadtrip destination at least ninety minutes distant, and sufficient fuel to get there and back again.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: Your mileage may vary

Make the sandwich in the usual way.  Place the sandwich in the plastic bag and press as much of the air out before sealing it.

Some Important Tips:
  • Be generous with the margarine/butter, as its inherent greasiness will slow down the absorption of the PB & J into the bread.  The object is a soft and slightly gooey sandwich, not a soggy one.  The marg/butter will eventually melt in the broiling, but that’s part of the process.
  • Be careful of slathering on too much PB and too much J, as in the image in this post.  Again, the object is a soft and slightly gooey sandwich, not a soggy one.
  • Some people are particular about their jelly and it getting too soaked into the bread.  It's a valid concern given the stated objective of "warm & gooey" over "soggy."  For those folks we suggest putting a thin layer of peanut butter down on that piece of bread before the jelly goes on.  That way your jelly is "sandwiched" in by peanut butter on both sides. It's less likely to "sog" but still can get warm and yummy.

Get into your car, and set out on your trip. Remember to use the toilet before you leave and wash your hands. Don’t forget your house keys and license.

Once you are safely on the road, place your sandwich on the dashboard.  After a while, steam will form on the inside of the bag.  Let it get nice and foggy, before turning it over and letting the process begin again on the flip side.  I recommend repeating this process so each side of the sandwich fully steams a minimum of twice.  Three times is good as well.  If using artisanal bread or sourdough (I do not recommend wheat breads for car broiling) you may need to allow additional turns to fully broil the sandwich.

Find a lovely, scenic location to stop.  Serve the sandwich in comfort on two napkins, and plenty of an ice cold beverage such as soda pop, lemonade or ice tea as you prefer.  Potato chips optional. Your favorite of chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies complete the experience nicely.



BEAUTY ON THE INTERSTATE is available now for Kindle and in paperback on Amazon

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