Have you ever asked a child for directions? Was the answer very clear or even close to being right? One day, when I was in third grade, my teacher gave us an assignment that made a huge impression on me…perhaps it was a sign that I was destined to become a recipe recorder and food blogger.
Miss Shaw asked each of us in class to write a paragraph telling exactly how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We couldn’t leave anything out and had to be very specific. We students thought it was a pretty weird topic, but we all did our best. Then she surprised us by bringing out jars of peanut butter and grape jelly, loaves of bread, knives, spoons, plates and napkins. After she put these items on different tables, she then told us that we had to follow our instructions to the letter. If we forgot anything, we couldn’t add it.
The results were eye opening. Some people ended up spreading peanut butter and jelly on their plates because they had forgotten the bread. Others had to use their fingers because they forgot to include knives in the instructions. I remember seeing open faced sandwiches, bread with peanut butter but no jelly, etc. I am pretty sure my sandwich was no better than the others. There was only one in the whole class that turned out perfectly. That I do remember. As a very competitive student, I recall that it wasn’t mine and that the mistakes I made drove me crazy. It was a great object lesson that stuck with me.