Saturday, July 13, 2024

Strawberries and Cream


At the dinner table the other night we got to talking about tractors. Grandma says to us, “Did you know your Grandma B used to plow our farm with a team of horses.” I nodded waiting for the story I knew was coming, “That was after she married Daddy. Before she married him, she was a school teacher. Horses were still doing most the work and tractors were exciting new machines.  Anyway, Grandma B was a young woman out in the yard with the school kids she was teaching during recess and a tractor came around the corner into her line of sight just past where the school kids were playing.” Grandma paused to ask me to pass the butter. As she was spreading butter and jam on a biscuit she continued. “The tractor, pulling a full manure spreader, chugged as big as you please towards the playground and the kids at recess. Just as the tractor got to the school the spreader, full of cow manure, hit a stray bolder with an outside tire giving a strange tug on the tractor’s pulling hitch causing the farmer to jerk in his seat. To the delight of the kids the farmer pulled the tractor over to the side of the road up next to their playground so he could figure out what caused the manure spreader to give a jerk on his tractor.

He walked around the manure spreader, checked out the tires, checked out the hitch, checked out all the latches. All the while the kids were quiet, watching him. Satisfied all was well with his equipment the farmer stood up and happened to make eye contact with one of the kids.” Grandma took a break from her story telling to take a bite of her biscuit and jam.

“Where was Grandma B?” I glanced over to see Grandpa’s smirk.

Grandma swallowed her bite of biscuit and told me, “Oh, she was there; anyway the farmer said hi, the kid said hi back then asked the farmer what he was going to do with all the manure he was hauling. The farmer replied, I’m taking it home and put it on my strawberries.” Then Grandma asked in a very serious tone, “You know what the kid said?” I shrugged my shoulders to say ‘not sure’ as my mind imagined the farmer; hoping for a bountiful harvest of ripe red strawberries; pulling that manure spreader behind his tractor through his field investing in the future growth of young berry plants by spreading cow manure out over them. I came back to reality with a jolt when I heard her say, “The kid said, at our school we put whipped cream on ours.”

Grandpa’s smirk had became a grin. I knew I’d been had. “Oh Grandma. That didn’t really happen.” Grandma's eyes twinkled. She shrugged her shoulders, pursed her lips and didn’t say a word.

Winter Strawberry Short Cake

Strawberry Drizzle

2 Tablespoons strawberry jam                        1-4oz box strawberry jello       Boiling water

Sugar to taste(optional)

To in a small bowl add 2 to3 Tablespoons powdered jello from the 4oz box of jello and ¾ cup boiling water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Once dissolved, stir in 2 Tablespoons of jam. Taste. If it isn’t sweet enough add sugar to taste. Set aside as the biscuits bake.

Shortbread biscuits

1 cup flour                                           ½ teaspoon salt                       1 Tablespoon Sugar   

4 teaspoons baking powder                3 Tablespoons oil                   1/2 cup water or milk

Mix dry ingredients together first then add the wet ingredients and stir until they are mixed. Drop by spoonfuls (I use a Tablespoon) onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 10 to15 minutes.

Whipped Cream

1 pint whipping cream (not half & half)            ½ cup white sugar       

            Beat whipping cream and sugar with an electric mixer until the cream stiffens and will hold a peak. (I pay attention to the whipping because cream beaten too long becomes butter) pour out of the mixing bowl into a bowl (or a mason jar) with an air tight seal and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Whipped cream stored this way can stay whipped, so that it does not dissolve into liquid again, for a few days.

Assemble Strawberry Short Cake

As soon as the biscuits are pulled out of the oven put half of them in the bottom of individual serving bowls. Pour half the strawberry drizzle over them. Put a second biscuit on top of the first biscuit and drizzle over that too. At dessert time, top with whipped cream & serve.

Note: If cream can’t be found and milk is on hand, a sploosh of milk over the top of the berries and biscuits is almost as good! Milk plus grain product (biscuits) give complete protein.



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