With high hopes of serving strawberry shortcake to our dinner guests on Thursday night, I bought a few pints of strawberries from the Bend Farmer’s Market on Wednesday afternoon.  Four pints would be plenty I thought, to enjoy Wednesday evening and still have enough for our friends the following night.  As I sliced up a few large berries and took a bite, I realized I was mistaken.

I had forgotten the taste of a real strawberry, one that had been picked that morning; by the hands of a fellow Oregonian.  There is something fabulous about a farm-fresh strawberry.  It tastes different than one that comes out of the refrigerated case at the grocery.  Full of flavor and satisfying in a way a store-bought berry could never be.  It is a bit messy to eat, dark red strawberry juice covering your fingers as you reach for a third or fourth.

After a winter of eating hearty greens and store bought fruits, these strawberries were a real treat.  I couldn’t help myself.  With my lack of self-control combined with Ben’s love of just about any type of produce, we quickly devoured a pint and a half of berries.  Four pints was not nearly enough.

I guess the strawberry shortcake will have to wait until next week… when 6 pints of strawberries will be on my Farmer’s Market list.

This is going to be a very good summer!

A Summer Strawberry Shortcake Recipe:

3 pints fresh strawberries

1/2 cup white sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

2 cups whipped heavy cream

Directions

1.              Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside.

2.              Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.

3.              In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.

4.              Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.

Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.

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