08 May 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

A very special greeting to three very special mothers:  my Mom (of course), Mamy (my husband's mom and mine now too), and Lola Pu (my paternal grandmother, who is a very well-loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and mother figure).  How I miss you all and wish that we could celebrate today together!


When I was in elementary school, my Mother's Day cards were full of praises and promises:
Dear ♥ ♥ ♥ Mommy ♥ ♥ ♥,
You are the BEST MOM.  I will love you forever and not make faces when you tell me to eat my vegetables.  And I will clean my room every day from now on.  PROMISE. 
♥♥♥ xoxo,
Cookie
your BEST daughter, ha ha
(Seriously, the 'ha ha' would be tacked on at the end there)
I also went through a 'creative' phase that involved recipe cards:
Recipe for the best mom ever
¼ cup kisses
½ cup hugs
1 cup laughter
2 cups love
2 Tbsp tough love

Mix everything together and bake for some amount of time (probably the number of years corresponding to my age at the time).
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Mom and I are now separated by a national border and a time zone, but we talk to each other regularly, at least once a week, and make it a point to see each other at least once a year.  Since becoming a mother myself, I have grown in appreciation and understanding of all she has done and continues to do. 

My Mother's Day greetings have gotten a bit better, but not by much: for some mysterious reason I'm completely incapable of giving my mom anything serious and completely loving for Mother's Day.  It's shameful, really.

So before I mess this up royally, I'll just repeat something I told her once, a long while back (it wasn't on Mother's Day, though): 
"Mom, if I could go back to before I was born, and if I were given the chance to pick my mother from all the mothers in the world, I would still pick you."
It seems sappy, and in fact when I told her that years ago, I think she actually cried - but it was the best time ever to say something like that because we had had some big disagreement a day before, and she was still raging mad at me.  I tell you, that got me on the FAST lane back to her good graces. 

What in the world?  I just messed up royally, didn't I?  I'm so mom-affection-impaired.  This is like watching a train wreck happen.  All kidding aside though, I really meant it then, and I mean it even more now.  My mom rocks.

I'm going to stop now ... but before that, I made strawberry shortcake in honour of MOM. 

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It's one of her favourite desserts.

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And don't worry, Mom, I will make this for you when you come in a few weeks.  I'll even hand whip the cream.

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Strawberry Shortcake

Prepare the strawberries
Hull and slice:
  6 cups strawberries

Stir in:
  3 Tbsp sugar
  2 Tbsp maple syrup

Let the fruit macerate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.

Prepare the shortcakes 
In a food processor with the blade attachment, combine for 30 seconds:
  10 ounces all purpose flour
  3 Tbsp sugar
  1 Tbsp baking powder
  ½ tsp salt

Scatter over the flour mixture and pulse about 15 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal:
  8 Tbsp butter, cold, in ½” cubes 

Transfer this mixture into a medium bowl.

Mix in a measuring cup:
  1 large egg
  ½ cup buttermilk

Pour this liquid mixture over the flour mixture and combine with a spoon or spatula until the mixture starts to come together.  Turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead very lightly until you have a cohesive mass.

Pat the dough into a 9x6 inch rectangle (¾” thick).  Using a floured 2 ¾” round cutter, cut out 6 pieces. Gather the dough scraps and form a larger round (or 2 smaller ones).  Lay these 1” apart on a baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 12-14 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown.

Let them cool on the sheet, over a rack, for 10 minutes.

Prepare the whipped cream
Beat with a whisk, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until soft peaks form:
  ¾ cup heavy whipping cream

If a slightly sweetened cream is desired, beat in:
  1-2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Assemble the shortcakes
When the shortcakes are still warm but cool enough to handle, split them in half like a burger bun.  (This can be done gently with your fingers, or with a knife).  Spoon berries over each cake bottom, followed by a nice portion of whipped cream.  Cover with the cake top.  Serve immediately.

5 comments:

  1. You'll surely make your Mom cry again.

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  2. Wow! I got teary eyed reading that verse! Your strawberry shortcake sounds yummy! What if I don't have a food processor? Can I use the good 'ole kitchen aide? And is there a substiture for Buttermilk? Don't think I can find that here! -patty =)

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  3. Hey Patty! Thanks for stopping by! I think that this could be made even by hand (by cutting the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, or by pressing/pinching the butter with the flour with your fingertips, or even just with 2 knives). Or, little cold cubes of butter with the flour, on stir speed on the KitchenAid would probably also work. The goal is to have the flour/butter mixture resemble coarse meal (so there should still be solid bits of butter after you've mixed it into the flour).

    As for the buttermilk - I don't always have buttermilk, so sometimes I go with the classic substitute (1 Tbsp lemon juice, topped off with enough milk to make 1 cup total; let stand for a few minutes until the milk thickens/curdles a bit). For this particular recipe, the original actually calls for cream - so you could just use plain old cream instead of buttermilk.

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  4. Goodness Cookie please don't tell me you whipped the cream by hand!!! My arms would die. (But then again, that would be a great workout too, no? :P)

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  5. Pia, I actually did whip the cream by hand! I don't know why, but I often do it that way ... I wouldn't do it with egg whites, though. That would be suicidal :o)

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