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  • Writer's picturePhilip Drucker

Communique 11-11-2020 "Comfort Food Nirvana Heaven" Update From The Chemo Lounge

By Philip Drucker

“Comfort Food Nirvana Heaven”

While I’m waiting for my cocktail to arrive, the chemo bar flies in the next pod are having what I can only describe as a passionate, perhaps too passionate, conversation about creating the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It almost always makes me smile when the older folk discuss what would normally be considered trivial matters.

As a firm believer there is no substitute for experience I find myself drawn into this discussion between two aging, but still agile of mind if not body, gladiators of gluttony who I would guess have roughly 150 years or so of actual tried and true I’ve eaten them all and lived to tell stories, accumulated knowledge, perhaps even wisdom, or at least some practical insight into what admittedly can be a life changing event with the possibility of evolving into what could be described as a little slice of sliced bread with the crust intact and cut in a diagonal, jelly dripping over the edge personal Eden without the serpent of ultimate comfort food nirvana heaven.

Now that’s interesting. It appears the older you get, the more you will appreciate smooth over crunchy peanut butter. The early thrill of the sudden crunch gives way to an appreciation of the subtlety of taste and texture associated with smooth, rich, creamy and dreamy with an excellent bouquet to be sure.

What’s that I hear? JIF is not peanut butter? Strong assertion to be sure! But is there really any true controversy in the world of PB&J enthusiasts, it is the mighty Skippy brand that has survived the test of time and remained, the one with the heavyweight championship belt, and the one to beat?

Suddenly, the facade of civility has fallen to the wayside. The gloves of gentlemanly combat giving way to a bare-knuckles boxing match associated with brawling at the turn of the 19th Century. Place your bets on which jelly will reign supreme, grape or strawberry?

First, a few ground rules. If you buy PB&J in the same jar take off 10 points for being a complete pedestrian and you probably voted for Trump. The true sandwich chef would never use a prepackaged already measured amount of peanut butter to jelly ration no matter the flavor.

Next, if you are the type that uses anything above Smuckers grade, you have invariably missed the point. The best PB&J is humble and reflects the daily values of everyday Americans, going to work, to school and getting the job done one brown paper bag at a time.

The Battle of the Jellies is in reality a far more difficult choice than it may at first appear. You see, grape jelly is by far the more honest of the two. It doesn’t pretend to look, smell or taste like grapes. On the other hand, strawberry tries to approximate a real fruit experience, but falls well short of the mark.

Still, and for my money strawberry anything is pretty darn good, and I in particular guide you to Pop Tarts where strawberry with frosting is the gold standard, but in the final analysis, the two titans of tasty treats agree that grape is the “go to” with an occasional strawberry sandwich thrown in, possibly for that a special occasion being wholly proper and completely acceptable.

Bread? Wonder and drop the mic for in the realm of the PB&J senses there can truly be only one and Wonder Bread is after all, is the bread that builds strong bodies seven ways.

So that’s how I spent my morning. Here’s the doctor. I’ll be back in a moment.

Big news! All is well in Philville. My markers are all good to the degree my doctor told me I’m almost normal. I haven’t had anyone tell me that in years. Probably not true, but I know what he means and it certainly works for me. But the big news is we are going to schedule the PET scan.

You know, the scan where if everything is hunky dory morning glory I’m done with my treatments and my cancer is either in deep remission, or I can still elect to have surgery that if successful means I’m cancer free and…back to the land of the cured. He purred. Meow.

What do you think? Does this call for a celebratory PB&J with strawberry jelly? Hella yeah! With, as I now have learned from the experts goes best with red wine? Probably from a carton, like milk, I would think. One last thought before I go, do they still put pictures of missing children on the sides of milk cartons? I better go now before I lose the illusion of normalcy. I’d like to enjoy it for a little while and, God willing, for years to come. Meow. Oops.

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