When I was young boy, growing up in a double-wide trailer in the ass end of the Mojave Desert, the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich was king. Not only was this revered lunchtime staple one of the cheapest ways to sustain the family of four that you no longer wanted, it was also one of the most delicious. The alabaster, drywall-like softness of the Wonder Bread; the rich, decadent and oddly metallic aftertaste of the government peanut butter; the pancreas-hemorrhaging, purportedly fruit-based jelly that left sticky purple ring around my mouth. Many a halcyon afternoon was spent, nestled amongst the verdant brown fields of abandoned furniture and ragweed, blissfully choking down the day’s only meal and gazing longingly at the one of the many sun-worn pages of old Hustler magazines. I had wondered then, often, what it might be like one day were I to grow up, and—barring the intervention of one of my many genetic predispositions to mental illness or methamphetamine addiction—make a delicious cocktail out of prison food. Little did I know that many years later, a flaxen-haired dryad named Sandra Lee (whom had been squirted out of a similarly cancerous section of our great nation’s finest trailer parks) would make that dream a reality.
For the uninitiated, Sandra Lee is a television chef on the Food Network, and the host of “Semi-Homemade Cooking,” a panopticon of willful culinary ignorance and taco seasoning where Sandra actively encourages people who hate their families to poison them with cheap, poorly made facsimiles of real food. She achieves this end by taking one or two fresh ingredients (usually chicken or the mutilated remains of a tomato), and frankenfucking them with a devastating salvo of pre-chopped mushrooms, pumpkin spice, and vanilla extract. Actually, that’s only about two-thirds of the show—the other third is spent on ‘Cocktail Time’, where Sandra shares her ‘Semi-Homemade’ spin on what really is just a tall glass of vodka. Then, after she’s good and lubricated, she catapults the audience into a multi-dimensional labyrinth of craft-store atrocities she labels a ‘Tablescape,’ where, blind drunk and armed only with a polycarbonate martini glass, the audience must navigate an agonizing maze of pipe cleaners and gilded elbow macaroni before being allowed to return to something resembling our current shared reality. Needless to say, it’s one of our favorite shows.
We thought we would honor the oft-overlooked genius of Sandra Lee by reopening one of her best gateways to unimaginable existential horror (and a bucolic white-trash childhood): The Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini. What follows is not a recipe, but a rough outline of how one might approach this working. We have also included alternate ingredients, should scarcity and expense prevent you from obtaining some of the more exotic ingredients.
Find a quiet, dimly lit space where you will not be disturbed. Prepare the sacrificial Tablescape with acrylic-blend lace covering. Adorn the center with an abnormally large vase filled with marbles and the pastel fabric flowers of your choosing. Note: fabric flowers are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL; fresh flowers are alive, and therefore, an affront to the Gods of the Dead whom you will be invoking. Next, place an offering of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on a single-ply paper plate. Light nine small white candles, and with your eyes closed, recite the following verse in low, menacing tones:
“Just hold on loosely,
but don’t let go.
If you cling too tightly,
you’re gonna lose control.”
You are now ready to begin the invocation of the PB&J Martini.
- One of Raspberry Flavored Vodka
Vodka with a melted Red Otter Pop (Poncho Punch) in it
Red Bull with a melted Red Otter Pop (Poncho Punch) in it
- One Of Hazelnut-Flavored Liqueur (Frangelico)
Half an Abba Zabba with vodka in it
Red Bull with an Abba Zabba in it
- One Of Concord Grape Juice
Vodka with Robitussin in it
Combine the ingredients in a frosted chalice. Slowly, add ice while stirring with your pinky, intoning the secret ritual names of all three of the Van Sant brothers. When ingredients have reached the proper viscosity, exsanguinate the contents of the glass into the proper receptacle. Garnish with self-hatred.
When the invocation is completed and all present have a cocktail, change into pink velour track suit and retire to the veranda to bitch about your life of privilege. Note: the ‘veranda’ is a mental space, not just a physical one; if you don’t actually possess a veranda, feel free to create one of your own out of couch cushions or other suitable barriers to psychic disruptions.
It is finished.