It all starts with an innocent trip to the grocery store...and there...right in the produce department...it starts.
Oh, they're so beautiful! (I say)
But it's too early... (my pragmatic self tries a counter argument: reality)
I just want to smell them!
They're way too expensive... (my frugal self goes for the throat)
Look! They're on sale!
They're probably spoiled... (my pragmatic self tries again)
No! Look! They're beautiful! sniff...sniff... I can smell them through the plastic!
Every time you buy those, you're disappointed in how bland they taste... (that's the Mom me...I should learn to listen to her)
(But then I lay down the final blow...) I could make SHORTCAKE!!!!
.....and the strawberries jump into the cart!
And now I get to make shortcake :)
My shortcake recipe came from my grandmother...but was never written down. You know the kind of recipe I mean: "Start with biscuit dough, put it in a pie plate, add sugar."
That's the way I always made shortcake, thinking Grandma's recipe was unique and wonderful.
Then I got married, and for Christmas that year my mother-in-law copied some family recipes for me. Imagine my surprise when I saw her mother's shortcake recipe!
It was almost exactly the one I had always used!
That's when I knew I had married into the right family - that, and the fact my mother-in-law loves chocolate as much as I do.
And she raised at least one wonderful son (I only married one of them, so I can't vouch for the other three!)
2 cups flour (either all-purpose or 1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 whole wheat)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar (you can substitute other sweeteners, or leave it out)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, plus 1 Tablespoon butter (save for later)
2/3 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 325°.
Stir together the dry ingredients, then cut in the 1/2 cup butter (just like you're making biscuits) until the dough is crumbly. Stir in the milk.
Grease a 9" pie plate (or you can use a similar sized baking dish) and put in the dough. Pat the dough into the edges of the pan, and then dot the top with the 1 Tablespoon butter.
Last of all, sprinkle the top with 2 Tablespoons sugar or 1 teaspoon stevia or other natural sweetener - yes, Virginia, I'm thinking of you :)
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges start browning and the center is done (I use the spring test - touch the center lightly. If it springs back, it's done.)
Now comes the best part.
While the shortcake is still warm, cut it into six or eight slices. Split the slice in half and layer quartered strawberries between the halves, replace the top, and then spoon more strawberries over the top.
What's that, you say? Whipped cream? Ice cream? No way!
You take a couple tablespoons of heavy cream (aka whipping cream) and pour it over the top, just like your farming grandparents used to do.
Or, at least it would be if this was June and the strawberries had some flavor.... I need to learn to listen to the Mom me.
Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.
Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books: www.JanDrexler.com.