20 September, 2010


Remain calm. 

As you read this please know that the story ends well. It ends with me going to a different grocery establishment altogether. It ends with me at home eating the one, the only, the superior, the very best of all jams-- raspberry jam.

Don't be alarmed.
Keep calm and carry on.


[At rise: Al does a quick late night shop at her local Astoria grocery establishment. It is nearly closing time on a Sunday night, and Al has realized that she, as usual, does not really have any food in the house aside from pickles. This is an emergency journey to the store. There is hunger within her and the clock is ticking...]

Al: Carrots-- check. Celery-- check. Giant thing of hummus-- check...

[she continues down the aisles placing essentials in her basket. She ignores the Halloween candy. Halloween is her favorite holiday-- Halloween candy is the perfect size. She ignores the Halloween candy with a pang. She quickly decides between Ryvita or Wassa crispbread. She picks up recycled paper towels thinking "one good replaces one bad?" as she indulges in a longing glance at the artisan cheeses and keeps walking...]

Loudspeaker: Attention customers. The time is now 9:45 and this store will be closing in 15 minutes. Please bring your final purchases to the checkout. Thank you.

['OhmigodIamnotnearlyfinishedwerenotevenattheyoghurtsection' she thinks. She prioritizes; and rushes to the all important peanut butter and jam aisle. She selects her peanut butter. And then she sees it. There are rows and rows of jam. Strawberry, Blackberry, Grape, Marmalade, Apricot. There are many brands. But not a single jar of raspberry. She pauses. She takes it in. She breathes. She nearly blacks out...]

Loudspeaker: Ladies and gentleman the time is now 9:55 and this store is closing in 5 minutes. Please bring all final purchases to the checkout immediately.

[Al sees a grocery employee and practically tackles him]

Al: Excuse me! Um, you seem to be out of raspberry jam.

Grocery Employee: Right. Well, it is the end of the day. On Sunday. We'll have more tomorrow.
Al: I understand that but-- don't you have any in the back at all?
Grocery Employee: [unimpressed] I don't know.
Al: Well... would you mind checking?
Grocery Employee: ...seriously?
Al: Yes?
Grocery Employee: Look there is a jar of redberry flavor right here. And I hear it is pretty good. It is basically the same. Red berry, it is a flavor but maybe you should just get it? I mean there are only 5 minutes...

[Al is flabbergasted-- 'Redberry'?!! ExCUSE me?]

Al: Eh... no, thank you.

[She proceeds to the checkout without this 'Redberry' monstrosity and proceeds directly to a smaller all-night shop and finds exactly what she needs. Peanut butter plus raspberry jam plus Wassa crispbread = DELICIOUS... Evening complete.]



Forgive me but this faux "Redberry" concoction has no business being a jam. And I resent it being foist upon me. Even with 5 minutes left of the work day, even with both sugar free and alternative berry options.

Redberry is not a berry.
It is a liar berry.
A liarberry if you will.
And oh I will...
. . . Don't mess with my jam... just don't. . .


  1. But Al! You're wrong! Apricot is the best, followed by sour cherry. I have this on good authority. (And by that, obviously I mean me.)

  2. We must march on the Redberry HQ and destroy this evil at its lying red source.

  3. And just another reason why I love you so much!! I would;ve been outraged with the store worker, very pleased yo managed to find desired raspberry jam, and warmed to the soul that you also brought a giant houmos (spelling?!) xxxxxxxxx

  4. It's either this http://bit.ly/cCQxiB or something from Captain Crunch.

  5. I just bought some crunchy peanut butter to bait my mouse trap, otherwise I wouldn't - honest. Poor mouse at least will go with good pnb in his little belly. And I'll have some with raspberry jam and Ryvita.

  6. Forgive my ignorance, but redberry seems to me like it's raspberry plus strawberry. that sounds...kind of yummy...don't hate me...

  7. If you google 'redberry jam', Google asks 'did you mean raspberry jam?' YES I DID!

  8. Maro - sooo distressed by Swedish redberry atrocity.

    Bev - you used peanut butter... for a MOUSE?! WHAT A WASTE! But humane outlook on his belly full of goodness on the way to mouse heaven.

    AlexBB - you're dead to me too. Even though I spoke at your wedding and your husband is a chef. Dead.

    Anonymous - Well. You know. You're correctness fills me with comfort and glee. Long live jam-based sanity.



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