1. a lump of peanut butter the size of a 2-year-old's fist.
2. a corresponding lump of jelly (strawberry and good old grape are my favorite, but to each his own) the size of a two-year-old's other fist.
3. two slices of wheat bread (The mistake of combining peanut better and white bread in one sandwich will create a sticky-mouth disaster situation of monumental proportions, so take my advice on this one.)
4. two paper plates, one to mix on and the other to serve on.
5. a butter knife or large spoon.
Here's what you do: (And this is an intensely scientific process, so please don't try and mess around with the order of the steps, or an unpleasant chemical reaction occurs and you end up with a marmalade and molasses sandwich; nobody wants that.)
1. Scoop the properly-sized lump of peanut butter onto the mixing plate.
2. Wipe spoon/knife.
3. Scoop the properly-sized lump of jelly on top of the peanut butter on the mixing plate. (Tip: if you use the fancy jelly in the squeeze bottle, you don't have to wipe the spoon/knife!)
4. (This is the most important bit; if you don't mix correctly, you may end up with a mediocre PB&J, so take your time.) Mix peanut butter and jelly together until the resulting compound is that strange half-purple, half-brown color that would be frightening if it occurred in the natural world anywhere else. Make sure that the two ingredients are no longer distinguishable from one another; the success of your PB&J depends on this.
5. Scoop some the mixture onto one slice of bread. Repeat and smear until the bread is completely and evenly covered with the gooey yumminess. Top with the other slice of bread and serve on second paper plate. If you want to get fancy, add some green apple wedges, which make a tart and lovely complement.
Now YOU can make the best PB&J on earth, thanks to my mother.
Thank you, mother.