Thursday, June 3, 2010

You are now in the presence of royalty....

Like many other culinary inventions, no one can be 100% certain as to where it was first invented or who invented it.  Take for instance the "Buffalo Wings".  Some say that they invented it by mocking chicken wings and calling them buffalo wings, some say that they made a sauce that was so hot that it could give buffalo wings and others say that they were named such because the creator has his restaurant in Buffalo, NY.  Now, most likely, many different people could have invented it at the same time.  There is no way that one person, on the whole planet, could have had the idea of frying chicken wings and then coating them in hot sauce, before everyone else had.

The sandwich has no definite origins.  You would think that it is a no-brainer to take some sort of food and place it between two pieces of bread. How else would eat peanut butter and jelly, if you had nothing to smear it on and eat together?  Since the invention of bread people have been using it as we use it today. The first written use of the word 'sandwich' came from the English in the 1700's, when the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu ordered a dish of meats prepared and served between two slices of bread.  The legend is that so many others liked the idea that they called it the "food of Sandwich" or "the same as sandwich".  Like any restaurant that has a food item named after a person, soon people just start to order the item using that famous person's name.  So, people started to order and make "sandwiches".   The Royal Earl did this because the two slices of bread on either end protected and kept his hands clean, so he could play cards without getting food and filth on the playing cards.

Whether the Earl invented it or not, still doesn't dispute the fact that we all have some favorite sandwiches.  I had one today, where I took some home-made turkey meatloaf, placed it on some freshly home-made rosemary bread, threw a spoonful of sauerkraut on top of that and then a nice sprinkle of ground black pepper with some squirts of ketchup and mustard.  That sandwich was only able to be consumed and eaten with a knife and fork so it fulfilled the purpose of the Earl's original sandwich creation.

Famous people do make other sandwiches and I think that if asked, more people would be familiar with Elvis and his peanut butter and banana sandwich habit than the Earl.  On top of that, Elvis was a king, which makes him a higher class of royalty, than the Earl.

Because it is 9:29pm on a Thursday night and I am in the mood and hungry, I think a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich should be in order.  Just like the Earl or Elvis, my father invented this sandwich.  I am sure that someone else had the idea at cooking their peanut butter and jelly, but with no recorded history of it, I trust my dad.  So, this 20 year old recipe involves nothing more than a hot pan, butter and an already made sandwich.

Now, the jelly was one of my home-made strawberry and rhubarb jellies.  You will likely not find any like it, until next year when I start selling my jams across the world.

I love this sight.  When butter is in a pan, that means that something good is going to come about.  So, you melt the butter in the pan while smearing some butter on the top of the sandwich.  When the butter is melted place the sandwich, un-buttered side down.  Cook the sandwich on high heat for a minute, or until it is browned. Then flip it over and cook the other side.  What comes out of this is this:

Each bite produces a flavor of that moist butter toasted bread, with molten hot liquefied jelly and hot peanut butter. A complex symphony of flavors even for something as simple as PB&J. What could be better than this?

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