My parents didn’t often talk about war shortages, with few exceptions, but my dad did occasionally speak about missing his annual birthday treat during the Second World War (my mom, on the other hand, never got tired of telling us that she would never, ever eat Spam again, and she stuck to her guns on that.) Heavy cream has been ration in 1942 and, well, it was one of the essential parts making good strawberry shortcake, among it other uses. So, imagine the joy people must have felt when it was announced that heavy cream would no longer be rationed and that as of September 5, 1945, it would be available again.
|New York Times, September 6, 1945|
And, as if that wasn’t reason enough to be happy, on September 7, 1945, Jane Holt, the Food Editor for the New York Times began her food column with this:
Apparently, Jane Holt and my dad thought along the same lines. However, for those who didn't care for strawberries, perhaps they were glad to find that Brussels sprouts were also beginning to make an appearance.
Happy Birthday/Valentine’s Day Strawberry Shortcake
Baking Powder Biscuits (makes about 12 biscuits)
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
4 tablespoons shortening (like Crisco)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
Heat oven to 400°
1- Sift flour once, measure out 2 cups, add baking powder and salt and sift again.
2- Cut in shortening, either with a pastry cutter or a fork.
3- Add milk gradually, stirring until a soft dough is formed.
4- On a floured board, lightly knead for about 30 seconds. Don’t do this too long or the biscuits with be like lead.
5- Roll out dough till it is about ½ inch thick, flour the edge of a biscuit cutter (my mom always used a glass for this) and cut 2 in circles in the dough.
6- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in hot oven 12-15 minutes.
1 pint heavy cream
¼ cup sugar (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla
1- Whip cream until somewhat stiff.
2- Add sugar and vanilla
3- Beat until cream is stiff and peaks can be forms.
When biscuits are cooled, split in half, spoon strawberries on bottom half, cover, add more strawberry and finished with whipped cream.
Happy Valentine's Day