Ina Garten literally wrote the book on comfort food. Her newest cookbook, Modern Comfort Food, has fast become our go-to, and its warm and hearty recipes have never been more needed. In a recent interview, Garten caught up with CNN’s Anderson Cooper during his show Full Circle and talked about all things food. And during their conversation, the two realized they share a love of one traditional — and, for many of us, nostalgic — comfort food: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s a classic food many of us grew up eating on the daily, and whipping one up takes about a minute. Simple, quick, and easy? We feel comforted already.
In the clip, Cooper — a notoriously (and self-professed) picky eater — shares a story with our Barefoot Contessa queen about a conversation he and his late mother Gloria Vanderbilt had about the food a few years back. “I was talking to my mom on the phone and I said, you know, ‘I rediscovered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and they’re so good’ and literally she said, ‘Darling that’s amazing I just rediscovered them as well!’ and she had apparently been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch,” he laughs.
That’s when Garten shared her own love of good ole PB&J. In fact, the chef found it so comforting, she admitted that she and her husband Jeffrey ate the sandwich routinely amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
“In the beginning of the pandemic that’s what Jeffrey and I had too,” Ina reveals. “And I don’t think I’d ever had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — my mother never made them — and we were just like ‘This is great!’” What?! How Garten has gone this long without trying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, we’ll never know. But we’re thrilled she’s as much of a fan as we are.
While Garten may have just recently rediscovered the classic PB&J sammy, she’s clearly long-familiar with its more decadent cousin, the PB&J bar.
Garten’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars recipe can be found online and is also included in her 2006 cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home. What better time to try these out than now as we continue to stay home during holiday baking season?
Honestly, Anderson Cooper and Ina Garter have convinced us to add this back to our usual menu. BRB with a PB&J!
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below: