There’s two things that I’ve been thinking about for the past little while. The Odyssey and winter cold. The reason for the latter should be pretty obvious at this point. But the reason for the former — not so much.
For the past little while, I’ve been teaching The Odyssey in one of my classes. We’ve gone through the crazy islands. We’ve talked about gender dynamics, gift economies, and the importance of hospitality in a culture that predates hotels by several millenia. And on that last point — on hospitality — I’ve told my students that the dude to look out for is Eumaeus.
Strawberry shortcake is elegant, unpretentious, and simple. Yet so often it goes unbearably awry. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this thing that often lives near the strawberry display in the supermarket. It’s a little bowl-shaped golden cake, encased in plastic packaging, that bills itself as the shortcake component of the dessert, and sometimes makes the claim that it’s ready for reddi-wip, or some such other nonsense.
This is not a shortcake. This is an angel food cake — generously speaking. Or less generously — in Sarah’s words — it is a Twinky without the filling. Shortcake has a technical definition, and what it is is a biscuit. That simple. Sometimes it’s a biscuit of the same sort that you’d serve with fried chicken. Or sometimes it’s sweetened slightly — which it is in this recipe, here.
At this point, dear readers, you must surely already be aware of my deep and abiding love of Star Trek. But what you probably don’t know about me is that Star Trek is hardly the only shipborne drama that catches my imagination. I’m a sucker for all things nautical, too.
Wherever I travel, if my companions show even the slightest tinge of amenability, one of the first items on my touristy to-do list is to find the local maritime museum. In Reykjavik, it was a dockside exhibition showcasing the importance of fishing and whaling to the Icelandic economy. In Tallinn, it was a museum of nautical mines (the explody kind), followed by the Estonian Maritime Museum, nestled inside of a medieval stone turret named Fat Margaret. Blocks and lines, sextants, scrimshaw, or any other oceanic artifact instantly catches my interest. And especially if there’s a robust and well-sourced explanatory card attached, it’s difficult to drag me away.
Interestingly enough, today’s experiment is equally at home with tea and jam, or with fried chicken and greens. This, I suppose, is a product of my peculiar relationship with biscuits. Or maybe more accurately, my biscuits’ peculiar relationship with scones. As you read through this recipe, the most perceptive of you (dear readers!) will likely […]