My birthday was a couple of days ago, and as many others might agree, getting older can be less than ideal at times. I thought it would be best to surround myself with things that remind me of my childhood and keep me vibrant…my favorite teddy bears, a few Disney animated movies, and a pair of broken-in bunny slippers.
The one thing that kept me feeling younger than ever, though, was something that brings so many of us back to that classically comforting, look-forward-to-Mom’s-lunchbox-note place of juvenescence…
The ultimate fountain of youth comes not in a jar of wrinkle cream or a game of Candy Land, but in none other than the quintessential peanut butter sandwich.
Naturally, the focal point of my special day was food. I spent much of it in the kitchen preparing my greatly anticipated birthday feast, which included tuna melts (recipe to come) and jicama fries for the main dish. I could not, of course, have a birthday without a birthday cake, so I prepared my tried-and-true red bean cake along with some homemade almond milk ice cream (recipe also to come) for dessert.
I must say, it was all absolutely lovely, and as the years have gone by, my growing enthusiasm for food has accompanied a growing zest for life and an appreciation of the small things as if they were big enough to fill the universe. Embracing this attitude has kept me feeling younger and more happy-go-lucky with each passing year, and I have thusly become a kid at heart.
I decided to prepare a Bottomless Stomach-style peanut butter sandwich before dinner using reconstituted organic peanut powder in place of traditional nut butter. Having only about 70 calories per 3 tablespoon serving, this allowed for a substantial heap of it while leaving plenty of room for the gigantic feast to follow. It was all of the youth-evoking goodness of the classic peanut butter sammy, but with a high-volume twist.
I plan to continue feeling younger with each passing year instead of older. I plan to continue to get excited over the small things like the smell of opening a brand new bag of coconut flour, or making soap bubbles while doing the dishes, or opening the mailbox to discover the arrival of a new foodie magazine.
At the end of the day, I figure that as long as we can still find joy and enlivenment in the little things, whether it be pulling back the curtains to see the beautiful autumn leaves, finding a quarter on the ground, or slathering a mound of peanut butter on bread, then life is and always will be good.