Since 1977 the traditional food eaten during the NCAA College Basketball Tournament has always been strawberries. That’s because the first year John and I watched the tournament together as students at Western Carolina University, I suggested we fix strawberries. I’m not really sure why that seemed like an appropriate snack food instead of chips, peanuts, popcorn, pizza or some other food usually associated with sporting events, but in any case it was the beginning of our tradition of watching the best basketball of the year while also eating the tastiest food on the planet.
As we bought the strawberries for the final weekend of this year’s tournament, John mentioned that I haven’t baked a pound cake in 2015. He asked if I intended to make another after last year’s Pound Cake of the Month challenge.
A good traditional pound cake is the perfect accompaniment for fresh strawberries so this year in addition to basketball and strawberries, we’ll add pound cake.
Sour Cream Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Click here for the recipe from the May 2006 edition of Southern Living.
I can’t help but notice the roadside strawberry stands that have popped up the last couple of weeks. It’s one of my favorite things about winter in Florida, fresh strawberries! Since I can’t resist buying berries by the flat, I need to find some new recipes so that not even one berry goes to waste.
It’s hard to believe that my favorite food is strawberries, and yet I’d never made homemade strawberry shortcake until this week. I’ve topped store bought cakes or ice cream with delicious strawberries, but I’ve never taken the time to make shortcake for my favorite food.
However, at the Strawberry Festival in Ocala on March 1st, the First United Methodist Church of Ocala made and sold homemade Buttermilk Strawberry Shortcake for the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser. A recipe card was given with each purchase so after nearly a month, I finally got around to making a shortcake worthy of the sweet, delicious fruit topping.
While not difficult, purchasing ingredients like buttermilk, heavy cream, and turbinado sugar (something I’d never heard of before) make the recipe rather pricy, but one I’d highly recommend. And since you’ll need to buy a cup of heavy whipping cream, you may as well make some homemade whipped cream as well.
Buttermilk Strawberry Shortcake
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
8 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425º.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/3 cup white sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in buttermilk until the flour mixture is moistened.
Drop 1/3 cup scoops of the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Brush biscuits with heavy cream and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix together the sliced strawberries, 1/4 cup white sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Allow berries to rest until a juicy substance develops (about 30 minutes).
Last Saturday…citrus. This Saturday…strawberries. After last weekend’s adventure picking for Kaedyn at a local citrus grove, Meghan asked if I wanted to join her picking strawberries at a local “U Pick” farm in Oviedo. Since strawberries rank high on my list of favorite foods, I was in.
We joined hundreds of others picking strawberries. After about thirty minutes, we’d picked about ten pounds of berries (not counting those I ate in the field) and were ready to stand in line for another fifteen waiting to pay. I guess the warm weather made picking strawberries the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning for many in the area, but I was more than a little surprised at the length of the line to have the berries weighed to determine the cost. My tray weighed in at more than five pounds and Meghan’s approached four so we’re planning meals around strawberries this week.
After a quick stop at the Oviedo farmers’ market, we met up with John and Jon after their trip to Lowe’s. I can’t figure out why they thought that was preferable to our adventure.
Later we joined Emily for dinner in Winter Park. Four Rivers Barbeque did not disappoint…lots of Texas style barbeque and then dessert to go from their sweet shop (just what we needed with a car full of strawberries).
Last weekend with Sarah and this weekend with Meghan, Jon, Emily, and Brian. Two great weekends! Wonder what picking activity we can plan for next weekend?