One of, nay, the greatest tragedy of celebrating Treat. Yo. Self.’ Week last year, is that I couldn’t fit in catch-ups with the entire cast, who I am extremely close with.
Now before you start hurling insults at me like I’m Larry Garry Jerry Barry Terry Gergich, please understand that cuts had to be made last year and people like my beloved Aubrey Plaza missed the cut (I went with full-fledged, paid season 1 Parks Department employees and sadly as an intern, she missed my cut).
Aubrey is one of my closest friends and despite her surly demeanour, wasn’t bothered by my slight at all.
I first connected with Aubrey in the very-early 90s, when I was touring Delaware trying to launch my comedy career. While it failed, on account of the fact I had one joke and it required me to be in a restaurant … in Delaware – Delaware the hell is my waiter? – I ran into Aubrey and we were bonded by our general disgust for people and interacting with them.
Aubs and I try to get together and smack talk as often as possible, over something sweet enough to cut through the acid we are spewing … meaning my Strawberry Plaza Jam is always the perfect accompaniment.
At the risk of putting my neck out, I am one of those rare people that dislike strawberries as the seeds feel weird on your tongue (this led to me believing a chef’s request for me to de-seed a strawberry) and the fake flavour is just foul. I can’t however, go past a good strawberry jam (and freeze-dried strawberries too but they weren’t a thing when I was making my toddler judgments); sticky, sweet and rich, there is something about them all softened that makes me like them.
I assume it is all the sugar. Enjoy!
Strawberry Plaza Jam
Makes: Up to 2 cups.
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
Hull the strawberries and place in a heavy based saucepan with the sugar and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly.
When the mixture starts to bubble add the vanilla, gradually turn the heat up and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly until it turns shiny and sticky. Trust your gut with the jam, you’re better off under cooking the jam as without pectin it takes longer to cook … which in turn can make it closer to a toffee, than a jam.
Remove from heat and ladle into sterilised jars and leave to cool. Seal and refrigerate.