Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Strawberry Cake

One of my goals for our Florida trip was to pick strawberries. Loads of em. I located many, many farms near Lakeland, where the air show was, but on the Sunday (the day we meant to pick) it rained all day long.

This meant a long, wet day in St. Petersburg, where almost everything is closed on Sunday. This meant catching up on reading while eating fantastic reuben sandwiches at the Lucky Dill Deli, and it meant soggy clothes in the tent that night.

Fortunately, we'd made plans to visit Eric's friend Josh in Gainesville on the way home, and we dragged him along to pick berries right outside town. (Thanks Mom for the google search to locate the place!) I so wish the camera had not somehow stayed on in its case, running down the battery all day. I would've loved to show you rows and rows of bright, ripe berries.

And in case you're interested, Eric picks fast, fast, fast, filling up 2 buckets while I was on my first and Josh had only just covered the bottom of his. I like to think that I take only the best berries while still working efficiently. Josh stares at each berry for a full minute before deciding to commit it to his bucket.

We ended up picking 18 pounds of berries, which we laid out carefully in the back seat of our car, and drove off with visions of jam and jelly, sauces and shortcake.

My first project was this strawberry cake, which I have to confess was kind of disappointing. I searched forever for a recipe that did not involve strawberry gelatin and white cake mix, and I finally decided on this one, from recipezaar, which got good reviews. I didn't get a picture of the inside, but you can trust me that it was not bright pink as I'd been dreaming, but more of a mudding pinky brown. It tasted very moist, but all in all just "meh." (Odd, everyone over at recipezaar loved it.) Once covered with cream cheese frosting it tasted pretty good, but not at all like fresh strawberry.

Now this was about two weeks ago, but FORTUNATELY for all of us, I have recently discovered that my own dearest Sky High cake book has a recipe for strawberry cake hidden in the back with the wedding cakes. And I am making it tomorrow and I'm going to tell you how it is.

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