I wrote about the savory part of our Memorial Day meal earlier this week — now it’s time for the sweet!
I mentioned that my husband was determined to prepare the quintessential all-American BBQ for Memorial Day. This included a gigantic smoked beef brisket with all the classic side dishes. Once we had everything figured out, we came to dessert, which seemed like an easy choice. After all what’s more American than strawberry shortcake?
* Okay, okay, fine — apple pie is probably more American, but shortcake has to be right up there!
We also knew we wanted to do it all from scratch, homemade shortcakes, fresh whipped cream and local strawberries macerated in sugar. Simple stuff. But my husband was also bound and determined to take it one step further by making a batch of strawberry ice cream.
He used the recipe for “Here’s your damn strawberry ice cream” from Humphry Slocombe’s Ice Cream Cookbook, which if you haven’t bought it yet, is totally worthwhile. The recipes are great but the commentary is downright hilarious. This is the first recipe we’ve made from it and my husband said the only adaption he had to do was add more red wine vinegar because our berries were too sweet. Chalk that up to another reason to love Oregon!
Anyways, he brought home a pint of the ice cream which I immediately had to taste for…quality control purposes (yeah, we’ll call it that). Upon the first bite, I can attest it was nothing short of amazing. Super creamy and full of berry love.
Next on the list was making shortcakes and this is where Martha enters. I’ve made her shortcakes before using this recipe and, as I recalled, they were quite tasty. They also come together quickly — blend everything in a food processor, pat dough into a large rectangle and cut into 8 pieces. After a quick dusting of sugar (I used some vanilla-infused sugar for extra goodness), they bake for about 25 minutes.
I took one picture of them prior to plating and it was just with my cell phone so you’ll have to excuse the quality. I can tell you the end result is only slightly sweet, with a fluffy inside and crunchy sugary outside. In a word, divine.
And oh yes, in my last post I told you I had an interesting guest stop by the BBQ. I actually had three surprise visitors — my little (half) brother was driving through Portland on his way to Anchorage and so he, his cousin and his grandpa (from his mom’s side) popped by for some dinner. Good thing too or I’d still be eating leftover brisket!
While it was amazing seeing my brother — we haven’t seen each other in years which is just crazy — I was just as thrilled to meet his pet, Mushu the python. Weirdly enough we apparently share a love for snakes. Who knew?
Even out of his element, Mushu was quite friendly and I got to hold him for a bit while we all chatted outside. The evening was a bit chilly so he ended up hanging out inside my sweatshirt cuddled up for warmth. Here he is in all his glory:
Luckily he wasn’t interested in dessert so we didn’t have to share!