One day during the summer, when the day was set to be hot and I found our summer bucket list sitting stagnant, I packed us up and headed to the beach. There were blankets, towels, two bookbags, our favorite water shoes, snacks, a sun hat for me — and, of course, lunch: a PB&J sandwich on whole wheat. It isn’t the most refreshing meal on a hot day, but it’s the easiest and the most gratifying for stomachs; we work up an appetite between ducked-under waves and a dozen of sandmen. While the occasional and surprising crunch of sand in the middle isn’t my personal favorite, it’s one of the many traditions I want my kids to remember about those hot summer days at the beach.
When I was pregnant with River, there were weeks when I only ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’m sure my friend Courtney can remember the days walking down Bedford Avenue in search of a deli that would oblige. And with Oak, I was obsessed with cold cuts (despite it being one of the pregnancy nos), with mayonnaise and cheddar cheese, until one day in my second trimester — I gagged it up. I couldn’t eat them anymore, and haven’t had a cold cut since.
Maybe it’s just an old wives’ tale, or maybe it’s just my luck, but River isn’t a huge fan of PB&J, though I loved it while pregnant with her, and she still eats it. And Oak won’t eat a cold sandwich to save his life (but River loves them). And so, it was a complete surprise to me when their grandmother got them to eat a sandwich they both loved. So much so that this sandwich has been in their lunches a few times last week, and today (already). It’s an almond butter and apricot jelly sandwich! Have you tried it? It’s part sweet, but also very savory. I think the apricot keeps it light and a bit refreshing, and the almond butter is kind of like having a piece of chocolate in the middle of the day, which isn’t too bad after a morning of learning. I’ve paired it with strawberries, grapes and some thinly slice cucumber sticks.
While I am no food expert, there is a ridiculous amount of joy that consumes me as I am making their lunch at night knowing that it takes half the time, but guarantees an empty lunchbox upon their return home. Of course, I am not getting rid of my warm leftover-dinner-for-lunch routine, as I think it makes me (and them) feel a bit full in heart and mind as we go through the week.
Any go-to kid sandwiches of your own?