Clinic Stories


My mother, may she live to be 120, is a nut. I have never understood how I turned out to be so normal. Her latest request is that my six brothers and sisters and I submit our favorite recipes and our funniest food stories. Not being a wizard in the kitchen this was no small task. I muddled through and as public service I am sharing my kitchen secrets with my clients.

Dr. Morris
March 12, 2012


Gourmet P&J

Submitted by Gourmike

At the rate of one or two per day most days for over 40 years, I have made over 20,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I chose P&Js because no other food source can approach its ease and economy while still being satisfying. Also, it is the only thing I know how to make.

The choice of ingredients is essential to a well made P&J sandwich.

Bread - Whole grain bread is best – it doesn't tear or soak up the jelly the way white bread does. For a ghetto edge, use the bread butts – hip yet understated. Raisin bread should be avoided. Raisins overpower the jelly flavor.

Peanut Butter – Peanut butter is one of the world's great inventions – tasty, nutritious, cheap and requires no refrigeration. It gives heft to a P&J and is the single ingredient that cannot be changed. Always use creamy PB. It spreads better, tends to be moister and has a superior mouth feel.

Jelly – Jelly is the make or break point of a P&J. The jelly fans your taste buds and leaves the lasting impression that makes you remember where you were when you first ate a particular jelly. Far and away, grape and strawberry are the most common jelly flavors. They are the work horses of the P&J world and go well anytime. For that special occasion such as a wedding reception, try Apricot Preserves or Orange Marmalade. When it comes to jelly, don't be afraid to experiment.

To make a P&J open two pieces of bread with the inside facing up. Always apply the peanut butter first on one piece of bread. Use bold but even strokes with a butter knife. The thickness should hide the texture of the bread but not be much beyond. Too much PB will require a drink between each bite. Spread the jelly on the second piece of bread again just beyond hiding the texture of the bread. Close the bread together and your sandwich is complete.

A P&J should be served at room temperature. The flavors blend best without warming or chilling. Allow the bread to thoroughly thaw before eating if taken from the freezer. The question of serving a P&B with red or white wine has never been resolved. My personal preference is red. On to 30,000.


Well Done, Not Done Well Submitted by Gourmike

When recovering in bed from back surgery, Debbie asked if I would make some pop corn for her. This was 1982, after indoor plumbing but before microwave popcorn. I had explicit instruction on how to pop corn. For the uninitiated, you first heat oil in the bottom of a pot. That's where I went wrong. Not being terrifically patient, I reasoned that the oil would heat faster if I covered the pot. I waited a few minutes with the burner on high, then removed the lid. A fireball erupted from the pot, and had I been thinking I would have quickly replaced the lid and smothered the fire. Instead I turned and put the flaming pot into the sink. A Boston fern hung above the sink and was heavily damaged by the flames. It later died. I doused the flames with water and the fire quickly went out but not before filling the house with smoke. “What's going on out there?” Debbie called. “Oh nothing, I just overheated the oil.” I got another pot, heated the oil uncovered and finished making pop corn. The pot was charred beyond redemption. No good deed goes unpunished, particularly when stupidity is involved.

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