Hello! In the kitchen with Sharon this week is our very own reporter at The Times-Gazette, Tim Colliver. I was telling Tim that I needed something good to fix this weekend. Tim said, “You go to the grocery and get me some strawberries and I will have you a surprise in the morning.”
Well, I came in the next morning to strawberry shortcake. Yum. You are the best, Tim. Thank you for not only making this delicious dessert, but sharing it with all your Times-Gazette friends.
I am getting lots of feedback on the recipes. I just received three more this week and I will be sharing those in the next few weeks. Keep them coming. I love hearing from all of you. Send your recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 937-393-3456.
By Tim Colliver
Before we talk about how to make this great homemade springtime treat, I’d like to give a shout out to those hardworking, dedicated and self-sacrificing folks that put on the annual Relay for Life in support of the American Cancer Society.
When this event comes to the Highland County Fairgrounds in late June, I encourage everyone to take some time out and take it in.
It’s a fun-filled event with the noble cause of helping to find a cure for this insidious disease that claimed the life of my mother 16 years ago this September.
Rene Colliver was just 63 years old when diagnosed with cervical cancer and died 13 months later. This was her recipe and I know she’d want you to enjoy it.
Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
This was a longtime family favorite that Mom would throw together whenever strawberries showed up at my grandparent’s general store in Mowrystown. And then when Cool Whip came out in 1966, that really made it nice. Even when strawberries weren’t in season, my little brother Chris and I would ask her to make it just so we could eat the shortcake. And yes, this recipe contains the secret ingredient — lard — but another secret is in the flour you use.
Several hours before you bake this, cut up a generous amount of ripe strawberries, dust them with about ½ cup of sugar and place into the refrigerator. This will give them time to soften and turn the sugar into strawberry juice that will soak into the shortcake.
Start out with the basic homemade biscuit recipe. Remember, from our last home ec class, in a large mixing bowl, take 1/3 cup of lard (or vegetable shortening if you like) and cut in 2 cups of self-rising flour. But for this recipe increase the amount of milk you add into the mix to about 1 ½ cups. Instead of rolling this out like dough, we’re making a cake batter.
I recommend using a top-shelf flour like White Lilly, King Arthur or Hudson Cream. Not to take anything away from the store brands, but I have found these flours will give the cake a lighter and more fluffy texture.
1 stick REAL butter, softened
1 large egg
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups sugar
Using a mixer, blend this conglomeration together until it has the appearance of cake batter. It’ll probably be a bit thicker than Betty Crocker’s or Mr. Hines. If it seems too thick, add a little more milk.
Coat a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray and pour the batter in. Dust the top of the batter with a generous amount of sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until you stick a knife in the center and it comes out clean.
Let cool and cut into equal squares. Lift out a square and place into a small bowl, cover with those chilled, juicy strawberries you cut up earlier and cover with a dollop, or two or three, of Cool Whip, or Dream Whip if you prefer mixing up this topping made with real milk.
Serve up this great seasonal treat and celebrate the Memorial Day holiday weekend. And as my daughter-in-law Sami and I said at the recent Homemaker’s Show, from our kitchen to yours — enjoy!
Sharon Hughes is the advertising manager at The Times-Gazette. She is also a mother, grandmother and chef. She can be reached at 937-393-3456.