life is delicious: strawberry shortcake
It is my pleasure to introduce you to our newest series: Life is Delicious. On the original Strawberry Shortcake poster you will find those words. And, it is so true, isn’t it?!
When I was writing the Star Wars post I was looking up other happenings in 1977. I stumbled upon the Strawberry Shortcake character that was designed in 1977 by Muriel Fahrion, a greeting card illustrator at American Greetings. Strawberry Shortcake and her cat, Custard, were originally seen on greeting cards, but the adorable character became a huge hit. She could soon be found on lunch boxes, posters and sticker albums.
It was in the 1980’s, though, that Strawberry Shortcake and friends became the big trend with young girls. Eventually Strawberry Shortcake TV specials, video games, and movies were made that included many of the thirty two characters Fahrion created.
Each subsequent character had a fruit or dessert themed name and coordinating clothing as well as a pet with an appropriate name, which is quite sweet. Some of Strawberry Shortcakes friends were Huckleberry Pie and his dog Pupcake; Blueberry Muffin and her mouse, Cheesecake; Orange Blossom and her pet butterfly, Marmalade; Crepe Suzette who’s pet, of course is a French poodle named Éclair.
Strawberry Shortcake, to me, is the epitome of innocence. The character brings back many memories of my own childhood. Today, when walking through the toy store I see dolls such as Bratz that scream out at the consumer and make young girls look “cool”. Even Barbie, with her disproportioned body and glamorous wardrobe doesn’t quite offend as some of these newer dolls. With their scent related hair and their cherubic faces the Strawberry Shortcake characters let young girls remain just that…young.
Our new series, Life is Delicious, will recall each Strawberry Shortcake character and their corresponding dessert. We will talk about life, the good times and the times during which we might say that life isn’t so delicious. This brings to mind a quote, if you’ll indulge me for it is not related to Strawberry Shortcake, but utterly relevant to our theme. It is from the movie Parenthood:
Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story.
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.
Life is full of ups and downs, but always delicious!
Strawberry Shortcakes with Whipped Cream (adapted from the back of the Bisquick box)
This recipe came about when I botched the actual recipe on the back of the Bisquick box. I was new to baking and in a hurry. You’ll see the ingredients are the same as on the box. What you will notice is that the sugar placements are reversed! I liked my botched version and have been making it that way ever since.
Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream
1 quart strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp sugar
¼ cup sugar
2 1/3 cup Bisquick mix
½ cup milk
3 tbsp butter, melted
Whipped cream (recipe below)
- In a medium bowl mix the strawberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Stir the Bisquick mix, ¼ cup sugar, milk and butter until a soft dough forms.
- Drop by the spoonful onto parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form.
- Do not over whip the cream or you will begin to have butter.
Angel Food Cake
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- 10 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or almond extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
- In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
- Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).
- Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.
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