Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Spring means good produce. Asparagus comes to mind first, because to me, asparagus tastes like spring. I revealed the secret grilled asparagus recipe a couple weeks back, but today's rave is strawberries.

I love fresh, local strawberries. I say local because those big mealy red things they usually sell in the grocery year round are from California and taste like red baseballs. Yuck. (Local produce rant will be on another blog. It deserves it's very own day) Local berries are the best. Find the local farmers market, or pick your own patch and go to it. I don't much care for the pick your own thing, since one June my mother decided I needed to learn the value of hard work, and sent me to the local berry farm to pick. Boy that sucked. I don't recall the pay, but it wasn't very much. (Same summer I picked cherries and peaches wonder I'm lazy!!) I'll pay the extra dollar not to pick them.

Anyway, around here are several places within a very short distance to get fresh berries. Two weeks ago I picked up a pint of new, small strawberries, and they were the sweetest, most wonderful things I'd eaten in a long time. Saturday I went back to the farm and got two more quarts. They're only here for a short time, you have to get them while you can!!

Good strawberries deserve good shortcake. Everyone seems to have their own personal preference with shortcake. Some like that dense, not so sweet biscuit type, some like those funny little spongey cups, some like a more sweet, cakey kind.

I like the spongey cups, but I really, really like a nice, light, not so sweet cake. I found a recipe in one of my old community cookbooks (you know, the kind everyone sells for their church, little league, etc.) I buy them at flea markets and auctions, plus Mom makes sure I get one everytime one of the local groups sell them. Fresh shortcake is too easy to make, so you have no excuse:

Short Cake

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c shortening/margarine/butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in marg/shortening/butter. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup milk. Stir but do not make smooth. Pour into a 9-inch greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.

I also shake a little cinnamon into the batter before I put it in the pan, and if I have any, sprinkle a little dark brown sugar on the top of the batter before I put it in the oven. It smells great while it's cooking, and there is nothing quite like fresh warm shortcake to hold the beloved strawberries. Add some milk at the bottom of the bowl (just a little) a square of shortcake, berries and a little whipped cream, and you have yourself one totally wonderful summertime treat!

I'm having strawberries for breakfast this morning....I just gotta....

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