Peanut Butter and Fluff

Ah, the white puffiness that brings back the halcyon days of running barefoot through the grass, flying kites in the spring breeze and calling up friends and seeing if they can come over and play. Wait… Those weren’t the halcyon days, it was last Thursday.

Either way, this stuff always makes the day a little bit better and puts a gooey smile on my face. For some of you, this might be a strange and unknown substance, and since I’ve heard tell that might be a regional thing, please allow me to introduce you… to Fluff.

Fluff is what happens to marshmallows when they spend too much time tanning at the beach. It is, in essence, frothy marshmallow in a jar. It is sticky, it is sugary and can destroy a piece of Wonder Bread if improperly spread, reducing the mangled slice into a rolled up, shredded mess… wrapped lovingly around the knife.

As a kid, I remember the frustration of being so close to having my coveted peanut butter and Fluff sandwich yet watching the entire assembly operation turn into balls of bread and white goo stuck to every surface in the kitchen. It rarely ended well.

This is where the secret superpowers of MOM came in. Moms can make a PB&F sandwich with no difficulties what so ever. I think it has something to do with secret meetings that the attend at night when they think you’re asleep. Your mom went to, right? That wasn’t just mine? You know… with the hoods and chanting. No? Hmm.

Whatever enabled her to make the sandwiches, I didn’t care. All I knew was that it was like getting lunch and dessert all at once. Usually, with chips! How can a kid have an issue with that?

These days, we don’t stock Wonder Bread in the pantry. No real loss, in my book. My secret to spreading the ooey-gooey mess that I love is “wheat bread”. It holds up better to the Fluff and detracts form the nutrition free experience not one bit. The sandwich pictured above is my secret “Second Breakfast” that will help me make it through the ten o’clock hour today and hold my healthy lunch off until one-ish. I work like a dog all morning, so I use that to justify the sugar. “What ever helps you sleep”, right?

If it were my lunch though… I think I’d be tempted to hunt down some Twinkies for after!

Mmmm… Twinkies.

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“Just” desserts or “just desserts”?

So there I was, driving by the sea shore, praying that Short Stack would finally drift off in the back seat and succumb to the nap he needed so badly. It had been about 25 minutes now and he was still pointing out areas of interest as we passed them. “Dats a tree. It grows up. Dat… dat’s a duck. He’s sitting in da water. Dose are are dogs. Goes ‘voof voof.'”, Etc, etc, ad nauseam. As I drove along and the running commentary from the baby seat get less frequent, I knew that victory would be mine sooner or later. I still had 3/4 of a tank of gas at my disposal and the heat cranked in the car. Now all I needed to do was not nod off, my self.

Things were finally looking good for nap time and I was scouting a place to pull off and get out my book. Then I saw it. Once again, I was glad that I don’t travel with out a digital camera. I drove on for a bit longer and waited to find out if Short Stack was really out. As soon as his hat was slumped down over his eyes and the breathing got regular, I doubled back to check and see if what I though I saw was really true. It was. This was what it looked like as I drove by…

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I stepped out of the car to make a closer inspection. It was true. A marshmallow and sugar confection tree of pain.

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Monsters! Who could have done this?! Don’t they know the accepted form of Peep capital punishment is to subject them to confinement in the dark, back of a cupboard until they turn to a substance that can only be described as the bastard child of packing peanuts and old chewing gum?

This gruesome reminder of Easter makes me feel a bit guilty about my total lack of Peep eating this year. When I was a kid, they were a possession to be prized. They only came out once a year and they were a much sought after sugar high in a box. They came built with the wonderful excuse that if they weren’t all devoured in a single day, then they would be inedible the next morning. I know, I know. There are those of you out there who like ’em stale. It’s your preference that they should be initially hard as bricks and then, after an hour or so of working on it, as chewy as eating a garden hose… and I say unto you, “Weirdoes”.

Now Peeps are a year ’round affair. They are available for every possible holiday in every possible color. For me, that kind of ruins it. When it’s not something to look forward to, almost forgotten from year to year, then the yellow sugar just doesn’t glimmer as seductively as it once did. I passed them by, these gems of my past because I know that soon there will be more Peeps in many different forms and colors. All in an effort to match what ever holiday comes next. It’s just not the same.

The Bunny has made his deliveries for this year, but the Peeps remain. Some in half eaten baskets of Easter grass, some slowly shriveling up and turning to cement in the back of drawers while others do their time stoically and prominently, impaled on the lower branches of a tree by the ocean, ignored by even the sea gulls, who as you may or may not know, will eat just about anything. I guess when it comes to Peeps, they prefer them fresh as well, thus earning them some points in my book. Thank goodness that I didn’t need to explain this abomination to my two year old son. Action Girl liked the photos, though.

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