How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich in 76 Easy Steps

I wrote this about four years ago in response to a prompt to provide as detailed instructions as possible. Mission accomplished, methinks!

1. Locate the loaf of bread and pick it up. (For me, it is on top of the microwave.)

2. Unwrap the little twisty thing to open the bag. Put the little twisty thing on the counter in plain sight so that it doesn’t get lost, thus forcing me to use a chip clip or ponytail holder to secure the bag.

3. Dig through the loaf for two pieces of bread that aren’t squished, torn, moldy, or as hard as a rock due to the fact that I rarely eat bread and keep it atop the microwave well past its usefulness.

4. Holding the bread in right hand (and being careful to not squish it), tear a paper towel off the roll sitting on the paper towel holder next to the sink with left hand.

5. Lay the paper towel on the counter, being careful to not cover the little twisty thing.

6. Place the two slices of bread on the paper towel, ensuring they are facing the same direction.

7. Walk over to silverware drawer.

8. Open drawer.

9. Grasp and remove a butter knife.

10. Close drawer because, if not, I will undoubtedly run into it on my way to the refrigerator, thus bruising my hip in the process.

11. Place the knife on the counter next to the bread while keeping the little twisty thing in plain view.

12. Walk over to the pantry.

13. Open pantry door.

14. Locate and grab the jar of peanut butter on the third shelf in between the tuna and salsa; preferably Skippy Natural Super Chunk.

15. Close the pantry door.

16. Walk back over to the counter and place the jar on the counter near the knife, bread, and little twisty thing but not too close to the little twisty thing (see #2).

17. Walk over to the refrigerator, being grateful that the silverware drawer was closed earlier.

18. Open the refrigerator.

19. Locate the Smucker’s Sugar Free Apricot Preserves in the door next to the protein shakes.

20. Pick up the jar of preserves.

21. Close the refrigerator (lest I be accused of wasting electricity).

22. Walk back over to the counter and place the jar down next to the aforementioned items.

23. Open the peanut butter jar by twisting the lid using approximately five counterclockwise turns.

24. Place the lid on the counter.

25. Grasp the butter knife with left hand and scoop some peanut butter from the jar being held in right hand.

26. Spread the peanut butter on the left slice of bread. This is very important to satisfy my OCD.

27. Realize that this is not enough peanut butter and get another scoop.

28. Spread the other scoop atop the previously spread peanut butter on the left slice.

29. Still using left hand, briefly “wipe” the knife on the right slice of bread to remove remaining peanut butter residue on knife. (In reality, I lick it off before I put it in the preserves since I live alone but everyone else would probably say, “Ewwww”.)

30. Place the knife on the right slice of bread because if some peanut butter residue remains it will adhere to the paper towel.

31. Affix the peanut butter jar lid using approximately five clockwise turns, until secure.

32. Walk over to the pantry.

33. Open the pantry door.

34. Place the peanut butter jar back in its position on the third shelf between the tuna and salsa.

35. Close the pantry door.

36. Walk back to the counter.

37. Grasp the preserves jar in right hand.

38. Using the left hand, unscrew the lid with approximately three counterclockwise turns (smaller lid requires less torque to remove.)

39. Place the preserves jar lid on the counter.

40. Pick up butter knife.

41. Scoop out a small portion of preserves and spread on the right piece of bread, atop the residual peanut butter.

42. Turn to the left and place knife in sink.

43. Replace the lid on the jar of preserves using approximately three clockwise turns.

44. Walk over to the refrigerator.

45. Open the refrigerator.

46. Place the preserves back into its assigned spot in the door next to the protein shakes.

47. Close the refrigerator door.

48. Walk back over to the counter.

49. Carefully pick up the left piece of bread.

50. Lay the left piece of bread atop the right piece, gooey sides together.

51. Ensure that the edges match and there is no overlap to prevent peanut butter and jelly sticky fingers.

52. Pick up the loaf of bread.

53. Locate the little twisty thing.

54. Fuck, I can’t find the little twisty thing.

55. Lift up the sandwich and paper towel and look for the little twisty thing. Shit, where’d it go?

56. Put the sandwich and paper towel back down on the counter.

57. Scope the counter for the little twisty thing. Not there.

58. Brush crumbs off the counter which accumulated when paper towel and sandwich were lifted to find the little twisty thing with on hand into the other hand.

59. Turn to the sink and dump the accumulated crumbs into the sink.

60. Brush hands together to ensure complete crumb removal.

61. Notice the knife in the sink.

62. Turn on the faucet to rinse the preserves—and the deposited crumbs which have stuck to the knife.

63. Turn off the faucet.

64. Open the dishwasher with right hand.

65. Put the knife in the silverware section of the dishwasher, blade up to ensure thorough washing.

66. Close the dishwasher.

67. Turn and walk back to the counter to resume search for little twisty thing.

68. Step on little twisty thing that had been hiding on the floor between the hard wood and the rug with bare foot.

69. Yell, “Ow, fuck!”

70. Bend over and pick up little twisty thing.

71. Resume walk to the counter.

72. Pick up the loaf of bread.

73. Twist the top of the bag and replace little twisty thing.

74. Put the bread back on top of the microwave.

75. Pick up the sandwich, being careful to not deposit more crumbs on the counter.

76. Eat the sandwich, assuming that it isn’t already covered in ants or dust or whatnot because of the time taken to make it.

*Since I wrote this I have been exploring more creative ways to construct my sandwich; however, I continue to lose the little twisty thing.

“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” ~ James A. Garfield

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