I’m not much into the whole “sinning” thing. Oh, I’ve done my share of it according to some authorities. I try not to, but the day my mother gave me my first fluffernutter sandwich I knew it had to be wrong.
So, what is a fluffernutter sandwich?
One day, out of the clear blue sky, my mother handed my siblings and I each a sandwich. Two pieces of Roman Meal Bread, because it was” better for you than white bread,” bookending smears of peanut butter and marshmallow creme and cut on an angle from corner to corner. That’s how you cut a sandwich, corner to corner.
“What’s this?” I said. My tummy tickled a little with fear and anticipation. My brother and sister just stood there with their mouths open. We all wondered if we should eat it, or if we were suddenly pigs being fattened up for the slaughter.
You have to know her to understand…
We’re talking about my mother here. The woman who wouldn’t allow us to eat cold cereal in the morning or ever. “That’s stuff’s nothing but sugar!” she said. She’s the woman who cooked us a hot breakfast everyday before school, packed our lunches, and had dinner on the table at the same time every night. My mother, who dumped every bit of sugar, flour, cocoa powder, Snackin’ Cake cake mix, Jello powder, and what was left of the chocolate chips in a huge pile in the middle of the kitchen table and told us to, “Eat that!” She was mad because we’d surreptitiously eaten most of the chocolate chips before she’d gotten a chance to make the cookies.
I have to admit, I was the one who ate the chocolate chips and many boxes of dry Jello mix. I’m not sure what my brother and sister ate, if anything. I hope when they read this, they’ll forgive me. She never let us have snacks, except fruit and stuff, though. What’s a kid supposed to do?
Now, you know.
With this background, you can imagine what we were thinking when she handed us a sandwich made out of peanut butter and marshmallow creme. Marshmallow creme? Did she notice I’d already snuck a few bites out of the jar and she was now going to poison us with it? We were skeptical.
“What do you think it is?” she said. “It’s a sandwich. Peanut butter and marshmallow. Try it!”
Now, my brother would eat anything. As long as “anything” didn’t touch anything else on his plate. Even though, he used to make these massive sandwiches with everything he could find in the refrigerator. Not something I ever understood. If something touched something else on his plate, he’d freak out. Random food piled in a sandwich? No problem. He’d eat the heck out of it. Myself, I was a very picky eater, but if it had sugar in it, I was game. My sister used to get up in the night and eat butter.
Calculating that the odds of my mother poisoning us were very low, even if some of the marshmallow creme had gone missing before she gave it to us, we each took a bite. Oh, my glorious heaven. The mixture of salty peanut butter and sweet, gooey marshmallow creme held together with soft, store-bought sandwich bread was something I was completely unprepared for.
“You like it?” Mom said.
I tried to say, “Oh, my gawd!” but my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth. So, I had to communicate with my eyes and hand signals. My brother had adenoids and had trouble breathing through his nose, but still the look on his face said all there was to say. He was overjoyed. Luckily, he didn’t pass out with his mouth glued shut like that. My sister looked quite rapturous. I wasn’t sure if it was wrong to be eating something so obviously sinful, but I ate it, anyway, and I’ve eaten many since.
National Fluffernutter Sandwich Day
Now, my mother never called this sandwich a “fluffernutter sandwich.” I never knew there was a name for it, beyond a “peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich.” This is what I’ve called it all my life. When I introduced my kids to them, (hopefully, they didn’t think I was trying to poison them), that’s what I called it. Same when I gave them to my grandkids. It wasn’t until recently I learned this sandwich has a special name, a New England history, and even a special day. You see, tomorrow, October 8, is National Fluffernutter Sandwich Day.
Are you kidding me? Well, it’s not so shocking. I mean, it’s an exceptional sandwich, that evokes very special memories. It’s best eaten with a glass of milk to avoid breathing problems due to adenoids and to better be able to communicate with your dining partners while consuming it. (It’s actually not much stickier than a PB&J.)
The recipe is pretty straightforward, though I’ve altered it from my mom’s Roman Meal Bread version to my own white bread version. It’s even more decadent that way. Of course, you can use whatever bread you like. It’s very adaptable like that. If you really want to go all out, add a pile of plain potato chips on the side. It’s pure salty/sweet nirvana and the crunchy chips add a nice textural contrast to the creamy bread, peanut butter, and marshmallow trinity. (And, you thought trinities only existed in religion and vegetables.)
Toast your bread for another textural contrast or make a grilled fluffernutter sandwich. The butter on the grilled bread just adds another layer of decadence. You can even add sliced bananas to the sandwich. It tastes delicious and adds some vitamins. I mean, if you like to justify your sinful eating with something that might be good for you. Peanut butter’s pretty good for you, too, they say. So, don’t feel bad! Just eat it and enjoy! Happy Fluffernutter Sandwich Day!
Do you have memories of a fluffernutter sandwich as a kid?
Another great childhood sandwich memory for me was peanut butter and prickly pear jelly sandwiches. OMG…