So I got a little grabby at my favorite grocery store (Berkeley Bowl) the other day. Guess how many cups of strawberries I bought? No don’t guess, I’m too excited to wait for you to get there. It’s 14. Guess how much 4 pounds of bruised tomatoes cost me? 99 cents. Guess how many bananas I got for 59 cents total. 12! 59 CENTS! That is 5 cents PER BANANA.
You never know what will be waiting for you on the bruised-and-going-to-be-overripe-in-about-15-seconds shelf at Berkeley Bowl. So when I walked away with about $20 worth of strawberries (i mean and that is if i LOW BALL IT) for 2 measley bones? I felt like I had performed the first instance of the world’s most complicated new surgery technique, like, blindfolded. I literally think I strutted out of the parking lot. Then I drove directly to IKEA, where I bought an ice cream cone for 99 cents and for the first time thought, come on Sweden, that is kind of expensive, I could’ve bought another 7 cups of strawberries with this. But really I didn’t think that because those ice cream cones are magical.
Here’s the analogy my roommate made after watching me unpack 14 cups of strawberries, 12 bananas, 4 lbs of tomatoes and then all of my REGULAR groceries: Oh, I get it. Berkeley Bowl is to you what Anthropologie is to me.
Do you understand, friends? In the way that many girls freak out when the shoes they’ve been pining for go on sale, I had a mental conniption when the man brought out the slightly bruised bags of strawberries. I might’ve elbowed an old lady to grab another bag. I can’t even remember. Plus that old lady should’ve moved, she was just like sniffing her bag of pears in the middle of everything. Anyway. Not that I’m immune to regular clothing-induced mania. Sometimes I go to the Gap and I like a v-neck solid color t-shirt so much that I buy it in 2 different colors!!!!!!
Also purchased: the world’s largest stalks of rhubarb. SERIOUSLY look at those sequoias. I’ve never seen anything like them! I could make so many that’s what she said jokes right now but I’m not even gonna cause I gotta tell you about the JAM!
Strawberry rhubarb JAM, babies! So easy! So rewarding! So the most amazing thing to make with mushy but still perfectly fine strawberries! So go do it! Literally, my roommates and I have been spooning this into our mouths. You don’t even need toast for this stuff. Not that I’m discouraging the making of toast. I’m a huge toast advocate. Huge. Which is why that statement should be taken with the appropriate amount of weight! I MUST REALLY MEAN IT.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg via Bon Appetit
1 16-ounce container strawberries, trimmed and chopped
3 to 4 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine fruit, sugar, and lemon juice in large bowl. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Put 2 saucers in freezer.
Transfer fruit mixture to large saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Mash to thick puree with potato masher.* Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until mixture begins to thicken, stirring often, about 18 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat to test jam for gelling point. Drop 1 teaspoonful jam on chilled saucer and return to freezer 1 minute. Remove saucer and push edge of jam with fingertip. If jam has properly gelled, surface will gently wrinkle. If not, return saucepan to heat and cook jam a few minutes longer; repeat test.
Ladle the hot jam into clean jars, and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks