Posts tagged ‘grownup’

Peanut Butter Fishes

There is nothing quite like the smell of toast on a chilly morning. I like it better than raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. It makes me think of peanut butter fishes.

Have you ever had peanut butter fishes?

My Grampap Daugherty made them best. I believe it was his own recipe. And, by recipe, I mean something he thought up on the spur of the moment one morning long, long ago.

In the ’60s, more so than now, meals were handled almost exclusively by the womenfolk and mealtime was a structured thing:  A time to behave, a time to eat your vegetables and clear your plate, a time to mind your manners, a time when it might be your turn to stop playing and come set the table.

But, sometimes, Grampap made breakfast.

It is an inexplicable, wonderful bit of magic how some memories can pop out clear and whole. My desk feels like a table cloth, and I am small and young. I can hear my brother and sister and I being rowdy and greedy and silly. I can hear my grandfather’s chuckle. I smell toast. Grampap is making us peanut butter fishes. And we are gobbling them up.


Make toast. Spread peanut butter on toast. Cut once horizontally and multiple times vertically. pbfish_horiz

We’d yell for more. And he’d make more. I think he would have made peanut butter fishes for us all day long.

It wasn’t that we loved toast. Or fish. And I seriously doubt that peanut butter tastes good on any sort of fish except the imaginary ones. The wonderful thing about peanut butter fishes was the novelty of having our grandfather do the cooking. It was a break from the rules, a diversion from the norm. It was silly and fun and joyful and a thing we can only fully understand in retrospect:  those glimpses of grown-ups acting like kids.

Being a grown-up isn’t easy. Sure you choose your own bed time and you can drive a car and you can kiss a boy without getting into great big trouble with the kindergarten teacher. But you have to pay taxes and buy groceries and clean an entire house. You don’t get three months off every summer. There is no Santa. The homework is a lot more complicated. Your allowance is, relatively, smaller. Your stresses are bigger. You have to cut grass and rake leaves and shovel snow. And you still have to get a bath and brush your teeth every day.

With all of that going on, some days, it can be hard to get out of bed. Some days, you wake up feeling tired and defeated and overwhelmed by grown-up life. And you just know it’s going to be a bad day.

That’s when I make peanut butter fishes for breakfast.

I can hear my Grampap chuckle. And I remember not to take it all too seriously. I smell toast. And I know everything is going to be okay.

October 7, 2014 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

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