Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Strawberry Connection with Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry Muffins & the Strawberry Fog - Vintage Cookbook TBT

Vintage Cookbook: The Strawberry Connection, Beatrice Ross Buszek
Publication Details: Nimbus Publishing, Three Editions, 1984-1988

Beautifully and charmingly illustrated throughout, The Strawberry Connection is one of the most lovely and whimsical cookbooks I own. Done in only two colours, black and, of course, strawberry red, it still is more enjoyable to look at and simply flip through than many full colour, high budget cookbooks. 

The book was part of a series she did, that included the Blueberry, Sugar Bush and Cranberry Connection cookbooks. 

Made in the 1980's it went through three printings,  making it rather successful for an independently produced book. Among the many things that make it striking and noteworthy is its typeface, which is all hand-lettered by the author herself, "at Cranberrie Cottage in Nova Scotia Canada". 

The book reflects its maritime heritage at times, and is dedicated to, among others, "Nova Scotia Strawberry Pioneers". But it also draws on strawberry lore and recipes from around the world. 

The book has everything strawberry!  Pies, desserts, muffins, jams & jellies, cakes & cookies, "potpourri", soups, salads, puddings, wines & drinks! It is also full of little snippets of, as the cover itself says, "flavour, fact and folklore". It has quotes from times and places as far afield as modern California, 17th century Russia & 15th century England.

Today we are sharing three recipes from the cookbook, all exactly as originally presented. Two are classics (how can one not share a strawberry shortcake recipe!), and one, a drink with gin, for no other reason than I like any drink with gin!

Strawberry Muffins

1 cup small strawberries
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 2/3 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten

Cream butter and sugar, add well-beaten egg. Sift flour, salt and baking powder, keeping aside about 1/4 cup flour. Mix all together, adding milk slowly. Toss strawberries in 1/4 cup flour. Fold into the mixture. Bake in a hot oven about 15-20 minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake

3 cups crushed strawberries
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
(sliced bananas)

Mix and shift dry ingredients. Knife in shortening. Add milk slowly and when dough is soft, knead it on a floured board. Cut with floured biscuit cutter. Brush tops with butter and bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. 
While still hot, split biscuits and butter both sides. Fill the shortcakes with heaps of crushed berries sweetened to taste. Top with fruit and then whipped cream.
Sometimes shortcakes are served with banana too. Personally I prefer that only strawberries be used.

Strawberry Fog

1 jigger Hayman's Gin (ok...the editor admits that he added the Hayman's can use any gin!)
1/2 tsp. sugar
4 crushed strawberries
juice of 1/2 large lemon

Shake well with ice. Strain into glass. Fill up with soda water.

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