When I was in second grade, I had a huge crush on one of my older brother’s friends. Let’s just call him Jack and hope this blog doesn’t make it all the way home to Mississippi.
Jack was in sixth grade, and although I was 8 and he was 12, the age difference didn’t seem to faze me. I can clearly remember thinking through that my parents were five years apart and it seemed to be working well, so what’s the harm in four?
Jack had been in our home countless times, and all I knew was I liked him. A lot.
One Saturday, I painted Jack a Strawberry Shortcake paint-by-number picture – not the shortcake dessert, but the little doll we all played with back in the 1970s (along with Holly Hobbie).
Our school was small enough where first through sixth grades were all on the same campus, and all weekend I thought of different schemes to get the painting to him at school Monday morning. The best plan I could come up with was to hide the painting between my piano books and make a quick stop in sixth grade on the way to my Monday music lesson.
The moment came to go big or go home, and sure enough I ran to the sixth grade, knocked on the door, and asked for Jack. My mouth was completely dry, and my heart was pounding out of my little body when he came to the door.
I shoved the painting at him and ran. Not a word.
Here’s the best part. When my brother got home from school that day, he didn’t tease me at all. He just sweetly said, “Jack says thank you for the picture.” And a few weeks later at my brother’s skating party, Jack asked me to skate when it came time for the boys to ask the girls.
These are moments a girl never forgets.
So in honor of one of my sweetest early memories – and a boy and brother who were nothing but kind when they could have teased me for years – I think it’s just the right time to make a strawberry shortcake and celebrate the innocence of young sweet love.
2 1/3 cups baking mix
3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup Food Club whole or low-fat milk
3 Tbs sugar plus more for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425°F. Using a wooden spoon, stir baking mix, melted butter, milk, and sugar in a mixing bowl until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 large spoonful’s on to a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
2 pints of fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced thinly
1/2 cup sugar
Place berries and sugar in a large bowl. Mix gently to combine. Set aside to allow berries to soften and juices to form. If you like, you can use the back of a fork to slightly mash berries.
3 cups whipped cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs sugar
For the whipped cream, place cream, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip until soft peaks form. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
To serve, slice each biscuit in half. Place bottom of biscuit on a dessert plate. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and the top half of the biscuit.