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,
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).

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. 


It's one of her favourite desserts.


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.


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.


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

  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 =)

  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.

  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)

  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)