Day 316 – National Strawberry Shortcake Day

Nothing fancy today. No revelations. No morale of this story. It was just a straight up enjoyment of strawberry shortcake kind of day. That’s kind of perfect for strawberry shortcake too because it’s really a celebration of the simple summer pleasure of fresh berries, fresh cream all served on a sweet serving of cake.

I started with the strawberries naturally. I had some in our fridge but I also picked some up at the store too to make sure I had enough. You slice them into bite size pieces and then collect them in a bowl and sprinkle in a little bit of sugar. This will help sweeten the strawberries although strawberries don’t need much sweetening, but it also helps macerate them and breaking the berries down so a syrup will form. I did this as soon as I got home from work and put them in the fridge so they could do their thing. That’s when I also put my clean bowl and hand-mixer beaters into the freezer for when I made my whipped cream. That’s a little tip. If these items are cold when you make your whipped cream, you get a better and thicker cream at the end. Lola’s mom taught us that. I made the whipped cream right before serving. I just dumped some heavy cream into the chilled bowl along with some powdered sugar and whipped away. It took about 3 minutes to get good stiff peaks. It came out great too – perfect amount of sweetness.

The only other element of the strawberry shortcake is the cake part and for this part, I prefer biscuits. The kind of biscuits you can but at the bakery shop – they are round, nice and dense with a tinge of sweetness to them. They are great for breakfast sandwiches too – that kind of biscuit. I could have made my own biscuits I suppose but the convenience of getting them already made is worth it. They even keep these biscuits nearby the strawberries for just such an occasion (a nod to the popularity of strawberry shortcake). Some people will make their strawberry shortcake in the more traditional sense with a sweet cake similar to a sponge or angel cake, but the biscuit is generally accepted. I prefer it. The sponge cake is too soft for me. I want that biscuit texture, although I’m not one to ever toss aside an occasion to have a good biscuit.  In any case, this was the last piece to our puzzle. After dinner, I put it all together. The biscuit split in half went down first and then I topped it with the fresh strawberries and cream. I put the other half of the biscuit on top to finish it off and I was done. A small sprinkle of powdered sugar on top as garnish.

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Strawberry shortcake is just a good time and perfect for summer nights. Tonight was actually a beautiful evening with the heat of the last three days finally breaking, so there was a cool breeze coming into the house. The strawberries coolness matched the breeze and they were perfectly fresh too. The whipped cream was nicely chilled and fluffy with ample amounts of sweetness throughout. The biscuits were fresh and gave the whole dessert that texture I had wanted along with that sweet bread flavor to balance out everything. Perfect to the last bite, just as I knew it would be. It’s one of the easiest desserts you can make and still feel like you made your own dessert and it is a winner every time.

I did have two other happenings today that I thought I would share. First, after an exchange on Facebook, I decided to drop off some Peanut Butter cookies before work to Lola’s friend and loyal blog reader Jackie. I had given her some cookies earlier in this quest and she was very appreciative, so I felt it was time to share the wealth again. Although this time, she was available so I wasn’t doing the blind drop off – I actually met Jackie face to face. It was nice to finally meet her. She really has been following along this whole journey. It just made me realize how much I am appreciative of everyone who follows along. I can’t bring you all cookies but I can say thank you. So thank you one and all.

The second thing that happened today was my brother turned fifty years old. That doesn’t seem possible to me. It also means that my entry into the 5-0 club is not too far behind. We hope to celebrate my brother this weekend and I am glad because that’s something that needs to be celebrated. I thought back at our life together and we’ve shared a lot of tales. This was a guy who I shared a room with until I was 16 years old. He was literally five feet away from me every night. We’d fight naturally and do brotherly things, but Mark has always looked out for me in his own way.  Whether it was letting me tagalong with him and his friends to play baseball, standing up for me in fights with my parents or even staying up with me in all those long nights I’d wake up sick with an asthma attack, he’s been there. Even recently with my job transition, Mark was always checking in to see how it was going. We may not see each other as often as we like, but it’s nice to know he’s always in my corner. He deserves a day of celebration. Happy birthday Mark!

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Mark on the right (earlier photo). Am I rocking a silk shirt? 

That was Strawberry Shortcake Day. Like I said, nothing fancy about today, just some good dessert. Sometimes that’s all I have in me, but in this case, it’s not a bad way to go. Strawberry Shortcake is a top-ten Dan and Lola dessert. It’s just the perfect mix and easy to toss together. All life should be that easy.

Next up: National Fly a Kite Day 

 

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