PB & Jenny

A twist to a favorite American standard. My thoughts on new adventures, also with a twist.

Don’t forget, choosy moms choose (TO VOTE ON) Jif’s peanut butter sandwich contest. Bonus = PB&J art February 11, 2008

Just a reminder that today is the last day to vote on Jif’s most creative peanut butter sandwich contest.  I also want to share my discovery of peanut butter and jelly artworks. It turns out that playing with your food can be profitable.

Vik Muniz is an internationally acclaimed Brazilian avant-garde artist, who takes recognizable images from the news and art history, and recreates them in an astonishing variety of materials such as sugar, chocolate syrup, peanut butter and jelly.


 He created this Double Mona Lisa, inspired by a black-and-white version by Andy Warhol, out of peanut butter and jelly.  You can also watch an interesting interview with him below.  Smile and say “peanut butter!”

The second artist creates a silhouette of the Virgin Mary entirely from slices of bread slathered with peanut butter and jelly.  Sure, it’s no miracle, and unlike the toast with her image won’t sell on eBay for thousands of dollars, but it is definitely creative.


Beyond Jelly – a new peanut butter combo. Vote on Jif’s most creative peanut butter sandwich contest. February 8, 2008

Peanut butter is one of the quintessential American food staples, so much so that the average American supposedly consumes a 125 foot high stack of these sandwiches by the time they graduate high school.

I just found out that Jif is sponsoring a contest for the most creative peanut butter sandwich submitted by 6-12 year olds.  They’ve already narrowed down the list from hundreds of entries to the 10 finalists. Online voting is open to the public from Jan 14, 2008 – Feb 11, 2008.

“We created this contest to provide parents with an activity that helps foster creativity in their children. Five years and thousands of entries later, we are amazed and excited that children are still coming up with new recipes,” said Maribeth Badertscher (Director of Corporate Communications, The J.M. Smucker Company). “We wish all the Online Finalists the best of luck. Regardless of the outcome, every child’s recipe is a winner.”

I couldn’t wait to see what new combinations these kids created. Peanut butter on its own is too gluey, and needs another flavor to complement it as well as making it easier to eat. However, the king in Shel Silverstein’s poem below would disagree.

Peanut-Butter Sandwich by Shel Silverstein (1932-1999)

I’ll sing you a story of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing —
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.

His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.

His subjects all were silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.

He would not eat his sovereign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.

And then one day he took a bite
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.

His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
“My boy’s committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!”

The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!

The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn’t melt that peanut-butter sandwich.

With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil —
For twenty years of tears and toil —
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.

Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin’ chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.

Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy —
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwich.

A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak —
The king’s jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak —
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, “How about a peanut-butter sandwich?”

Be sure to check out this year’s finalists, as well as prior winners on the JIF site for inspired versions of the childhood classic.  Below are some of my favorites from various sources:

  • PB&J sushi.  Last year’s grand prize winner.  Consisting of peanut butter, strawberry cream cheese and fruit rolled in a crepe and served sushi style.  Pretzel rods function as chopsticks, and chocolate yogurt replaces soy sauce.  pbj_sushi.jpg
  • PB&J butterfly.  One of this year’s finalists.  Pancakes toped with peanut butter, fruit, cereal and cherry licorice.   pbj_butterfly.jpg
  • PB&J blossoms.  These cute sandwiches made with peanut butter and jelly (or cream cheese and jelly, or any other fillings) are perfect for parties, lunch boxes, or snacks.                                                      pbj_blossom.jpg
  • PB&J rocking rainbow.  Whole wheat pita spread with peanut butter and strawberry jam, and then topped with fresh fruit arranged like a rainbow. 


The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $25,000 scholarship fund and a JIF gift basket. Each of the four runners-up will also receive a $2,500 scholarship fund and a JIF gift basket. For these finalists, all the time they’ve spent eating the standard sandwich could be viewed as college prep. Don’t forget to vote here. 



Filed under: Art — Jenny @ 7:33 pm
Tags: , , , ,
     I’ve been wondering who won the art battle, and just found the results online.   
  • 1st place $1000 (52 votes) = Artist space #27
  • 2nd place $250 (49 votes) = Artist space #13
  • 3rd place gift bag (37 votes) = Artist space #11 

It was thisclose between 1st and 2nd place.  Which means it’s possible that if any of my 4 friends and I had voted, we would have changed the outcome.  See, your one little vote can make a difference! The power of ONE vote has also been reinforced in my mind by a couple current events: 

  1. Two metro Detroit tied elections in Nov 2007.  A coin toss ultimately decided the winner for the final seats on the Grosse Pointe City Council and the Mt. Clemens City Commission.   
  2. Catching those fabulous commercials from “ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History.”  Here’s just one example:     

So, shame on us for not casting our votes at the art battle.  I’d therefore like to support them further by sharing more pictures and video that I located of the event.    

