As a college student, I often feel like I live in a bubble, slightly disconnected from the real world. Many of my recent conversations with ’14s (that’s the recent graduating class, for those of you non-Dartmouth, bad-at-context-clues readers) have involved me really aggressively asking what it’s like to be a real, adult human being. How does one go about paying taxes? Or setting up cable? Do I have to get my own Netflix or can I still hijack my friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s step-granduncle’s account?


Photo by Tarika Narain

It’s times like these that I begin to reminisce about the glory days. You may think you peaked in high school or college, but for me, nothing could ever beat elementary school. I rocked head-to-toe Limited Too like I was getting sponsored; I ran the show during recess; I won the spelling bee three years in a row (still the only thing under the “awards” section of my résumé.)


Photo by Tarika Narain

Back then, we were still so cute that store clerks would ply us with free cookies just for existing. Now, I’m pretty sure they take one look at me and charge me double. After that, middle school and puberty happened, but we won’t talk about that. Even looking at photos from that time in my life can set off some serious PTSD reactions (how can one unfortunate human girl look so much like an elbow with bangs?!)


Photo by Tarika Narain

Nothing reminds me of those good ol’ days like the classic PB&J sandwich. People get so unnecessarily furious at me when I tell them I wasn’t a fan of peanut butter until recently, but even so, the scent of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my friends’ Britney Spears-themed lunch boxes permeates my memories of childhood. Then the nut allergy was discovered, coincidentally around the start of middle school (and Britney’s spiral into insanity), and that all ended too.


Photo by Tarika Narain

Thanks to my newfound appreciation of peanut butter (mostly due to it being one of the few foods readily available to me in college), I can now take the edge off my nostalgia (and my sandwich, ’cause it was still acceptable to force your mom to cut the crusts off back then) with a paninified, cinnamon-swirl twist on our classic childhood lunch. Bite into this hot, grilled PB&J, and for an instant, you’ll rule the playground once again.


Photo by Tarika Narain


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4-5 minutes
Total Time: Around 10 minutes

Servings: 1 (I missed the class in kindergarten where we learned about sharing.)


Photo by Tarika Narain


2 slices cinnamon raisin swirl bread
2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon red raspberry preserves


Photo by Tarika Narain


1. Preheat your panini press to medium heat.

2. Cut the crusts evenly off your two slices of bread. Being healthy was irrelevant back then, since children basically just run on enthusiasm and chocolate milk.

3. Spread the peanut butter evenly on one slice of bread, and the raspberry preserves on the other.


Photo by Tarika Narain

4. Assemble your sandwich and pop it into the panini maker for 4-5 minutes.

5.  Relive the days of discount movie tickets, sports teams where everybody wins a trophy for “participation” and eating off the kid’s menu via your taste buds.


Photo by Tarika Narain

Hungry for more? Check out last week’s panini, the Leonardo diCapreseo!