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strawberry rhubarb shortcake

in the short history of this blog, i’ve already moved twice. my moves were both in a 3-block radius, but regardless, it’s never an easy thing to do. the girl and i spent the entire weekend moving boxes and bags and furniture and plants into our new place (yes, i said OUR!), and have been too tired to do little more than look at our piles of stuff and imagine what the place will look like once we get enough energy to move anything.

so begins the long journey of figuring out where everything should go. one of the problems we’ve run into already is having doubles of, duh, of kitchen stuff. we were both thoughtful enough to get each other cooking gadgets and pots and pans when we moved into our old places, but now that it’s all combined, there’s just not room for 2 full sets of stainless steel cookware. and what are the odds that we’ll both need to press garlic at the same time? you can see the dilemma.

another issue is that we simply don’t know where everything is yet! not every box is labeled and packing got hastier just before the move, so if i wanted to find, say, a wooden spoon, i’d be hard-pressed to track it down. in lieu of full on cooking (which is actually killing us), we made hot dogs on the bbq (we have a bbq! and a shared backyard!). but enough about the new place. these rhubarb strawberry shortcakes were the very last thing i baked in my old place (the best cookies ever [1] being the last thing i made last time i moved).

everyone is doing things with strawberry and rhubarb this time of year, and i can’t claim that this recipe is anything particularly special, except that it’s really really delicious. it was also my first experience with shortcake. i guess i never saw the point in shortcake before if there was tall cake to be had.

call me a convert, because these little guys are awesome. my only regret was not having whipped cream on hand to make the evening perfect.

i’m going to miss my old place, but i’m excited to fill our new apartment with memories, and more importantly, delicious baked goods. it may be a little while before i’m baking in full swing again, but there’s more to come!

strawberry rhubarb shortcake
makes about 6 shortcakes. shortcake recipe adapted from Alton Brown [2].

shortcake
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp vegetable shortening, at room temperature
3/8 cup half and half

filling
2-3 stalks rhubarb, sliced
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 Tbsp lemon juice, tsp lemon zest
1 dash cinnamon or nutmeg
3/4 lb strawberries, sliced

1. to make the cakes: combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter (or a fork). mix in the half and half. drop by spoonsfuls onto a baking sheet. brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. bake at 350F for 15 mintues, until golden brown.

2. to make the filling: combine 1/4 cup sugar and strawberries in a bowl. set aside to soften for about 40 minutes. meanwhile, in a saucepan on medium heat, cook the rhubarb down with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest, and cinnamon/nutmeg until it reaches a jam like consistency. combine the rhubarb and strawberries and mix together.

3. halve the shortcakes and top with the filling while still warm (or chill the filling and then serve).