We had a bit of a hot streak in Toronto this past weekend, and both of my bike tires burst.
Both of them.
Like a grown-ass woman, I decided that I’d replace the decimated inner tubes myself, which I’ve done before a couple times. I bought myself some new inner tubes, dragged my bike into the shade, latched onto the bolts with my teeny wrenches, and … nothing. I grunted, I shoved, I poured out half my body mass in sweat, but those bolts might as well have been welded to the frame.
The nearest bike shop was about a kilometre away (uphill, naturally), and so as not to damage my wheels, I was going to have to carry my bike the whole way there. Now, you should know that my bike used to belong my mother, and it is old. Possibly older than I am. Carrying it anywhere is like trying to carry a young rhinoceros. But what choice did I have? Google maps said it should be about a twelve-minute walk.
Forty-five minutes and the remainder of my body mass in sweat later, I arrived at the repair shop. And even though I was at a REPAIR SHOP, I was so angry at my stupid little wrenches and my stupid inner tubes and the stupid sunny, gorgeous weather that I became determined that I would fix those inner tubes myself. So I somehow manged to convince the lovely guys at the shop to lend me their tools and expertise (in exchange for beer), and I proceeded — very, very slowly — to repair my bike.
Anyway, this story was really just a roundabout way to let you know that I can be absurdly stubborn sometimes. Thankfully, this usually doesn’t involve hauling a baby rhino across town; instead, it generally takes the form of my refusing to let produce go to waste. My roommates who had to suffer for years from my feverish bouts of All-The-Rotten-Ish-Fridge-Veggies-Soup can attest to this.
Now, strawberries and their other berry siblings tend to go bad rather quickly, and I also tend to purchase them in unreasonably large quantities, telling myself that I will make jam. When this fails to happen (see: 97% of the time), I snack on a bunch, throw some in a salad, and then turn the rest into these quick balsamic strawberries.
This is seriously one of the easiest, best ways ever to use up leftover berries. Cooking down the balsamic mellows out the harshness of the vinegar until all you’re left with is this rich, sticky, darkly sweet coating on the berries. I suspect that it would last about 3 days in a covered container in the fridge, but I’ve only ever seen it demolished over ice cream in minutes.
Do you have a favourite method for using up summer produce? Share it in the comments below!