Strawberry Fields Forever
No, I don't like the Beatles, I'll leave that to my mother, thank you very much. She was a major Beatles fan in her youth, and still digs the band. I mean, she even has a rare - for portuguese standards, I mean - edition of Abbey Road on vinyl, for those of you who are as ancient as I am and know what that actually is. I grew up listening to the Beatles among other shtuff, but they don't tickle my fancy all that much. Except for "Eleanor Rigby", because that has got to be the song that never stops making sense. I mean, two hundred years may go down the road over the date it was written, and it will still hold true. 'Look at all those lonely people, where do they all belong?' It's one of the songs that manages to get me depressed - unlike Black Metal, which happens to be very un-trve of me!
I don't even like the song "Strawberry Fields Forever", you know? I like the word play in the title, it's kind of like Stephen King's SSDD (Same Shit Different Day) or George R.R. Martin's "You know nothing, Jon Snow" - although I used to write a lot "You know nothing" on my dialogues, and now I can never use that shit again, thank you Mr. Martin! I like the word play, the sound of it. As for the song, makes no bloody sense to me at all - but most of their songs make no sense to me at all, I feel like I should be high on LSD or very, very drunk to manage to even grasp "The Yellow Submarine", despite that being one of my favourite childhood films. But I was a child and I knew nothing, just like Jon Snow. I could never connect to the Beatles' lyrics - besides "Eleanor Rigby". Not like I connected with Jim Morrison's poetry, without booze or drugs
But like I said, I fancy the damn title - jeesh, I do curse a lot!! - and whenever I cook with strawberries and post about it, there's always this itch to name said post Strawberry Fields Forever. I have managed to skirt away from that kind of obvious, as you can see here and here, or even here, where I almost didn't make it and here, my first strawberry post ever. So, eventually after two plus years of food blogging my heart out, it was bound to come, that pesky Strawberry Fields Forever blogpost. It only means it's done and out of the way, move along now. I can actually feel like a heavy weight has been lifted from my back. Fine, so my sense of humour is weird, I know, not even I get it sometimes, I suppose it needs popping some LSD - get it? LSD, Beatles, nonsense? Yeah, well, I did try, people!!
So, why am I now making yet another strawberry post, you ask. Because I love strawberies and I could eat them by the handful and smile about it all day! Come May and you'll see me munching on strawberries very contentedly, while I toil and work away at my writings. They're so portable, you know? I always keep a bowl of washed strawberries in the fridge - I actually have a huge bowl I call the strawberry bowl, you know? And I kind of loose it if it gets used for other things but my strawberries, that's how annoying I am! - so I can grab a handful and sit at my desk and write and revise and edit. Portable, see? Convenient. And delicious and good for you, so it's a win! I can never make them last long enough to cook with, though, because I eat them all raw!
So when I, the antisocial biatch that I am, decided I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and join in with Marta on her monthly ode to a particular ingredient, I knew May had to be THE month, because she chose strawberries. Now, I really do not usually participate on this kind of initiative, because most times I am a hermit and a mysoginist who tends to keep to herself far too much - hey, they say that after your turn forty you never make new friends again, so I simply shy away from folks knowing they will never want to be my friend, LOL!! - and because I have this itsy bitsy thing with obligation: I pretty much do as I want and hate it if I know others expect me to do something. I hate not being able to live up to expectations, so I tend to not allow others to expect anything from me.
But try as I can, this time I wanted in. It was hard, I won't deny it, it was hard grabbing those handful of strawberries and knowing I was going to be using them in a cake and not popping them in my mouth as a snack of sorts. It broke my heart, to cook those strawberries that were so ripe and juicy and sweet and heady scented! Ironies aside, I decided to participate on the spur of the moment, one day my son was home from school and feeling bored, and I thought well, why not go into the kitchen with him and bake a cake he can help with and have fun with it all? The virtual mingling with others being included. And in the end, it turned out quite alright and it was all in good fun, and I even ended up with this strange sense of belonging that is so foreign to me!! Just for that, kudos to Marta, whose iniciative is mostly responsible for this. And if you do not know her blog... huh, people, you're missing out!! Go, check it out!
As for this strawberry cake, here's the how to:
- 150 gr flour
- two level tsp baking powder
- 150 gr unsalted butter at room temperature
- 100 gr - give or take - light muscovado sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds
- five very large strawberries - or ten small ones, plus
- five medium sized strawberries + three more for decorating - optional
- one tsp vanilla sugar
- one tsp vanilla essence