I'm a wimp. I don't like heat or humidity. We're still "up north" and it's the hottest 4th of July week we've ever experienced here. It's sweltering! No reading by the pool or lake for me.
But when my husband asked me to go strawberry picking -- in the mid-day heat -- I was out the door. We loaded up with bottles of drinking water and headed to one of several berry farms in the fields surrounding Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
We walked the rows for about an hour, each of us picking a large bucketful of berries. Our next stop was the grocery store for several cartons of heavy cream. My husband requested strawberry shortcake, so I decided to double my favorite shortcake recipe -- tender, individual scones filled with sweetened berries, and topped with whipped heavy cream -- dessert for my family and our friends next door.
Without the conveniences of my St. Paul kitchen I used serrated steak knives to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture, a very small whisk for whipping the 4 cups of heavy cream, and an empty beef broth can with both ends removed to create the shortcake rounds. It took me a little longer, but I think I appreciated the end result a little more. And the freshly-picked strawberries made this shortcake better than ever -- maybe the best ever.
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