Strawberry Shortcake Forever

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I was born on Fathers Day almost 40 years ago. (I have 26 more hours of being 39. And I'm happy about turning 40. It's much better than the alternative.) So Fathers Day and my birthday have always had blurred lines.

The night after I was born, my dad stayed up wallpapering the closet that became my nursery on Walnut Street. My mom loves to tell that story. Of course my newborn self didn't give a burp about wallpaper. But my anxious, first-time-father needed something to do, so that's what he did. He's been thinking about me and creating loving spaces for me every since. I love you, Papa.

And every birthday I had under my parents' roof, my mom made me strawberry shortcake. We used to go berry-picking in the fields, and my mom has stories of me getting sick with all the sweetness, parking myself betwen the rows and not contributing one single berry to the bucket. And every year, she'd say, "Do you want something different for your birthday this year?" Nope. Strawberry shortcake forever.

Loretta and I went picking this morning at Bellingham Country Gardens. Bellinghamsters, get thee to Kelly Road! What an absolute treasure. Especially Lily, the resident pooch, and Sam, the farmer who showed us around and let me take his photo.

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A light mist, no-spray berries.And my companion? This miracle of a girl who came from my body and from her amazing father. Yancey appreciates that I don't talk a whole lot about him on this blog. So I'll keep it brief and just say that I married a marvel of a man who loves me, loves his children, and models every day what it's like to love life, be curious, and be tender. It's so easy to celebrate him on Fathers Day.

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And guess what we're having for breakfast? Strawberry shortcake. It can certainly be construed as breakfast--not that much different from biscuits and jam. Here, I've combined the strawberries with some raw, macerated rhubarb, but you can leave that out. And I am still in love with this shortcake recipe. Just the right density and sweetness, comes out of the pan in perfect wedges.

Strawberry shortcake (and the love it's made with) forever.

Shortcake with Strawberries and Rhubarb

Make this shortcake
Whip some cream
Very thinly slice two stalks of rhubarb, combine them with 1/4 c. sugar, and let them macerate for 30 minutes. Combine the rhubarb with sliced strawberries and maybe a little more sugar, and serve with the shortcake and whipped cream.