Variations For Biscuits

Including strawberry shortcake. (The base recipe is here.)

Froberg Farm strawberry shortcake by schipul, on Flickr (CC License) (cropped)

Strawberry shortcake was a suggested alternative use for nice strawberries in the July 18, 1857 edition of The Western Fireside from Madison, Wisconsin:

Strawberry Jam.–Small and poor berries will answer, if clear and free from decay. Mash with a wooden pestle, add to each pound one-fourth of a pound of brown sugar, boil about fifteen minutes, and seal up in earthen, glass and stone jars.

Strawberries should never be washed for preserving. If dirty, do not use them. Strawberry shortcake is a luxury. — Make a large, thick shortcake, split it twice through, and spread with butter and fresh strawberries and sugar, put the parts together again, and serve hot.

Shortcake also plays a central part in an anecdote from the October 4, 1849 edition of The Fort Wayne (Indiana) Times:

How She Lost Her Lover.

Mr. Franklin A——, who was a gentleman of good parts and infinite humor, used with much pleasantry to relate the following anecdote, as having occurred to himself when a young man:

A young lady in the neighborhood had won his affections and he had commenced paying her his addresses. During the courtship he sometimes supped with the lady’s family, when he was always regaled with a homely dish of mush and milk; and being of a serious turn was generally invited to say grace over the meal. The supper, Franky bid not take amiss, as the family of the fair one was but in moderate circumstances, and being himself poor he admired such domestic economy; besides he was satisfied provided he could obtain the affections of the dulcinea. The course of true love it is said never did run smooth, and Franky had a rival who was much richer than himself. One evening when he was visiting his charmer, after the board had been spread with the frugal meal of mush and milk, but before the family had taken their seats at the table, some one espied Franky’s rival riding up; immediately a change came over the substance of the meal. As if by magic, the table was cleared of its load, and nought remained to tell the tale, but the clean white cloth. In the course of a short time, however, the table was again furnished not as before but with the suitable appendages for making tea, and with warm bread such as is hastily baked, and common parlance called shortcake. When all was ready, as was the custom, brother A——, was invited to say grace, who with due solemnity handsclosed, pronounced the following impromuted benediction.

“The Lord be praised,
How I’m amazed,
To see how things have mended,
Here’s short cake and tea,
For supper I see,
Where mush and milk was intended.”

It is almost unnecessary to add, that after this grace Frank never returned to woo his lady love, but left her to the undisturbed possession of his more fortunate rival.

From the box of C.N. sold in De Soto, Kansas.

Variations for Biscuits

  1. Emergency or Drop Biscuit
    Use about 2 Tbsp. more liquid with each cupful of liquid and drop into oiled muffin pans and bake.

  2. Cinnamon Rolls
    Pat out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness, spread with butter, sugar, and a little cinnamon.

  3. Short Cake
    Add 2 Tbsp. sugar to dry ingredients. Use 4 Tbsp. fat instead of 2 Tbsp. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter. Pat one piece on top of the other with melted butter between. Bake in hot oven. When done split open. Spread with fruit, put other half on top of and add the remaining of fruit.

Cathern Nichepor

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