Have you ever been strawberry picking??? If not, and you live anywhere near a strawberry patch, grab a bucket and a child or friend and get out there today! Spring has arrived early this year and the berries are even ready to be picked up here in Virginia. I arrived home from picking this afternoon to learn that my sister had been doing the exact same thing today with her children down in Florida. They definitely beat us though…we only picked one bucket’s worth, they picked 35 pounds!
My daughter and I LOVE to go to our local patch. There are a TON around where we live, so there are plenty to chose from. It is extremely convenient that we have one less than five minutes from our house. My daughter tries to see who can find the best, biggest berries, and I have a little helper to squat down and pull them out for me (a wonderful thing at 6.5 months pregnant).
I was very tempted to come home and make strawberry jam. I have canning equipment that I still haven’t used yet. Admittedly, I’m a little afraid and think I want to have someone else to try it with. Also, my husband is right when he accuses me of a serious case of mission creep. I make plans to go to the berry patch and before you know it there are strawberry pies, jams, soaps, drinks, necklaces…you name it and I can make it happen. In the mean time, the dishes aren’t done, the laundry is piling up, the dogs still need to be washed…you get the picture. I thought it best to keep things simple this time around.
Most of the berries, I froze. I cut their heads off, laid them out on a couple of racks and stuck them in the freezer, much like my mother recommended in her banana freezing post. Tomorrow I will bag them up in one cup increments because I, too, am a smoothie-o-holic. A medium size smoothie is often the main dish of my lunches at work. What better to put in them then fresh off the vine berries???
I use a simple drop biscuit recipe for my strawberry shortcakes. I CANNOT STAND those orange spongy cakes you buy at the grocery store! Growing up I despised strawberry shortcake because I thought that was was it was supposed to be made with. Once I learned biscuits were best, I also learned it’s hard to say no to just one!!! You can add as much sugar as you desire to make it a sweeter biscuit. I will leave it out of the recipe, but I often also add vanilla to the biscuits.
To be quite honest, Bisquick has a terrific strawberry shortcake biscuit recipe and if you are tried for time, I that is probably a great option for you. In our household, however, we are trying more and more to get away from processed foods. If it didn’t come from the ground or wasn’t created in some other natural way, or if it contains preservatives, I try not to buy it. That has been difficult this year with my work schedule, but that will soon change when the school year is over and I get to stay home again (YAY!). As a matter of fact, I also just signed up for my first ever CSA (Community Supported Agriculture Program) and I am THRILLED to place my first order! I’ll let you know how it goes! In any case, though Bisquick is not guilty of the typical long line of who knows what kind of ingredients in their products, it also isn’t straight flour and butter. So I will stick with the homemade and as natural as possible stuff.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup milk
In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of dry mixture and add the milk all at once. Stir with a fork just until moistened.
Drop dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden on bottom and edges. Makes 12 biscuits.
Remove the green tops of 2 – 3 cups of strawberries and cut berries in half. Crush about 1/2 cup or 1 cup of the sliced berries and mix in to the rest of the halves. Sprinkle with desired amount of sugar for sweetness. Use berries to fill biscuits that are cut in half or place on top. Garnish with cool whip if desired. Enjoy!