High on Bud Light and my college-girl cleavage, I arrived at the show with no expectations beyond having a festive night out and maybe doing some light dancing in the dark (heh heh). It just so happened that the Boss was running a little behind that evening, giving me plenty of time to bond with our seatmates, a group of rowdy 30-something dudes that had seen Bruce 100+ times live. (In hindsight, they remind me of present-day Logan and his merry gang of Spreadheads.) These endearing psychos were overwhelmed by my newbie status and kept saying things like, “He will blow your fucking mind!!! Just wait ‘til he comes on. It’s electric.”
Having seen N*Sync on their No Strings Attached tour, I was rather familiar with electric entrances, and unless Bruce planned to parachute onto that stage cradling Beyoncé, I seriously doubted a 57-year-old was going to rock my world.
I was wrong.
Crazy Bruce Fan #1 was telling me about one of his many concert tailgates when TD Garden went pitch black. There was an eerie silence for about 10 seconds while people tried to figure out what was happening, before a gritty voice ripped through the stadium, screaming, “Is there anybody alive out there?!”
The lights went up, the place vibrated with the roar of 17,000+ fans, and Bruce launched into “Radio Nowhere” like. a. boss.
Not to be a total hippie about it, but the energy in that moment was crazy, man. I broke out in goosebumps, my heart was beating double time, and my arms and legs felt all jelly-like. (Funnily enough, these are symptoms I’ve come to associate with a panic attack, but this was pre-anxiety, so I was into it.) The feeling was a mix of shock, awe, and straight-up elation, and it’s one of those memories that’s etched into my brain forever.
I’m telling you all of this not because I’m a crazy Springsteen fangirl, but rather because I have the occasional “Bruce Moment,” and I want you to understand the type of pure, unadulterated excitement I’m referring to when I use that term in the future. For example: Watching one of my besties try on her wedding dress? Bruce Moment. Logan enthusiastically crushing Dude Diet Lettuce Wraps without realizing they were tofu? Bruce Moment. The first time I faux-tisseried a chicken? Bruce Moment.
You get the point.
My most recent Bruce Moment happened on Monday evening when I took my first sip of a Roasted Strawberry Mojito…
Seriously, friends, this is one of those drinks that’s worth the teensy bit of extra leg-work. Roasting strawberries intensifies their glorious flavor and sweetness, and I swear the resulting purée is nothing short of magical. (Don’t panic—it only takes 25 minutes.) Add some tangy lime juice, plenty of fresh mint, and a generous pour of your favorite rum, and you’ve got the sassiest summer cocktail on the block. Light, refreshing, and perfect for any and all occasions, from fancy dinner parties to Hump Day happy hour.
Just FYI, the recipe below makes about 1¼ cups of Roasted Strawberry Purée. You can eek 7 mojitos out of that (go ahead and double/triple the recipe for a party), but if you only want a cocktail or two (such restraint!), try the leftovers with Champagne or Prosecco for an epic Rossini, swirled into ice cream and yogurt, or drizzled over toast spread with goat cheese, mascarpone or peanut butter. The possibilities are endless, peeps.
Roasted Strawberry Mojito: (Makes 1 cocktail)
¼ packed cup mint leaves, torn
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1.5 ounces roasted strawberry puree (recipe follows)
2 ounces light rum
1.5 ounces club soda
2 strawberries, sliced
For the Roasted Strawberry Puree:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons pure cane sugar
For Garnish (optional):
Sprig of fresh mint
Preparing your Roasted Strawberry Mojito:
-Start by making your roasted strawberry puree. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Toss the strawberries with the sugar in a shallow baking dish.