Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TWD: Tender Shortcakes















First a story about this week's recipe host/selector, Cathy of The Tortefeasor...

Cathy and I met 1990 (aka freshman year of college) and have been great pals ever since...now going on (gasp) 20 years??! Wow, ok, that really makes me feel old...many beers ago...

Cathy and I have been through a lot together--including (I think) at least 1 class together (right Cath, or am I imagining you were in an English class with me--the British female professor...the one who'd make us put the chairs in a circle and discuss the book of the month/week/semester/whatever..the one who called on that guy "Mahhrk" a lot? (aka "Mark"...but not the way she said it!)
Anyways, so regardless of curriculum, Cathy and I have gone through ups and downs....we have shared laughs and tears both good and bad...during college I can't begin to say how many belly pains I have had because of Cathy and I building upon each other's jokes and stories and putting us into hysterics with our housemates...I came out of college with a tight group of friends...friends who I know will have forever. Friends who I know I can call (or tweet...or text...or Facebook 'friend') and know they will be there.....Cathy is one of those few who I know I am bonded to forever. Let's face it, you don't go through the rise and fall of Zima together and not become bonded for life.

And after college, we have seen each other through questions like 'what will you do after graduation" to "where will you live.." to "who will you marry"...to "what will your baby be named"...and now that she introduced me to TWD questions like "did you bake this week?" or "could you find that ingredient in Alabama, because I could not in Connecticut..." And I know years from now the question will be "so where do we all retire to?" I can't wait until I am sitting next to Cathy at Bingo one day when we are old and grey....then catching the Early Bird Special somewhere...and then reminiscing for the 1000th time "remember the time we cooked Thanksgiving dinner for our parents senior year??"

And in between now and then, Cathy and I are now going through a new curriculum together: Tuesdays with Dorie. Cathy told me all about the club and her blog two summers ago--no more than a few weeks after I decided to start baking more, and tried my hand at my first scratch cake (recounted on my now-defunct first blog). Though let's face it, Cathy is ten times as dedicated as I am with it and 20 times as witty and interesting with her posts! I always look forward to them. Whereas the miles between her and I are far, TWD keeps us in closer touch than usual, and brings us closer together. So I thank this blog for that.

So back to baking--this week was Cathy's choice. Tender Shortcakes. What a perfect selection to kick off Summer! We have had wonderful sunny weather recently (with some gross humid days mixed in) here in the Northeast....and Sunday after the humidity lifted with a passing thunder storm, I dove in and made the shortcakes.

They came together easily--Cathy, I can't thank you enough for an easy-peasey recipe! (obviously, thanks to you too, Dorie!) I didn't even have to plan to get the butter to room temperature! (love the "chilled butter" recipes!)

I opted to add the cinnamon and nutmeg, called for in the sidebar of the recipe....if I see any spin on recipes that adds those spices, I tend to go for it immediately. I started forming them...and then I forgot that it said if you go for the cinnamon route, to add some vanilla into the dough...."Doh!!" I forgot! So I tried to get it back into the cakes not yet formed...so I start to blend it in then, "doh!" I panicked thinking if I add to it and remix the dough, it means I would have over-handled the dough..Dorie says not to do that...You can see here the first row has pre-vanilla cakes, the bottom row has 'post-vanilla' cakes....and since I was at the bottom of the bowl, the unmixed flour started appearing...(I did half the recipe by the way, and it yielded six cakes) Forgive yellow hue to all photos...with my flash it was too bright, without it, it looks like this...darn energy-efficient bulbs...
So onward...and when they came out after 15 minutes, give or take--Voila!!














So here's the confession...I don't like strawberries...growing up, when we would have strawberry shortcake, I would opt for the spongecake and whipped cream, hold the berries. I decided to use the lesser of the berry evils for me, and went with raspberry and blueberry (I love blueberries, but better when they are baked in a cobbler or crisp. I know these 2 berries do not get as juicy as the strawberry, so not as perfect for shortcakes, but I had to go with what I thought I would eat! Dear Husband prefers those two berries as well, so it made it easy--and quite patriotic I might add.)

These cakes are AWESOME. Tender, indeed--and I love the added dimension the cinnamon provides. Especially since I mostly was eating just the cakes and whippped cream. Easy recipe+yummy recipe=repeated recipe!!

I know I'll make these again a few times this summer--even if I don't get into strawberry shortcake,I know guests will love it with these shortcakes!
Cheers, Cathy! Thanks for introducing me to Dorie! Thanks for a fabulous recipe pick!! Miss ya, babe!

9 comments:

Jacque said...

Mmm, those look great! Lucky you to have such a good friend.

cindy said...

35 years ago I had some wonderful roommates. We have kept in touch over the years. We live close enough to have lunch together often. They are true friends, we have been thru a lot together.
And...the shortcakes were delish!

Flourchild said...

How great that you and Cathy are friends! You both would make a great friend!:)
I think you would love these with chai tea..I thought I died and went to heaven!
Your shortcakes look so good!

Mary said...

I love reading the fun friendship post...I am close friends with a fellow TWDer too who got me to join too...it is such a nice group!

Tia said...

what a sweet story. That's so special :)

Cathy said...

OMG - Zima. That totally reminds me of the time when Peg (our designated driver, who had faithfully discharged her designated driver duties and had not had so much as a sip to drink) was pulled over by the cops (I can't remember why - I know she was driving fine - I'm thinking there were too many people in the car) and she was wearing a flashing Zima button that they handed out at the Grape. And she was trying to have this very sensible and serious talk with the officer, all while her Zima button was flashing up a storm. Ahhhhhh . . . good times. I LOVE your post, my dear friend, and I love that we are all still so connected, despite distance and the passage of time. Who would have thought 20 (eek!) years ago that we'd be virtually baking shortcakes together in 2010? Your shortcakes look amazing, and I am SO glad that you enjoyed them! I think this one's a keeper! Thanks for baking with me this week and well, for 20+ years of friendship! May we eat shortcake together in our old age!

Leslie said...

What a sweet post! Your shortcakes look perfect (and the cinnamon and nutmeg would be great with sauteed apples if you wanted to take these into fall...)

Lady Baker said...

Cath: I believe it was for too many people in the car...because when he asked what we were doing, I do remember I piped up from the back seat "practicing our clown car routine". Go figure, he didn't seem amused. I always laugh with the vision of our designated driver wearing a blinking pin from the Zima launch party @ the Grape! Ahh..1993....

TeaLady said...

the blueberries and red raspberries look fantastic together. Very Patriotic. And very delicious.