Memorial Day weekend flew by. Well, not really. I shouldn’t say that. We were out of town with the boys, and it was time nicely spent. Both Dante and Franny had state soccer tournaments for three days straight, one game a day, Saturday through Monday. Dante hasn’t played soccer all season, but stepped in with his old team to help with this tournament. Franny’s been playing with the same team ever since coming back after his leg break. Dante’s age group is all graduating, heading to college; Franny’s is splitting up. Dante most likely won’t have another game with this group, Franny has only a couple left. It was bittersweet. Though both boys would be separating from their respective teams, instead of yukking it up with their teammates, we ended up spending most of our time together as a family.
Franny, waiting for his game.
Things are shifting, changing. Dante will be going to college next year and his brothers will miss him dearly (as will we). They know this. Darn, I’m going to get teary in a post I’m actually writing about shortbread? What the heck? But, well, it is there. It is touching that the boys, knowing they are rounding off their seasons, chose to spend time with each other over the weekend, together rather than apart. We watched their games together during the day, and caught the Brewer’s baseball series on TV during the evenings at the hotel. Not bad. Relaxing together slowed things down a bit, the weekend not being entirely rushed from field to field and event after event.
I took some pictures, but not a lot. Seems like I’m feast or famine with pictures. I’ve got thousands or I’ve got only a few. As the kids get older, and continue through these life stages, it is nice to have a camera on hand. But it is also nice to sit and savor the moment, too, without the distraction of trying to catch it on film. You can soak up the warmth of the sun on your skin, how good it felt, but you can’t adequately capture it to disk.
Yesterday I spent the majority of my day baking bread and doing laundry (hanging it out to line-dry). Sunny, windy days just scream for me to hang laundry on the line. It was a rhythmic day. Load in, load out, load up, knead and stretch, knead and stretch, rising, shaping, baking, hanging, taking down… cooling off, working up to a sweat, cooling off, working up to a sweat.
I loved it.
Not wanting to figure out a meal, I took out some meatballs from the freezer (they tasted a bit better in the sauce – I’m the critic, though, everyone else liked them), threw them in the crockpot with a couple jars of sauce and called it dinner. We ate almost as soon as the boys got home. After dinner was served, they all headed off to soccer practice. I knew they would be hungry when they got home. For some reason strawberry shortcake kept coming to mind. After taking a load of towels off the lines, I ran to the store to score some heavy cream and strawberries. Instead, I made out with tilapia filets, heavy cream and a loaf of bread (I know I baked bread – don’t ask). Strawberry crates were ridiculously small, moldy and overpriced. I knew I had some frozen blueberries at home and they would do just fine.
I found a shortcake recipe online and based my recipe off of that. I say “based” because there were a few things I just had to tweak, like the entire cup full of butter the recipe calls for. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But, skeptical at first, this recipe made a believer out of me. It was pretty easy, and everyone loved it. There is no need for Bisquick when you have an easy recipe like this.
Simple One-Bowl Shortcake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 stick butter [1/2 cup – cold]
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut butter into small cubes; add to bowl.
Cut butter into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives. I just went in there with my hands, pinching and squeezing the butter into the flour. Stir in cream and egg. Continue to knead, right there in the bowl. The dough will come together, forming a nice ball [think cookie dough]. Take large egg-sized handfuls, flatten them in your hand and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches in between. No need to be pretty – I made mine quite craggy and sloppy– they’re better that way! You should have 12. If some are bigger, snag a bit of a bigger one and slap it on a smaller one. Again – you don’t need to be pretty about it.
Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden.
Sorry, no pictures. We ate these warm in a bowl with berries and fresh whipped cream on top. They were yummy.
Need help with the berries?
While shortcakes are baking, take about 3 cups of frozen blueberries [or other berries – I used frozen blueberries, and mixed berries]; add to saucepan. Sprinkle with 1T sugar [or more if you’re a sweet freak]. Heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Turn to low to keep warm, giving them a stir with a spoon every now and then. Note: If you like a thicker sauce, you can sprinkle the berries with 1/2 T. flour in the beginning when you add the sugar.