Allow me, please, to introduce you to Strawberry Shortcake With Milk On Top, your new best friend.
I grew up eating strawberry shortcake like this, for supper. It’s simply biscuits, berries, and milk—a heartier, more filling version of the gourmet, whipped creamy affair, but still glorious indeed, simple and lush, eaten with complete abandon since there was nothing else offered to fill up on.
It went something like this: one of the first hot evenings of the summer would find Mom standing at the kitchen sink in her empire-waist sundress, her thick hair frizzing about her head and her glasses slipping down her nose, rapidly topping a big bowl of berries, just-picked from the garden out back. The tray or two of biscuits that were baking in the oven would be making the kitchen even hotter (and everyone crankier), so she’d declare we’d eat out at the picnic table and Jennifer, get the old plastic tablecloth out of the drawer, and Will someone come fill up the water glasses? Dad would come into the kitchen to carry out the heavy tray loaded with filled glasses and bowls and clanking spoons, and the rest of us would trail behind, bearing milk, sugared berries, and the trays of piping hot biscuits, the back door slamming shut behind us.
We’d crowd around the wooden picnic table, bare knees bumping, the evening breeze tickling our sweaty necks. After whizzing through a rendition of Johnny Appleseed, we’d fall to, crumbling biscuits into our bowls, smothering them with berries and drowning the whole mess in cold milk. The simple food quickly filled our tummies and muted our tempers, but still we’d eat, gorging on the glorious sweetness until our stomachs distended and our eyes glazed over.
Summertime bliss, that’s what strawberry shortcake suppers are. Try it for yourself and see!
(Note: it may be cultural, this love of dousing baked goods with milk. One of our favorite lunches, growing up, was peanut-butter-and-jelly-bread with milk on top. Even now, my brothers like to put their shoofly cake or apple pie in a bowl and then pour milk over top. So I don’t know, maybe you have to grow up with this kind of food in order to enjoy it. On the other hand, maybe not?)
Strawberry Shortcake With Milk On Top
The original recipe calls for all white flour, but I use half whole wheat. Whatever you do, keep it simple—which is the whole point of summer suppers, after all.
For the biscuits:
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup milk
Mix together the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, cut in the butter. Stir in the milk. Drop spoonfuls of the batter (it’s thick like cookie dough) on to a greased cookie sheet. Liberally sprinkle each biscuit with more white sugar. Bake the biscuits at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
For the strawberries:
1-2 quarts strawberries, washed, topped, and sliced
1/4 – ½ cup sugar
Mix together and set aside till ready to serve.
Crumble one or two biscuits into a bowl. Spoon strawberries over top. Drown in milk. Devour. Repeat.
About one year ago: Ranch Dressing.