My fellow and I just got back from a lovely trip back East to visit his family. We had a wonderful time relaxing in the balmy heat where my legs, elbows and wrists served as yummy appetizers for mosquitos. Seriously though, we had a wonderful time, mosquito bites and all, with my new big Italian American family.

Several of our days were spent at my in-laws beach club, Coveleigh in Rye, NY. This is a very East coast phenomenon. Out West we don’t have beach clubs, we just go to the beach.

I love the idea of the beach club even though it is somewhat of a luxury that cannot be afforded by all, but it is beautiful to see generations of families who have been meeting up every summer their entire lives. I laughed every time an older person walked up to my husband and said in a thick NY accent, “Bobby, it is so good to see youuuu.” At the club, unless you are in your 70’s, you are not, Johh, Bob or Mike.” You are Johnny, Bobby or Mikey”. You are still one of the kids even if you have kids of your own.

BUT, This post isn’t about what a beautiful place Coveleigh Beach Club is or how cool and crazy it is to be a part of such a big Italian American family and their food traditions, although that sounds good and you should probably look out for that one in the near future.


This post is about peanut butter and jelly. One of our afternoons at Coveleigh, I was feeling the hunger and I was really craving a PB&J on white bread because I had spied the nieces and nephew’s savoring them on previous visits. I ordered the PB&J and I begged my husband to order the grilled cheese made with American cheese on white bread so I could taste it.

The second my new family saw what their foodie sister-in-law was eating. They asked, “Are you really eating PB&J?” and I smiled really wide and said, “yes”. I think someone even said, “wow, I’m kind of disappointed… a foodie eating PB & J!”


I don’t know about you, but my food memories did not start with Oysters and Foie Gras, although some people’s did. I grew up a kid from Colombia in the US eating pigs feet with beans, so the funny part is that peanut butter & jelly and grilled cheese were considered exotic food in my household. My mother didn’t make peanut butter and jelly, so to me it was the delicacy that I could only enjoy at at my American friend’s houses. There was just something about someone’s mom lovingly putting together super soft white bread, creamy peanut butter and gloppy grape jelly, all for me, well, not really, but I enjoyed it like it was just for me. The other items that I enjoyed as delicacies while on many overnight visits to my gringo friend’s homes were Orio Cookies, Cheese-Its, fish sticks, Wheat thins, Triscuits, Hormel Chili, Salsbury Steak TV dinners, grape juice, fruit punch and thanks to Mrs. Desimone, Spaghetti and meatballs. I truly lived to savor these items and often resorted to manipulative efforts to be invited back to people’s homes like being funny, flattering the parents or using the “I don’t have a dad” card. I might have even used the dead dad card before it was a fact. Ok, I wasn’t that macabre.


Today, I write a food blog, make videos about food and have dined at more farm-to-table restaurants than I can keep track of. I consider myself a foodie, but pride myself on not being a food snob. I am not going to tell someone else what it means to be a foodie. It is very personal. If you pride yourself on eating only sustainable corn or eating only corn dogs, well, that is the foodie that you are. I love most food and eat pretty conscientiously, but that PB & J was one the most satisfying and delightful food experiences I have had in a long time. I may even put mini PB&J’s on my next party menu. I guarantee I am not alone.


The origins of PB&J

Peanut Butter and Jelly Saves Baseball

Grilled PB&J recipe

Tyler Florence’s Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Panini

Peanut Butter and Jelly in a Can

Peanut Butter and Jelly Foie Gras Sandwich

By |2018-10-03T10:18:10-04:00July 11th, 2012|


  1. Camille Paradise July 18, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Wow, you really did like that Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich at Coveleigh. The executive chef Ron will be so pleased and inspired. Kidding aside, you did like it, we loved our time with youuuu and BobBY and hope we have many more summertimes together. Love Camille

  2. The King July 24, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    I am 36 years old and a corporate professional. I still pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my lunch at least once every few weeks. My love for PB&J has never strayed or wavered; although I have forgone the tradition of packing it in a metal lunchbox with the likes of Jem & the Holograms or the Snorks on the outside!

  3. Laureen July 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    On any given afternoon, my husband Bill can be found in the kitchen with a spreader, white bread, creamy peanut butter (never chunky!), and grape jelly (never jam). It’s one of his favorite lunches.

    On that note, does anyone remember PB@J on saltine crackers as a snack?

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