Today in the Kitchen… Gramma’s Strawberry Shortcake!

Jun 30, 2011 | Recipes | 13 comments

Last week, on one of those horrible 65 degree days we went strawberry picking as a family.  This is our second year partaking of the delightful annual treat.  Why I went thirty-some-odd years without picking local strawberries is simply beyond me.
  No offense to the Driscoll clamshell but those giant, golf ball sized, cardboard berries are nothing compared sweet, red, little berries found by a family in the fields. 
At $1.75 a pound I suppose the price is pretty equivalent to a large $7.99 thingy at Trader Joe’s but our local farm is only lightly sprayed at the beginning of the season, they are Christians and you get to make the memory.  They are so laid back – no pickiness about My Chickens that would rather sit, a-la- Little Sal and munch away on fresh berries… for free. (OK, I know Sal ate Blueberries but I could not resist!)  They even let charities come in and pick at the end of the day for the needy.
So right now we have a fridge full of strawberries that we have been enjoying every day.  I should video Hoolie’s reaction when I pull them out.  She about goes into orbit!  We will go again next week and stock up for the freezer but right now it’s all about the fresh factor!  Until our 75 plants get going in the Potager this is the way to go, and even then, I don’t know if I will be able to resist the lushness and the heavenly aroma of acres of strawberries. 
 My Gramma’s CB name was “Strawberry” during their farming years (how cute is that???)… back when she drove a grain truck when it was time to help out and the pick up truck when it was time to bring sandwiches to the men in the fields.  Back before cell phones and texting… 
“You got a copy?” 
 I am so happy to have my own memories of farming CB lingo, the smell of Grandpas pickup truck, lunches packed with sandwiches, Pepsi and Snicker bars.  (Before Gramma went holistic and healthy!)  When her kids were growing up I guess their own strawberry patch was huge… once somewhere out in that yard I have roamed a thousand times.  
You’ve never experienced Strawberry Shortcake until you’ve experienced hers!
Start with the best, sweetest strawberries you can find.   
Don’t wash them ’til right before use of course!  Gently strain but don’t pat or allow them to become completely dry.
After removing the tops take a handful and gently press the knife down to your palm, a messy, haphazard sort of cut to release the juices.  Then add a bit of sugar (we use organic, evaporated cane juice) and set them to the side.  (Pre-heat your oven to 450 now) The sugar will draw out the juices and combine with the residual water.  You can also use this technique for freezing your berries.
Now for the Shortcake and assembly technique!  
(No more round, spongy, yellow thingys.)
This is a recipe I photocopied from an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook off Gramma’s shelf:
“Rich Shortcake”
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/3 cup of shortening
1 well beaten egg
1/2 cup of milk
“Sift dry ingredients, cut in shortening until mixture is like coarse crumbs.  Add combined egg and milk, stirring just until moistened.”
Now my own words – press it into rough rounds (see photo below) and bake on 450 for 15-18 minutes.
For assembly you will need strawberries, really good vanilla ice cream, 1/2 and 1/2 and a biscuit –
Layer as you wish – see photo.  But you gotta do the 1/2 and 1/2 poured over everything… it mixes with the strawberry juice…
Oh my gosh.  Oh my gosh.  Oh my gosh.  Oh my gosh.
Try this supremely delightful experience after one of your meals this Holiday weekend… and then for breakfast the next day! 
 Sigh…
Happy FOURTH of JULY!!!
Bon Appetit!

13 Comments

  1. Laura Ingalls Gunn

    A perfect way to spend a day. Three cheers for the independant farmer.

    I absolutely adored all of your wedding coverage. Well done! Bravo!

    Reply
  2. à la parisienne

    Those strawberry rows look so lush and green. If only they would grow that well here!And, yes, organic strawberries are SO much better-no awful taste of chemicals.

    Beautiful photos of your chickens gathering the goods.

    Mandy

    Reply
  3. Splenderosa

    Forget the strawberries…it’s the CHILDREN!! Unbelievably beautiful children who could all be movie stars. Love you, Angela….

    Reply
  4. claudia b

    awesome! i just got some strawberries and will make this for my boys!

    Reply
  5. Victoria

    I’m hoping we can go strawberry picking this weekend, too. Ours are $1.60/lb – not bad for a family farm that only uses “non invasive” pest practices.

    I may have to tweak your recipe and do it gf- the betty crocker biscuit mix is sooo good. And I love berries and whipped cream!

    Sorry about the 4th at the farm.. just can’t do it right now.. We’re all bummed.

    Reply
  6. Victoria

    Oh, and those clamshell berries… funny, they are so huge and yet, not very sweet. What’s the point??

    Reply
  7. It's me

    Those three are such a lovely couple !!..enjoy your weekend….love Ria…xxx..

    Reply
  8. Amber

    Thank you for sharing Gramma’s recipe! Your lil’ ones are adorable as can be! Oh, and you take the best photos!
    xo, Amber

    Reply
  9. Farmchick

    Loved my visit here. 🙂 I got a chuckle out of the cb name and “you got a copy”…we use cell phones now of course but sometimes we use two way radios so we still say that. 😉 I remember the old days of the cb’s too when I was growing up on the farm. Hope you can stop by my farm and say hi. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Carissa

    Lovely Post!!

    Love the shot of you pulling the wagon!!! Really all of the shots were great!!

    Glad you had such a wonderful time with your family.

    Carissa

    Reply
  11. pilgrimscottage

    I may love to have some of those strawberries, but, I’d love to pick up those tiny tots with you and squish ’em! Soooo cute, they are!!!

    Reply
  12. Loretta

    I have learned that the easiest way to core the strawberry is by using the tip of a regular peeler. Just dig and twist, it fits perfectly and is less cumberson than a paring knife. Blessings.

    Reply
  13. Rosa Veldkamp

    I picked local strawberries for the first time last year . They were absolutely amazing!! We enjoyed fresh strawberry shortcake right away and then jam and frozen berries took us throught the rest of the year. I am just waiting for them to ripen this year. A few more days should do it.
    Out here on the Canadian prairie (Edmonton, Alberta) however, they are a bit more expensive. I paid $3.49 a pound.
    Oh well. They are still worth every penny!

    Reply

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