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Thursday, April 19, 2012

P^2 & J (by Cameron Karl Eyre)

Can I get an Amen? 
Peanut Butter and Jam (yes, "J" is for jam, NOT jelly. Jam is simply better) Sandwiches: How to make a delicious one.

When making a delicious PB²&J sandwich, bread is obviously an essential part of the sandwich.


Choosing your bread... 
Choose quality. Don't ever settle for some dried out, expired, crumby piece of Wonder Bread™. I know thats probably something one of my roommates would do, but its only cause they are nieve and poor. That is the difference between a being discriminating PB&J sandwich conesueir, and being a total prick. If you can find something baked within the last 24-48 hours, I recommend using that. I also advise against using white bread (unless of course it was baked in the last 24-48 hours.. freshness always takes priority.) Multi-grain and wheat breads and really tie all the flavors of peanut and butter and jam together quite nicely.


Once you have selected your bread (no end pieces please), Its time to apply the PB (peanut butter). Now this is what really can make or break your sandwich. 


Choosing your PB... 
First, you need to choose a brand of PB. Don't go generic. You'll regret it l8r if you do. The two brands I recommend is Skippy™ and JIF™ (although I'm a Skippy™ man myself.) Get creamy. Crunchy isn't even and option. Crunchy will kill your sandwich and dump it off the Brooklyn Bridge. Your sandwich will be "sleeping with the fishes" as they say. The PB MUST be evenly applied to one side of both slices of bread in a 2:1 ratio. This is what sets it apart as a PB²&J sandwich, as compared to a regular old PB&J. 


On the initial slice, you need to apply two thirds (2/3) the amount of total PB you want on the finished product. This can be tricky just trying to eye-ball and gage the amount of PB to put on it, unless you are a well practiced PB&J sandwich architect. If you mess up and put too much, thats okay, throw it away and start over. Making a PB&J is about making mistakes (and sandwiches) and learning from them. 


Once you've spread the PB on the initial slice, it is now time to commence the spreading of PB on slice number 2. You may be asking yourself why you would need to spread PB on both of the inner sides of your bread. And here is the simple answer. If you let your jam touch your bread, its gonna get soggy, and the only thing worst than a soggy sandwich is a soggy sandwich with dog poop in it. Spread the PB thin. Use approximately half as much PB as you did on the first slice, creating that glorious 2:1 ratio as described earlier.


Jammer time! (like Hammer time!, except its time to spread the jam, not listen to MC Hammer, although in theory, you could do both at the same time... something to contemplate while setting a constructive atmosphere for your PB²&J sandwich creating experience.)


Choosing the RIGHT jam...
I know, I know.. There are a lot of choices to make when making a PB²&J sandwich, but when you are creating a work of art... Something you can really be proud of... There is NO cutting corners. The absolute best jams are ALWAYS home made. If you can get your hands on a jar of home made jam, regardless of flavor, you will enjoy your sandwich ten times more because of that little touch of home infused with your sandwich. But if your mom won't share a jar of jam with you, and making your own sounds like a lot of work... there is an alternative. 


Yep, you guessed it, store bought jam. Smuckers™ is okay and relatively cheap, but its definitely not home made. I recommend raspberry. It has a little bit of a zing to it, which can really add a lot to the experience. Strawberry is also highly recommended if you have a little bit of a sweet tooth like me. Don't get grape jam and DO NOT under ANY circumstances get anything from Smuckers™ "Goober" line (it has both the jam and the PB in the same jar, what an awful idea) or the any of the squeezable jams. Once you have selected your jam, spread that ish all up in here!!! (I like to spread it on slice two to make slices one and two a little bit closer in weight, just my personal preference.)


Putting your sandwich together...
Put the slice of bread with out jam on top of the slice with jam.


Now you have a work of art. A PB²&J sandwich. It's beautiful... and delicious.
Bon Appetite my friends!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Traveling in Canada

Can I get an Amen? 
Traveling to another country is always an adventure. There are new cultures, customs and experiences that are different from your own, and that can be very exciting.  It can also be an eye opening experience. It may come as a surprise, as it did to me, that some of these backward countries have extremely low standards for how they treat American guests of honor into their humble country, at least, much lower than I had expected.

