I realized that I haven’t posted anything about the finished Plain Spoken quilt that I made. I actually finished it before leaving Vancouver and, thankfully, remembered to take some pictures before giving it away. It was a labor of love and long one at that but I am really happy with how it turned out. I think the next quilting project I take on will be decidedly smaller though. I was daydreaming about a beautiful tea cozy yesterday and that’s about the size of project I can handle.
Here it is. To give you an idea of the size, that’s my 5’10” Man of all Men modeling the quilt for us. I quilted it in a sort of wave or cloud pattern (depending on which way you look at it). I love the end result but it was a lot of work using a straight-stitch walking foot system.
It’s the Canada Day long weekend and local strawberries have, appropriately made their way onto the scene. The weather is supposed to cooperate beautifully and at brunch this morning the waitress informed us that only 1 in 3 Torontonians remain in the city this weekend. We are in that minority staying in town but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a relaxing, celebratory weekend.
But back to the real stars of the weekend…strawberries. I’m not Canada’s biggest strawberry fan, there are other fruits that I prefer, but the other week when local strawberries started appearing in the grocery stores I actually gasped and made this “ooooOOoooo” sound. (As an aside, I have no ability to stop myself from making this sound when I see something I like. It’s proved to be a helpful tool for my Man of all Men who uses it to track me down in a store if he’s wandered off…though he would probably argue that I am the one that wanders, lured by shiny things, cleaning supplies, and plants.)
So we bought the strawberries and, even though eating them on their own would have been enough to honour their existence, I wanted to do something more. So I did what any girl would do, I scoured my favourite blogs and epicurious to find a recipe that would take these berries to another level. I narrowed down my search to a strawberry-shortcake-esque dessert and finally decided on this shortcake recipe with a few changes. It was everything a tribute to strawberries should be and tasted like summer. I ate it for 3 meals straight.
Strawberry Shortcake (adapted from epicurious.com)
2 cups less 2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp pecan flour/meal (of course you can just use all regular flour like the original recipe asks for)
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Mix flour, pecan flour, baking powder and sugar. Add the butter, quickly crumbling it in with your fingers until it all looks like fine bread crumbs. (Before doing steps like this where you don’t want the butter melting, I usually wash my hands with cold water to bring down their temperature. I am cold blooded so often this isn’t necessary but it can’t hurt.)
- In a different bowl mix the cream, yogurt, and yolks. Add to the dry mix using a fork. Stir “until the dough just holds together”.
- On a floured surface (otherwise known as a countertop), knead the dough until it is smooth. Do not overwork.
- Roll out your dough until it is around 3/4 inch thick. Using a glass or cookie cutter of the size you desire cut out as many rounds as your dough will allow. Briefly knead together any scraps and roll out again before cutting as many more rounds as you can.
- Put the rounds on a baking sheet with a bit of space, as they will puff up and out. Brush them with the melted butter and sprinkle with the last tbsp of sugar.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until the biscuits are slightly browned.
1 small green basket of strawberries
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
~1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp icing sugar
- Mix together and let macerate for about an hour at room temperature
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
drizzle of honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
- Mix together!
- Finally, halve a shortcake and spoon strawberries onto the bottom half. Top with vanilla yogurt and sandwich together with the top of the shortcake.
- Devour in much less time than it took to make these, but enjoy enough to make it well worth the effort!
HAPPY CANADA DAY!