Q: What do you get when you cross jalapeno jelly, strawberries, bleu cheese, and slivered almonds?

A: Something to take to the mandatory work potluck.

I have mixed feelings about mandatory potlucks, so I wanted a food that would both reflect my ambivalence and be easy to make and transport. Sometimes in these situations the universe just speaks to you, and this time the universe spoke to me via the supermarket flyer in my mailbox, which helpfully provided a recipe for cherry-jalepeno-bleu cheese bruschetta. It is my practice to only bring things I have never made before to potlucks; that way it’s an adventure as well as a social gathering. Bonus! Ingredient substitution opportunity right off the bat! The same store that sent the flyer doesn’t actually carry cherries yet, so I had to go with a different red fruit. Double bonus! The finished food item looks sweet and elegant, but is secretly spicy as well!

I pre-assembled one toast plank just to test it out and it was, in my opinion, somewhat tasty. You got your crunchy, your smooth, your sweet, your salty, and your spicy, all in one mouthful. First you get the burst of strawberry. The spice is just a slow hint of a burn, almost an aftertaste, and I only used the tiniest cheese crumbles so I didn’t get stuck with a big overwhelming chunk. The strawberries are sort of meh but it can’t be perfect, now, can it? Coworkers, (actually my coworkers don’t know I have this blog so it’s a rhetorical address), prepare yourselves for the inevitable result of my desire to hang out with you at a potluck because I actually like both you and food experiments, combined with my distaste at being forced to do it by conveniently unidentified members of the managament and simultaneously required to not only attend, but to provide part of the financing and labor for our refreshment. Bring on the bruschetta!