I’m not sure how exactly to catch you up on the past few months, except with the word TRANSFORMATION. I once promised myself I would always work from home and never again go back to office life. But somehow my heart was transformed.
My husband, who was ordained as a minister 20 years ago, did not feel the time was right to pursue ministry until recently. His heart (and mine) was transformed.
Earlier this year, within a 24-hour window of time, we were asked to take in a Russian student who needed a place to stay for a few months. Our home has been transformed into a more beautiful and more multicultural place. When she goes home in a few days, a little part of our hearts will go with her to Russia.
Our community of friends, too, is experiencing transformation. Mentors and friends have changed jobs and locations. Those who are left have had to dig deep and let our hearts adjust. Our kids’ friends have graduated and are exploring new adventures, leaving gaps that couldn’t possibly be filled. And I don’t mind telling you that I have ugly cried more in 2014 than I did in the entire previous five years.
I could go on and on, but trust me. We are being renewed day by day. And don’t get me started on the changes yet to come. Our son will be a senior in high school this next school year and our daughter will be a freshman, so the transformations are just beginning!
In times like these, I find myself going to familiar favorite things as a reprieve. Favorite songs, favorite movies, the sweet little backyard garden my husband helped me set up, and some standard go-to recipes that make me feel at home inside this rapidly changing life.
Imagine how grateful I was Sunday night to get a call from a dear, faithful friend (who still lives right down the road where she has lived for over a decade, miraculously!) letting me know she had picked so many strawberries that day, she couldn’t use them all. (Is there even such a thing as too many strawberries?) Shortly thereafter, I whipped up my favorite homemade Strawberry Shortcake recipe and transformed that cooler full of strawberries, still warm from the strawberry patch, into a treat that reminded my husband and me of simpler days.
Several friends asked me for the recipe after I “instagrammed” the creation, so here goes below if you feel like celebrating some simple old fashioned things in our rapidly changing world!
Remove hulls from strawberries and wash them thoroughly. Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with sugar or honey and add just enough water to create a delicious syrup around the strawberries.
Preheat oven to 450 F
2 cups baking mix (Bisquick or homemade mix using the recipe below)
3/4 cup half-n-half
2 tablespoons sugar
When the ingredients are all mixed together, form the mixture into a soft dough ball.
If it is too sticky to handle, blend in more baking mix until you can roll it into a ball. Place the dough on a surface floured with more baking mix, then pat it to about 3/4 inches and cut into circles using a biscuit cutter (I used a Pampered Chef cutter that puts little decorative divets into the edges but that’s just for looks). Bake the shortcakes at 450 for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Cut the biscuits horizontally after they’ve cooled slightly and layer strawberries and whipped cream on the bottom half, then add the top of the biscuit and add more berries and whipped cream on top as shown in the photo. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE BAKING MIX
I always keep this stuff on hand in an airtight container and use it to make anything “normal people” make with store bought Bisquick.
6 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons baking powder
1 cup shortening
Mix dry ingredients to then cut in shortening until well blended and “sandy” in appearance.
Shelf life is 6 months in an airtight container!