Friday, March 19, 2010

Plant City strawberries

Along most major roads, not including interstates, fruit stands pop up this time of year in northeast Florida. Most of them are touting PLANT CITY STRAWBERRIES, like that, in homemade signs lettered in all caps. And mostly these strawberries are really good. If you don't remember the recipe for Cream Biscuits (commented on by Screamish), here it is again. Don't make the mistake of buying fresh spring strawberries and then serving them on those horrifying little pretend-spongecakes you find in the grocery store. Buy as many strawberries as you can. Slice them up and freeze, as appopriate. With the ones you're serving tomorrow afternoon, slice and refigerate, and then mix this up and bake according to directions. You'll want a touch of fresh cream, whether or not you whip and sweeten it. Make the Cream Biscuits.

Mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour, a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of baking powder and a couple of teaspoons of flour in a mixing bowl. Lighten and sift together with a fork and preheat the oven to about 400 degrees. Melt about 6-8 tablespoons of butter and set aside. Mix in a cup of cream, adding more as needed to make a nice thick dough (you might need up to 1-1/2 cups). When mixed, turn onto a floured surface and knead for about a minute; cut into biscuits as desired. Dip each biscuit into the butter and place on a baking sheet; bake for 15 minutes or so until they're nicely browned and have a lovely scent of "doneness". Serve as many thousands of sliced strawberries as you can. Pour a little cream over the whole thing, or make fresh whipped cream and serve that. It's not hard, it IS delicious, and from now until time ends your family will ask you to make it every spring.

Ah, spring. You will welcome it with this recipe every year.


  1. When my children were little, I used to make them strawberry shortcake for supper in spring. That wasn't the dessert- it was the entire dinner. Oh, how they loved that!

  2. That sounds absolutely, positively heavenly. I'm totally doing that. I'm tempted to say how lucky your kids are to have you, but it would be silly. They clearly know it perfectly well.
    Love, love.

  3. I grew up a country girl in an isolated valley. We raised cows, pigs, and chickens. We also planted crops - a LOT of crops.

    On one side of the backyard we had a huge strawberry patch that grew back in every year. There were so many that we never fenced it in. Instead, we shared with the birds, deer, rabbits, and squirrels. I would carry out a bowl of sugar, pluck the strawberries right up, and dip them in the sugar before popping them into my mouth.

    I love a good strawberry shortcake. I agree about those store-bought sponge cakes. Don't waste a good strawberry on those.

  4. That's funny you should mention those strawberries, as I do believe those were the brand I picked up at the market on Saturday. Maybe not a brand name, but I know for a fact that's the place they were packaged. I remember distinctly thinking what an apropos name it was for a place to package fruit.

  5. Michelle, I can hardly imagine the luxury of so many strawberries you could share with the wildlife and still have plenty. I have to tell you I love the image of you with a bowl of sugar in your lap, eating strawberries right off the canes!
    Suldog, it almost certainly IS the place they were packaged; it's the name of a city in Florida, perhaps a hundred miles or so from Tampa, where many of the berries are grown. It does seem perfectly suited, doesn't it? And I like the connection it creates among us out here in BlogLand, talking to one another of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.
    Love, love,


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