October 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

In the third grade, I had the coolest teacher. Her name was Mrs. Gillikin, but I secretly like to think of her by her first name– June. She was tall and blond, always wore red lipstick, and spoke with a very obvious Southern twang. Sugary and eclectic, she came up with the most amusing projects for us to do. We made knapsacks out of fabric and sticks and oh for the love of God– we made mini ovens so we could toast up some s’mores. That’s my kind of lady.

But, you see, my favorite memory of Miss Junebug was pertained to food. Obviously. Whenever one of us midgets would forget either our Lizzie McGuire lunchboxes (don’t judge, she’s the best…) or our wads of lunch money, she would beckon us over to these cabinets behind her desk. It was always highly secretive and there was nothing else I wanted to discover than what happened during those exchanges behind Gilly’s desk.

So, I did the obvious. I purposely forgot my lunch. Oh, whoops.

That day at lunchtime when the rest of the class marched purposefully towards the cafeteria, I stayed behind.

“Ms. Gillikin, I think I forgot my lunch.”

She smiled her wiiiiide, toothy smile and said, “Why, I can solve that problem! Come here, sweetheart.” And full of apprehension and excitement and suspense, I followed her cautiously behind her desk. She opened that secret cabinet, moved aside a pair of patent leather heels and reached back, so far back and came up with a loaf of Wonder sliced bread, a jar of JIF, a bunch of bananas, and a mini package of Lay’s.

Then, she put ’em all together. And it was the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever consumed.

Yesterday, I had the crazy craving for peanut butter and bananas. I suddenly thought of third grade and G-kins and decided to make my own peanut butter and banana sandwich. I opted out of greasy chips because I am not the brave soul I once was, but I tossed the bread into our brand new toaster (which, I shall name Junebug in honor of Ms. G), smeared on a generous scoop of peanut butter and artfully arranged my sliced bananas.

It was just as good as I remembered. Creamy, rich, sweet.

Now, for the homemade ovens…


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