Kirby: Celebrating the PB&J

“Good taste is the modesty of the mind.”

 

– Delphine de Girardin

Here’s a state celebration upon which most of us can agree.

Georgia Department of Agriculture and Commissioner Gary W. Black sends word he is “excited” to announce National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day is Wednesday. Several activities are planned, most of them in the southwest Georgia peanut region a certain presidential farmer made famous.

I will enjoy celebrating with them because I enjoy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They don’t cost much. They are simple to make. They taste good. And they have a great American story.

It started in the early 1900s when a man in Iowa developed a bread-slicing machine. Consumers, as they say, thought this the greatest thing.

They began to eat a lot of bread, but they needed something to put on it. Enter Welch’s, which had a new product it called Grapelade. This got a boost from World War I, where soldiers began spreading it on their bread. When the war ended, they kept eating.

And adding peanut butter? Well, that had been done with high society sandwiches for years, but when World War II began, those hard-fighting, sandwich-eating Americans began adding peanut butter to their Grapelade sandwiches…or adding Grapelade to their peanut butter creations.

Either way, when the war ended, they came marching home and began eating what we now recognize as that American favorite — the PB&J.

Why not have one Wednesday? It’s more American than apple pie.

SPEAKING OF EATING: Billy Cooper, of North Augusta, shares this Woman’s Poem:

He didn’t like the casserole, and he didn’t like my cake.

He said my biscuits were too hard, not like his mother used to make.

I didn’t perk the coffee right, he didn’t like the stew.

I didn’t mend his socks, the way his mother used to do.

I pondered for an answer, I was looking for a clue.

Then I turned around and smacked him, just like his mother used to do.

HISTORY CALLS: When Grant Olson, of Statham, Ga., saw my history video on local connections to the Battle of the Alamo, he correctly pointed out I had missed one.

My Kirby’s Augusta YouTube video notes William Travis, James Bonham and possibly Jim Bowie. But I left out Olson ancestor William E. Summers.

Summers was born in the Edgefield District in 1811 and went to Texas with his brother. He joined the Gonzales Ranging Mounted Volunteers and was with them when the old fort fell in March 1836.

Thank you, sir.

TODAY’S JOKE : A hospital posted a notice in the nurses’ station saying: “Remember, the first five minutes of a human being’s life are the most dangerous.”

Beneath it, a nurse had written: “The last five are pretty risky, too.”

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bill.kirby@augustachronicle.com.

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