Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pulling Summer From the Oven

Strawberry Shortcake Snake from Disney's Family Fun

At the end of June, the Masons make strawberry shortcake. Three long tables line the east wall where buckets of sugar strewn strawberries, crates of cake and barrels of whipped cream are presided over by women in plastic gloves. Four dollars a plate for a heaping mound of summertime.

Families sprawl across the lawn, their bodies curled over clam shell boxes, dipping plastic spoons like sea birds diving.

In my January kitchen, I unpack high priced, organic strawberries from a green bag and stuff them between the bread and portobello mushrooms. I shouldn't have spent the extra money, but winter is long in Wisconsin and fruit is just so good.

When morning comes, my daughter begs for berries in her cereal. I can't bear to toss them in. We have apples, after all.  We have pears and mango. Strawberries are meant for bigger things.

We barter, my "later" hardly matching the passion of her "please."

"Later," I say. "For dinner. I'll make something special for dinner." Then I'm stuck inside a promise I can't unglue.

An hour and a half before dinnertime, I'm reminded of my half-awake word.

Thank you, Universe, for the internet!

I scoop flour and baking powder into a bowl, cut in butter and tablespoons of sugar. I fold and mound and kneed, but I don't overwork. I pat. I biscuit cut. I brush with milk. I bake.

I make some delicious strawberry shortcake.

When we eat, all I hear is, "Mmmm."

What is your favorite thing to do with strawberries? 


  1. There's just nothing like a ripe package of strawberries in the winter. Just last night I ate a few mixed in with cottage cheese. It wasn't have as delish as what you had at your table, though. My goodness....

  2. Christi,

    The question is, which of us is going to make the shortcake snake first? Ssss.....