Strawberries Make a Scene

[Photo by  Erwan Hesry  on  Unsplash

[Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

It goes like this in our family:

Scene: Winter. A mom and her teenage daughter are pushing a cart through the grocery store.

Teenager: Yum! Can we get some strawberries?

Mom: [repressing a shudder as she eyes the clamshell containers of giant strawberries from California] Those things? They don't even taste good. They breed them for size and color, not for flavor.

Teenager: But they're good anyhow! I've had them.

Mom: You're the same person who likes cake mix cakes that don't even use real vanilla.

Teenager: Fake vanilla tastes good! I love fake vanilla. It's because you never let us have any. (Teenager seethes and thinks rebellious thoughts.)

Scene shifts to summer at the Bellevue Farmers Market.

Teenager: Strawberries! Can we get some?

Mom: Of course.

Teenager: And not just two pints this time. That doesn't even last one day.

Mom: Okay. A half-flat.

Teenager: Of really big strawberries.

Mom: I like the little ones better. They have more flavor. They're like sugar bombs.

Teenager: But I like the big ones!

Mom tyrannically buys a half-flat of small strawberries, and teenager seethes and thinks rebellious thoughts.

(It occurs to me now, as I write this transcription inspired by real events, that this week the obvious solution is to buy several different pints, each a different variety of strawberry, and to do a family taste test. A flight of strawberries.)

Maybe you've chosen your favorite variety already, from the many offered by our farmers. We not only ate our tiny ones raw, but we also turned them into strawberry shortcake. Kind of a poignant thing because my husband took a bite and talked about how his mom (now in memory care for dementia) loved strawberry shortcake and used to make it often. Waaah! Clearly we are going to have to bring her some. She may not remember what we remember about her love for strawberries, but she can discover them anew.


Strawberry Shortcake

8 biscuits, baked from your favorite recipe, with a tad of sugar added


3 12-ozs baskets of strawberries, hulled

3 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Slice two baskets of the strawberries and transfer to a large bowl. Puree the remaining basket in a food processor until smooth. Add to sliced strawberries. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Garnish with mint, if you like (I don't like). 

Halve biscuits and spoon topping generously over. Makes 8 servings.