Tuesday, June 17, 2014

U-pick Strawberries and Shortcake!

Apparently, Saturday was National Strawberry Shortcake Day.  Who makes up all these days, really?  It's a little too much sometimes.  But, I'll take this one since it's probably my favorite late spring/early summer dessert.  Without even knowing this, we hit the road Friday and went out into the country a bit to find a u-pick strawberry farm near us, Yankey Farm.  I have picked grapes, blueberries, and apples other places but never actually picked strawberries before.  It was super easy, and my almost two year old really enjoyed it.  The four year old was a little hesitant for some reason, but it was a good mama and sons outing.

Yankey Farms has a pretty simple set-up, basically a tent in the middle of the strawberry field (with a port-a-potty nearby), but did accept credit cards as well as cash.  For $4 you could pick a pint, and for $20 you could fill a huge bucket.  Prices were slightly higher to buy already-picked pints/buckets that were available as well.

I decided to let each boy pick a pint, and realized I should have brought a handled basket for Eli to put his in so they didn't get spilled.  I should have had them both in rain boots since it has rained a lot this week, and they love puddles.  But otherwise, it was a perfect activity for my two little guys.

We decided to make some strawberry shortcake with our haul, and plan to make some popsicles too (though Theo wanted to make "carrot popsicles" instead).  I love a good biscuit-like cake for my shortcake, and wanted to share the recipe I use here:

•    Quarter 2-3 pints of strawberries and toss them with ½ cup of white sugar. Set aside to macerate.
•    Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
•    In a medium bowl combine 2 1/4 cup flour, 4 tsps baking powder, 2 Tbsps sugar and 1/4 tsp salt.
With a pastry blender cut in 1/3 cup shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add 1 beaten egg and 2/3 cup milk. Stir until just combined.
•    Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425˚F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.

To serve, slice cake in eighths, and then slice each piece in half height wise as well.   Separate and top bottom piece with strawberries and whipped cream, and then repeat with top layer.

 Theo requested I take his photo as well.  And yes, he is wearing snowman pajamas.

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