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Summer is for Strawberries

Especially Strawberry Shortcake

By Kelsey ClareyPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Summer is for Strawberries
Photo by Olga Kudriavtseva on Unsplash

I love Strawberries, but only in the summer. Off-season, store-bought strawberries can’t compare to a basket bought at a farmers market, fresh from the fields.

Or, as I first ate them, fresh off the ground.

Growing up in the middle of the woods, spring would always see tiny white blossoms littering my front yard. Come summer, those blossoms would turn into clusters of wild strawberries. In the true fashion of a kid with few thoughts about the cleanliness of her food, I could often be found sprawled out in the sun, plucking and eating wild strawberries right out of the grass.

As a teenager and into my twenties, more and more of my time - especially in the summer months - was spent with my relatives in Prince Edward Island. Strawberries from my great-grandfather’s garden or from local roadside farm stands were a staple of summer dining.

Over these years, I was also working in a restaurant kitchen in the summers. Making strawberry shortcakes, mixing a strawberry sauce, preparing strawberry sundaes, and hulling large flats of baskets of fresh berries were practically daily tasks. Despite this, I never got sick of them. Even as they stained my hands red and left their scent clinging to me for days, these were some of my favourite parts of that job.

My favourite way to have strawberries (besides right off the ground)? Definitely strawberry shortcake. It may not be my favourite dessert overall (that honour goes to pumpkin pie), but it is definitely my favourite summer dessert. Here’s my go-to way to make them, a combination of skills from my old restaurant job and the desserts my grandmother would make for us:

Mix fresh berries and a bit of honey (as much as usually dislike this phrase, measure with your heart. I usually just drizzle it over the berries thoroughly) in a food processor to make a sauce. Don’t mix it perfectly smooth. Leave some chunks of strawberries in there still.

Fill a partially hollowed-out piece of spongecake with some fresh-cut strawberries.

Pour some of your strawberry sauce over the whole berries in the center of the cake.

Top with ice cream or whipped cream. Or ice cream and whipped cream. I’m hardly going to judge you and that sounds amazing to me.

Pour more of your strawberry sauce over your creamy topping and let it run down the sides.

Top with some more whole of cut berries and enjoy!

As the weather gets warmer, I am anxiously awaiting the day I start seeing fresh berries at the front of my local grocery store or being sold at my local farmer’s market. I’m scanning the bakery for the type of spongecake my grandmother favours for her shortcakes. I’ve been dreaming of my favourite summer dessert for weeks now and I’ve even started trying to grow some strawberry plants of my own (though I’m not sure how much success I’m having on that front). It’s been a long winter where I am, and I’ve been relishing in the sunlight and warmth that we’ve been having through May and June. It’s been almost a year since I had strawberries in any form that wasn’t some of my aunt’s homemade jam (also amazing and something I look forward to being loaded up with at the end of the season). As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m not a big fan of off-season grocery store berries. They generally don’t even look as good, let alone taste as good! Summer, and summer only, is for strawberries. They are sweet and nostalgic and feel like home in a way that I eagerly look forward to every year.


About the Creator

Kelsey Clarey

She/Her/Fae/Faer. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. I mostly write poetry and flash fiction currently, a lot of it fantasy/folklore/fairy tale inspired. I also like to do a lot of fiber arts and design TTRPGs.


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