Check out this video from “Motor City Blogspot”, and another slideshow from “Picture This Detroit.”  I’ll give you the scoop on some of the photos, and wish I could point out who came in 3rd, but I have no idea beyond the space number.  

  • Slides 19, 49 and 50 = 1st place winner
  • Slides 3, 45, 46, 47, 106, 108 and 119 = 2nd place winner
    • I can’t help but think while looking at slide #45 that the two Thor artists decided to create a “mash-up” of themselves.  Let’s take my flowing golden locks, add in your full beard and mustache (but change them to blond), tweak both our hats, and infuse Thor with our party spirit.
  • Slide 57 = The cosmonaut is free . . . lost in space
    • Here you can see the woman prior to being duct-taped and plastered to the exhibit, as well as a nice frontal view of the skirt wearing male artist.
  • Slide 65 = Sweatshop for the PB&J assembly
    • Again, why did they need to wear masks while making them?  Was this supposed to be symbolic of the Jonestown grape kool-aid massacre?  There were a few strawberry PB&Js, but mainly grape.  They’re both nostalgic, kid friendly, very American food staples.  Was part of the statement that our food might not be what it appears, and can in fact be dangerous?  Am I reaching, or being very astute and deep?
  • Slide 97 = Cool chandelier
    • Made out of recycled pop bottles, including their twist-off tops, and the plastic rings that hold 6 packs together.  Could this be the 3rd place winner?  It was located very close to Thor.
  • Slide 97 and 98 = The DJ getting his area set up 

I hear that they’re planning a 2009 Art Battle, so mark your calendars.       


ART BATTLE January 13, 2008

Filed under: Art — Jenny @ 2:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

I have visited online art battles before, but just got back from my first evening out at a LIVE art battle at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit. If you’re wondering what this is, below is a description from the event organizer:

“Over 30 visual artists of all genres (Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Fashion and Graphic Design, and more) will compete for cash prizes in a live performance. Artists are given 3 hours to create an original piece of art in front of an audience. The audience will judge as they walk around and interact with the performing artists. At the end of the 3 hours voting cards will be collected and tallied.

The winners will then be announced ($1,000 for first place, $250 for second, and a gift bag for 3rd). Artists from Cranbrook, College for Creative Studies, Wayne State, Kendall, and all around the Metro-Detroit area will be participating. There will be live music, food, and alcohol. ”

In reality, the event was essentially an art rave party. A basically abandoned warehouse was the setting for hordes of alternative students to congregate and flirt, and who got to listen to throbbing techno music while getting a contact buzz high from the paint, glue, and pot fumes. My friends and I joked that our breast-feeding friend should probably avoid feeding her daughter when she got home.

So, definitely an interesting event to kick off my blog. I got especially excited about this being my first post when some of the live art was random placements of PB&J sandwiches throughout the space. You can see some examples in my slide show, but they were everywhere.

While I love art, I have a hard time appreciating contemporary and avant garde art. Usually I feel that the exhibits would be perfect for a Saturday Night Live skit. Or a candid camera show, where behind the scenes we’re laughing at the people who took the art so seriously (those that infuse the art with symbolism and meaning), when in fact it was done by an elephant with a paintbrush.

Large museum exhibitions help give credibility to such art. I know that art and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but I can’t help but feel that such shows are a variation of buying into the Emperor’s New Clothes mentality.

For example, last year at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) I saw an exhibit by Richard Tuttle. I just couldn’t understand the enthusiasm over his work. I found at least some others have agreed with me since the curator of The Whitney in NY was fired after booking a special exhibition of his work in the 70s. However, since then, at least one piece of his work has sold for an exorbitant sum. He sold Letters (the 26 series) for over $1Million at Sotheby’s auction in 2002.

My friend Mellanee mentioned that the impressionist artists weren’t understood and appreciated in their time. Am I just behind the curve in appreciating modern art?

Here are some photos from the event. Be sure to open up the slide show to see my comments on the pictures.