Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Sunday Afternoon

As the best husband in the world and I were leaving church on Sunday, he asked me what I wanted to do for the rest of the day. In the most sexy and sultry voice I could muster, I leaned in close and said, "I'm in the mood for something hot. Hot and sweet"

You would not believe how quickly good church going folk can scoot out of the way of a speeding vehicle as TBHITW floored it out of the church parking lot. 

As soon as we got home, we ripped our Sunday church clothes off and  (scroll down)

Wait for it....

Oh my.....

changed into our garden clothes and headed out to go our local UPICKIT Farm to go Strawberry Picking!! Yeah! The strawberries in NJ are in and ripe.

Um... what did you think I was going to say? Hmm... 

Anyway, it was a beautiful hot day and the berries were sweet. There were lots of family's picking and it did my heart good to see so many people interested in harvesting their own food. Of course, not everyone was picking as many as I insisted we pick. TBHITW, bless his heart, just kept picking even though he thought we had quite enough after 15 minutes.. We ended up with about 15 pounds of juicy, sweet berries for ONLY $2.00 per pound. That's a bargain I can live (and eat) with. 

Last night I washed and cut some up for strawberry shortcake. I also froze about 3 pounds for smoothies and strawberry margaritas (mostly margaritas). In addition, I rinsed a pound or two and put them in a bowl for eating "out of hand". They disappeared before dinner. 

Today, I am staring down at these:

I'm going to make 8 pints of strawberry jam. The promise of summer sweet jam in January drives me to do this. Imagine, a hot, freshly baked loaf of bread - right out of the oven, sliced and slathered with sweet cream butter and topped with chunky, sweet strawberry jam in the dead of winter!  Yum

Here's my recipe for shortcakes. If you are used to those yellow, sponge things you buy in the grocery store - do yourself, your tastebuds and your fresh strawberries a favor and bake some of these up. 

If you're inclined to join in the fun of picking your own, here's a website to help you find a farm near you:

Be sure to call ahead and ask if they are picking that day. Most UPICKIT's also have a market stand so if you're not up to picking your own you can buy the same produce right there. If you find a farm that's further than you want to travel call them and ask what local markets they supply. A lot of farms also do an email newsletter to let you know what is ripe and what is being picked that day.

Your tastebuds will thank you and you'll be doing your local farmer and your community a great service. 

Strawberry Shortcakes: (makes one 8 inch round cake or eight 2-inch shortcakes)

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour an 8-inch cake pan or cookie sheet. 

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter in bits (you can also use your food processor to do this). When the mixture resembles coarse meal, slowly stir in the cream. Using just enough to hold the dough together. Turn out on a lightly floured board or counter. Knead for just a minute. Pat the dough into the cake pan or pat out to 3/4 inch thick and cut into eight (8) 2-inch rounds. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes (2-inch rounds)
Bake for 12-15 minutes (cake pan)

While still warm, split with two forks, top with sugared berries and whipped cream.  

Strawberries for shortcake:

1 pint (about) fresh strawberries, washed and sliced.
2 tablespoons sugar

Sprinkle sugar over berries, crushing berries gently with the back of a fork. Let rest in refrigerator until ready to use. The sugar will help to "juice" the berries. Be sure to include juice on shortcakes. 

Whipped Cream:

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Put your bowl and beaters in refrigerator for 30 minutes before whipping. 

Pour cream into deep, chilled bowl. Whip on high with hand mixer. As cream begins to thicken, drizzle in the sugar. Whip until stiff. Serve immediately.

A Cook's Notes:

Be sure to pick enough berries to enjoy "out of hand". Refrigerate the berries with caps on, uncovered. Just before ready to serve or slice, rinse. This is the best way to store fresh strawberries. 

The strawberries are so good and abundant this year, I'm going back with my two grand daughters on Friday! Maybe I'll see you there. 

PS. TBHITW forgave me for my [little] deception - he LOVES homemade strawberry jam. 


  1. Oh my! with all those strawberries, I would be sure to have a terrible tummy ache because I wouldn't be able to stop eating them! Fabulous recipes. But plain old strawberries and cream has always been my favourite sweet.

    CJ xx

  2. funny you should mention that... I had strawberries and cream for lunch. :-)

  3. I have a dirty mind so I won't write what I THOUGHT you were going to say. Heh.

    Those strawberries look amazing. I'm a huge fan of strawberries.


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