Ever wake up so excited to dig in to something you were waiting since the day before to eat only to find it G O N E? I mean the kind of holding-off-so-you-can-enjoy-it-again-the-next-day kind of craving? I made my first batch of strawberry shortcake for the season. I made a double batch-equal to a thick 9x13 pan of shortcake and 5 lbs of strawberries. I usually make my own whipped cream too because it is simply amazing with just a touch of vanilla, but I forgot to grab some to whip. So I had stashed a spray can of it in the back of the fridge a few weeks ago and was banking on that as a less delicious but fairly satisfying stand-in. My superiorly keen sense of hearing picked up on a few random scourging sounds reverberating from the kitchen, more precisely the fridge area, to which my fight or flight instinct took command. I instantly shouted, "Get out of the whipped cream," at each attempt to pilfer, or should I say ravage, the only cream humbly awaiting its destiny of crowning my fresh strawberry shortcake. I love my little band of can-swiping scoundrels. They get an A for trying, but an F for discretion. Guys, come on, I'm in the next room. That cream had an essential role to soon play, so who else was going to fight to make sure the shortcake would be dressed in its less than delicious but decent enough for now raiment? A thump and a shuffle later and the bottle was safely tucked back in between its milk and orange juice guardians. I knew they would be fully reward for their sacrifice once the dessert was presented at dinner.
Well, a long story longer, I awoke to the thrill of knowing I was in for a treat for breakfast. My pace was energetic as the routine of packing a gazillion lunches full of turkey sandwiches, fruit, teddy grahams, cheese strings, protein bars and juice boxes was a delight, but the two hours until I could indulge seemed a week away as I watched the clock. The family had attacked the treat the night before, but not I. Sampled it, yes, but I was waiting to savor it in the warm light of the morning listening to birds banter and flutter across my peaceful café a la back deck.
So I slice and place the shortcake on my platter. I tumble chopped berries atop the cake, a few catching in the crannies and hills of the dense moistness, others toppling over the edge and nestling against the sides. Then the big moment. The coronation of the ensemble. I reach waaay back. I fumble the can loose from the wedge of its henchmen. I feel it lift a bit too easily. I notice it has a teeny rattle. I shake and behold the horror. Completely drained, of course, by the shortcake mongers of yesterday. Now what? I narrowly scan each shelf in desperation. I know full well there is no more cream, but maybe by some miracle ..? Then I stop and take account of the real deal here. What will be a half-hearted replacement? I even considered milk. Ech. How about Greek yogurt? That was my only saving grace in there.
I whop half a container of strawberry Greek yogurt on top of my sad mound of shortcake. I watch as it oozes over the edges like molten lava slathering the poor innocent strawberries. My spoon scoops equal parts of each layer and raises to my mouth. My eyes clinch shut. I just.. can't.. look. I cringe as the concoction hits my tongue. And then my eyes spring open and my brain has to reconfigure my expectation of grossness to the actuality of one big fat bite of YUM! Creamy sweet tangy dreaminess. I think I prefer it to whipped cream. Its a must try, trust me.