I expected to be greeted with a kind smile, a warm hello, and a pair of fluffy white slippers and the terry robe to match. What did I get instead? The customs agent humorlessly telling me that they didn’t supply the pens with which to fill out the customs forms, and if I didn’t find a pen, I would be stuck there in the terminal; a fate worse then hell itself. Once I found a pen (given to me by a very nice American named Warren), I was able to get it filled out and turned in. Again, without a smile, the border guard, I guess, asked me exactly what I was doing Canada, then didn't wait for my answer before stamping my passport and sending me on my way. You know what, Mr. Guard? It's nice when people actually listen and care how you are, so I take back my "have a nice day."

As an American, I often feel the need to impart my infinite wisdom onto the poor citizens of whatever community I visit. This week, I am visiting Toronto, Canada. I feel it is my civic duty to make sure that they stop serving their Freedom Fries without fry sauce (a delicious mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise) or that they pronounce words like “about” and “sorry” the right way. It just feels off, here, like the bizarro world. Gas here is $1.40, which I thought was amazing, until I found out that it was for a litre. And seeing a speed limit of 60 in a school zone was entertaining, but again, kilometers. Who are these pretentious Canucks trying to fool, anyhow? I half expected my driver to suddenly merge onto the left side of the road!

I still can’t shake the feeling that I traded my hard earned American dollars for monopoly money at the Currency Exchange station. And not even the number of money I gave them! I coughed up a hundred bucks, and what do I get handed back? I fist full of colorful dollars with some old lady on them, all of which look like someone had printed them out at home. I was a little put off by the colors, and then I counted it. 79 bucks?! I handed you $100! You trying to screw me?! One time, a few years ago, I got handed a stack of counterfeit $50 bills, and at least those bills looked legit. These weren’t even freaking green!

After I calmed down, and realized that these Canadians were not to be reasoned with (after all, it is only $21, nothing to lose my head about), I decided to head to dinner. When the bill came, I could not believe they expected me to pay so much for a steak, especially one without my favorite sauce! These Canadians, where the hell do they get off???

Canadians, at their core, are nothing more than a simple people trying to make it in this crazy world. It may take some squinting, but I can look past the blatant disregard for my personal pleasure while traveling in their primeval existence they call a country. Instead, I choose to see a wonderful land of snow and ice, a place where, despite not knowing the value of a dollar, they sure can make the hell out of a steak.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Guest Writer: Cameron Eyre

Can I get an Amen? 
Stage Fright
By Cameron Eyre
For any of you who actually know me live, you may think I am referring to the super amazing, very cool, major music award winning rock n' roll band, Vol Suetra, I was part of. You're probably thinking "Oh, He looked so cool up there, being all cool. He never looked nervous once! He's sssoooooo HAWT!!!", and although you are right about all of those things, there is one little thing that does make me nervous... and that is peeing. Yep, I know it may sound odd to some of you, but for others this hits VERY close to home. It happens to me everytime. I'll be in a public place such as a mall (wouldn't be caught dead there), or on UVU campus (GO WOLVERINES!! :) ), or a five star restaurant... and I like many people can relate, occasionally I will have to go pee. But as soon as I go in the bathroom, if someone else is there, I get what is sometimes referred to as "stage fright." I won't be able to focus on the issue at hand.. ME PEEING!!! So I'll end up standing there with my pants down at my ankles waiting for the guy next to me scram, and Im sure the whole time he's thinking "this guy has been here longer than I have, but I dont hear his pee splashing anywhere. Is he just creepin' and hanging out with his pants at his ankles?" And that makes me all self concious to think that he is thinking Im a weirdo. But the worst is if you get two "shy guys" (its almost like a secret club! :) we should have secret handshakes! Wouldn't that be sssooooo cool!) and then it kinda becomes a waiting game. Who will wait the longest to own the bathroom? It's rarely ever me, cause standing there in utter silence with my pants down, staring at a wall with someone I dont know only 12 inches away from me is super awkward. Today I had to hit THREE different bathrooms before I could find one where I could have some pee-ce and quiet (see what I did there.. like peace and quiet... but its PEE-ce and quiet.) It was utter hell. Its a weird phenomona, but it seems to happen every single time. Damn me and my shy urethra!


Go visit him at cameronkarleyre.blogspot.com, tell him I sent you!!!