Strawberry Shortcake from My Garden

June 9th, 2010 / Comments 1

My mother gave her mother, my Nana, daffodils three times each spring, in February on her birthday, in March for Nana’s birthday and in May for Mothers’ day. When I was ten, we were buying daffodils for Nana’s birthday when I saw bundles of strawberry plants for sale.
daffodil c egbert Strawberry Shortcake from My Garden
I convinced my mother that since Nana loved to garden, strawberry plants would be a perfect present. There were June bearing plants and everbearing varieties. Everbearing was the obvious choice. Naively I assumed that everbearing plants meant strawberries all the time, strawberries every day, long after the small, dark red strawberries in square, wooden baskets with red stains disappeared from the market at the end of June. In fact it everbearing means that there would be a berry harvest in June and a second in August. It wasn’t until years later that strawberries were flown from California to markets around the country and available year round.

Nana was delighted with both the daffodils and the strawberry plants. After lunch we went out to her garden to make a strawberry bed. When she unwrapped the bundle of plants, she said that there were enough plants for two strawberry beds, that I was old enough to have my own garden and that she would help me. I picked a sunny spot near the climbing, pink rose bush and it didn’t take long to make my garden. I watched the plants carefully and learned that each flower held the promise of one sweet red berry.
strawberries c egbert Strawberry Shortcake from My Garden I watered the plants with gentle streams from my watering can and Nana taught me how to recognize weeds. My first crop was less than the bounty I had hoped for – only one harvest and three and a half cups rather than two pails but there were enough berries to make my first ever, strawberry shortcake for Sunday dinner with Nana and my grandfather.

I wasn’t sure what traditional strawberry shortcake was. I had seen curious sponge cake cups and aerosol cans of whipped cream displayed next to the strawberries at the market, but they were not what I wanted for the strawberries I had tended for nearly two months.

pink beater c egbert Strawberry Shortcake from My Garden

I would make proper shortcake and top each dessert with real whipped real cream. When I found a recipe for shortcake at the library, I was surprised to learn that shortcake was really a biscuit and nothing like the shortbread cookies we had at Christmas time. Here’s how I made it: … read more

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with shortcake at Vermont food from a country kitchen – Carol Egbert.