PBS Adventures

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By Tank Hoover

Back when I wuz a kid, hanging around the house was comparable to being sentenced to solitary confinement. All us kids wanted to be outside to capture as much adventure as we could drum-up!

If you’re going out chasing adventure, you better pack some grub, and not the squiggly type, but the eatin’ kind. My favorite by far is the PBS, Peanut-butter Sammich!

PBS Adventures…

It didn’t take long after fighting a few bouts of hunger pangs before I figured out making a few PBS’s was an important part of my pre-trip itinerary and would keep me out of the house and in the field longer. I considered PBS’s my “C” rations, ‘cause they were “Crushable Cuisine” able to morph themselves into any compartment, pocket or bag and still be edible.

Flattened, rolled, folded, balled-up or squeezed down, they always tasted the same, no matter the shape. And that perfect mix of protein, fat and carbohydrate was just what an 8-year old body needed to fuel it.

Trips would now be gauged by how many PBS’s were necessary to re-fuel my famine. A short hike in the woods was a “one-PBS’er” while an all day adventure of fishing or shooting my .22 in the quarry was a triple. Mom was smart enough to figure out how long I’d be gone by asking me, “How many sandwiches did you pack?”


Even to this day, making and packing a PBS makes me smile in anticipation. The aroma of “extra crunchy” peanut butter being spread on bread conjures up feelings of excitement, independence and a sense of adventure for a long day outdoors. Sure, I pack other food for all-day vigils during opening-day hunts — because I sit from dark to dark — but I know I have what it takes to make it through the long day. The PBS is still my favorite sammich in the woods and is usually saved for last, to be savored, as I reminisce about days gone by.

Ol’ Pupper…

One of my best memories involving a PBS was my faithful companion, Pupper, my two uncles’ farm dog in PA, a Collie/Shepard mix. During our explorations and groundhog hunts, I’d usually have a few PBS’s in my “possibles bag” along with extra .22 shells, my pocketknife and a coke.

I’d share my PBS with Pupper, allowing him to bite directly from my sandwich bein’ since we wuz partners. I’d laugh hysterically as he’d go all cross-eyed, the whites of his eyes showing, while trying to lick the peanut butter now gobbed onto the roof of his mouth. All the while his tail wagged that doggie blur of speed and excitement. Good ol’ Pupper!

When I hit my early teens, things really amped-up in the consumption department. PBS’s were now counted not by sammich’s consumed, but by how many loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter were emptied and washed down by how many gallons of milk. You know things are good when you go to the local grocery store and the store manager opens the door himself and tells you, proudly, “Mr. Tank, we have your favorite peanut butter brand in stock today in the extra-large size you prefer!”
That’s what I’m talking about.

The Towering Tank…

I’ll admit to being innovative in my production of PBS’s. My greatest feat was the ultimate in sammich stardom, The Triple-Tanker! Not for the squeamish, or faint of heart, this gargantuan gastric gem was made of three slices of bread, eight saltine crackers and enough peanut butter to paint an entire Cadillac. Or as we experienced peanut butter sammich makers like to say, “An Earl Scheib load” of peanut butter.

Recipe for Redemption

A layer of peanut butter is gobbed onto your first slice of bread, topped with four saltine crackers, jelly, more peanut butter, your second slice of bread, more jelly, another layer of saltines, more peanut butter and lastly, your final slice of bread.

It took the dislocating-jaw skills of a large Amazon Anaconda to take the first sweet, crunchy, salty, peanutty bite, followed by a large gusher of milk to flush the crazy concoction down your gullet to avoid choking.

I was famous for my sammich’s, but I think word musta’ leaked out by one of my buddies? A few years later, McDoogle’s came out with their “Big Hack” and I was always suspicious of them after that, Hmmm…?

If you’re longing for adventure, and need a packable, crushable sammich, don’t forget about the PBS, I sure don’t.
What sammich did you — or still do — pack for adventure?

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