Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Elvis, Still Dead

This year August 16th rolled around and if not for a quick late night trip to the store I would have not have heard an Elvis song that day or seen a news report about the 30th anniversary of his passing. The 50s channel on the XM was doing a nice job of playing tribute - the DJ was touching on the King's spiritual side. An alternate take of "Peace In The Valley" was playing when I pulled into the parking lot of the local Stop N Shop.

As I stepped inside the store I couldn't help but notice a large display of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I was never a fan and now they are completely off of my diet radar, but this was no ordinary candy.

It was a special edition Elvis Peanut Butter and Banana version, complete with his portrait on the wrapper.

A special edition candy bar to commemorate his passing.

Of all the Elvis myths/legends I am especially fond of the peanut butter and banana sandwich stories mainly because I actually like them but I thought that this was a little odd. I definitely began to question the Elvis estate and its new owner's intent.

I started to remember the background of the peanut butter and banana sandwich. There is the simple story as told by longtime Graceland cook/housekeeper Pauline Nicholson who claims to have prepared them for Elvis. But Elvis Presley's personal nurse, Marian Cocke, says she never saw him with one in hand and she is backed up by Lisa Marie. From there the tales get bigger - from Elvis wolfing down a dozen or so sandwiches at a time to him dispatching his private jet, the Lisa Marie, off to Denver to pickup a few from a favorite restaurant.

There are variations of the sandwich itself, sometimes with bacon, sometimes with honey. The Denver variant was a full loaf of french bread, deep fried. I prefer the basic two ingredients, on buttered bread pan grilled in a cast iron skillet.

Now I admit that I have had fun with this little slice of the Elvis pie. I have made variations of the sandwich to serve at parties, including peanut butter and banana in puff paistry and bacon wrapped peanut butter and pineapple incorporating some of the Hawaiian aspect as well.

But a candy bar to mark thirty years gone?

Why the hell not? The packaging was actually quite cool - the Reese's trademark orange worked well with the 70's art and image (with 50s and 60s variants) and they have a good contest to support the launch - click here to enter.

What exactly are we suppose to do on this day? If you're not one of the pilgrims holding candles by the gates what is the plan? Take the day off? Not likely. Spend the day listening to Elvis? That could be any day. An All-Elvis movie marathon? Please.

Heat up the skillet and let's get cooking.

There were a few other interesting Elvis events to mark the occaison, the most notable was a newly recorded duet between Lisa Marie and her dad revisiting "In The Ghetto." Early on Lisa made a point of saying this was the kind of thing she just not do, to which we responded "Are you out of your mind?" Your his daughter! This is your legacy. Sheesh. It's about time.