Strawberry shortcake

One of the trade-offs I made in spending five weeks visiting my daughter E in Hawai’i was that I was not at home for local strawberry season.  (I can hear you all sarcastically saying “aaaaawwwwww!”)

In our family, strawberry season is one of the most anticipated times of year. We used to go to our favorite local farm to pick them by the bucket, for ourselves and to share with extended family. I will admit the last few years had turned into buying quarts at the farmers’ market, with fewer people at home and a few physical constraints creeping in.

The two to three weeks of the height of strawberry season then turn into an orgy of strawberry eating. Strawberry shortcake was usually the first entrant. Fresh strawberry glacé pie, using a recipe from the farm we used to visit when I was growing up. Strawberry spinach salad. Strawberries on ice cream. Strawberries on cereal. Eating strawberries plain or dipped in sugar. Then, there were the strawberry-rhubarb combinations – pie, crisp, and a chilled soup that is one of my favorite dishes ever.

It is all amazingly delicious and special because we seldom eat strawberries unless they are fresh and local.

So I thought I had missed all the strawberries until I went to the farmers’ market this morning. One of the vendors is not a farmer himself, but re-sells produce from various New York and Pennsylvania farms. He must have some suppliers who are a bit further north and still had fresh strawberries. I bought a quart and currently have about half of them washed, sliced, and macerating in the fridge. I baked the shortcakes and will get some whipping cream when I go out on errands this afternoon. The bowl and beater and chilling in the fridge.

I get to surprise B with fresh strawberry shortcake tonight for dessert. I can hardly wait!

National Indian Pudding Day

November 13 is National Indian Pudding Day.  Last year, I (belatedly) wrote and blogged a poem about Indian Pudding. This year, I am sharing an Indian Pudding poem that I wrote in response to a prompt in the fall session of the Binghamton Poetry Project. Will Indian Pudding poems become a tradition at Top of JC’s Mind or next year will I move on to pies?  Stay tuned!

Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding
by Joanne Corey

Hand-written from the recipe box
with a molasses stain
in the right corner

Promised to my daughter
who will travel five-thousand miles
to be with us this Thanksgiving

Generations of family tradition
steaming and fragrant
with a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream