Saturday, March 12, 2011

This Post Brought To You By Smucker's

Recently I was looking for something in the dark recesses of my hard drive and inadvertently unearthed this little ditty.  If I am calculating the dates correctly, I wrote this sometime between April and August 2007 while I was working at Vans (the shoe company).  I think I had originally intended to post this on the blog my husband and I have together but I guess I never got around to it.  So here it is now for your reading enjoyment...

I recently challenged myself to find something edible I could store in my desk at work for an extended period of time to use as a back-up lunch option for the days I don’t have time to fill a brown paper bag with food for the day- which is most days.  I decided to go the peanut butter and jelly route, as this is the classic all American lunchtime food and I’m all about that.  The problem with jelly though is that it’s messy- at least it is when I open a jar of it.  No matter how hard I try, no matter how careful I am, I always manage to get it everywhere.  EVERYWHERE!  

One time, after I had spread some grape jelly on a piece of toast for breakfast I thought I had completed the task “unstickied.”  I washed my hands anyway, just in case, because even though sometimes you can’t see jelly residue, it’s still there waiting to drive you crazy.  It wasn’t until a few hours later when I went to put on my shoes and my left sock didn’t go on as smoothly as usual that I realized I should add a good foot washing to my post jelly spreading routine.  How was there jelly on my foot?!  Anyway, there is no easy way of figuring out how many nooks and crannies in and around my tiny kitchen have been soiled by jelly drippings.  I have come to think of it as my own personal field of jelly mines where one must proceed with extreme caution when walking barefoot.  Walking barefoot isn’t really a great idea in my kitchen anyway, as there are also several other unsavory varieties of things to step on- both living and non-living. 

So, you can see how preparing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at my desk at work could be a disaster.  I can just imagine my boss asking me, “Hey, Katie, have you seen the architect’s drawings for Grapevine Mills Mall?  I can’t seem to find them anywhere.”  I casually reply, “Oh, yeah, they’re right here stuck to my computer monitor along with thirteen Starbucks cups, a hamster, and my TPS report.”  As I pull the drawings off of my patented raspberry flavored filing system, they manage to collect everything in their path and I end up handing my boss thirty-seven paperclips, my stapler, and a collectible Keith Urban action figure.  Awkward!  

I needed a solution to my “sticky situation” if this lunchtime plan was going to work.  I was worried because this was exactly the kind of thing that could turn into one of my quests for something that doesn’t exist.  My search began at Target (as so many of my searches do).  I was trying to decide whether or not I should get the Target brand peanut butter or splurge and get Skippy when my eyes wandered just a few inches to the left and I saw it- JELLY IN A SQUEEZE BOTTLE!  

I've been a fan of squeezable food for years- Kraft Easy Cheese (although more of a spray than a squeeze) has always been a favorite and nothing beats frosting in a tube- but the concept of squeezable jelly, although logical, seemed wrong somehow.  I stood there staring at it- a regular practice of mine when shopping and trying to make a decision.  Sometimes this process takes two and a half minutes, sometimes forty.  (This is why it can take up to two hours for me to shop for three items - just in case any of you were wondering.)  Since I was on my lunch break and had to get back to work, I decided to just go for it and grabbed the strawberry flavored one.  How bad could it be?

My expectations were more than exceeded when I flipped open the top of the remarkably designed lid (after unscrewing it and peeling back the protective seal of course), turned the bottle and gave it a squeeze.  I couldn’t believe how easy the jelly squeezed out and onto the bread- without the mess and hassle of spreading it with a knife.  My problems were solved!  Order and cleanliness had been restored to the sandwich-making universe.  I have not yet done extensive enough research on this product to know how widely available it is in grocery stores or how many varieties are offered but I do know that this miracle of science has changed my life.  Thank you Smucker's!

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