Saturday, August 30, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake

Me, old pal John, Marz

House sitting this past week, I've made BLTs and strawberry shortcake––foods my Missouri mother always made in the summer. My versions are never quite quite as good: I think I am too Northern [restrained with ingredients]. Her BLTs were so drippy, for instance, you'd best eat them over the sink.

For strawberry shortcake, she sprinkled sliced strawberries with lots of sugar far in advance, so they'd make their own syrup, and her shortcake was fluffier than I ever manage---maybe she used lard?


Krista Kennedy said...

I was just saying to Jeff that I will never achieve the platonic BLTs that my sainted dead grandma used to make. Or the ones that I made in my late teens/early 20s. Partly because she grew amazing tomatoes, partly because back then I ate bacon once per year and so the anticipation and execution were both inevitably amazing.

Zhoen said...

Dylan was craving a Ruben yesterday, so we got all the ingredients. He declared it the second best ever.

The best was at a deli/cafeteria in Detroit.

The Crow said...

Oh, you've done it! Gotta go to the grocery, right now. Haven't had a homemade BLT in ages, nor shortcakes of any kind.

My mom used her homemade biscuit recipe for the shortcake, but added one egg yolk to the buttermilk and a couple of tablespoons of sugar. They weren't as fluffy as her biscuits (soft, though), but so good.

(Is that your Dad?)

Bianca Castafiore? said...

oh. mine. god! it's been a while since a PHOTO of real food (versus the stuff prepared by "food stylists)... SENT me!

unfortunately, my mother-units were awful cooks, and my grandmother was terrific at making any kind of dough, but that's about it.

however, me saintèd grandpappy, an irish orphan shipped off to NYC, became an avid and talented vegetable farmer (and pharmacist, as his day job). among many varieties, he grew enormous, juicy, incredible, saliva-inducing-just-at-the-sight "mortgage buster" tomatoes. two slices of his tomato on toasted homemade whole wheat bread, with a fair spread of duke's mayonnaise, the mortgage buster topped with cold, crisp *iceberg* lettuce (with a squirt of yellow mustard option) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper (on the lettuce, for some reason, not on the tomato slices)... and i would happily give up my ghost right after.

i never opted for the bacon option as a kid, but given the chance at a Last Sandwichm

but here at marlinspike hall, we are gearing up to try cambodian-style spring rolls!

however, we are also willing to reveal to you our unmappable address if you'd like to send us some of your strawberry freaking shortcake. captain haddock has agreed to pay all shipping costs, provided you can get it to a nearby miniature submarine marina that accesses his preferred worm hole tunnel...
sorry, fresca, dah-link, i have a fever and things suck. i may make an ordinary tomato sammich on store-bought white bread. and just stare at your shortcake photo. fred is making coffee so that we can pretend to start the day over.

Fresca said...

KRISTA: I actually thought of you when I wrote this, you being from the same neck of the wood as my mother!

ZHOEN: Another famously drippy sandwich, if properly made.

CROW: Did you make one?
You remind me, my mother made amazing buttermilk biscuits too!
I have her recipe box, I should see if I can dig up her recipe for them, but they were so everyday to her, I'm not sure she ever wrote it down.

BIANCO: YES! *Iceberg* lettuce from the icebox! In fact, I'd tried to convince Marz to buy iceberg, but she turned up her nose, and we went with Romaine, which is perfectly OK, but lacks the snap.
I'd say the sine qua non is the mayo.

Those Cambodian springrolls look great--shrimp + mango...
I'm sorry things suck, and I hope they help.

Fresca said...

P.S. CROW: I just added a caption to the photo---that's John, an old pal from my church-going days.

bink said...

I doubt your mom used lard in biscuits (pie crust, yes!)--I think you would taste the lard in biscuits.

I remember having strawberry shortcake with your mom on the back porch in Chicago. Remember that? Very, very good!

Fresca said...

BINK: You're right--it wouldn't have been lard, would it? I think maybe it was buttermilk that made them better, as Crow says.

Gosh, I'd forgotten that Chicago shortcake. Sweet memories...