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Strawberry Shortcake

Last night, Paul distracted the two-legged mauraders long enough to gather a nice bowlful from the strawberry patch. He requested accompaniment.

We are picky about shortcake in our family, truth be told. The first time I was served angel food cake under the name shortcake, I thought there had surely been a tragic mixup.

My Aunt Luella had this recipe, see, and she gave it to my mom, and it was the only  shortcake I knew growing up. It is rich and buttery and eggy, and once you have had it warm from the oven with cold, cut strawberries and whipped cream and maybe a splash of milk, you are ruined for life.

It was one of the first real desserts I learned to make in my teens, and I’ve made it at least once a year since. Paul tasted it after we got married and became an instant convert, although he eats it with ice cream and cannot be considered a true aficionado.

My general policy is that I will make the shortcake on demand, as long as someone else is willing to provide the prepared strawberries. Paul having fulfilled the basic requirement (he convinced my sister to wash and cut them), I was happy to oblige.

The chunks you see on the left are cold butter cut into a flour and sugar mixture. They are tidbits of ambrosia, and the exclusive province of She Who Bakes. The cook always gets the best snitches.

Elias started with a modest portion.

He did not stop there.

I started with an immodest portion.

I also did not stop there.

That’s real whipped cream, by the way. My sister was starting on it and Levi walked up and said, “Why are you whipping that cream?”

“Because it was bad.”

“How long have you been waiting to use that one,” I asked, “your entire life?”

” … maybe,” she said.

And that’s June at the circus.

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