Birthday Berry Benham Blowout

Seven years ago today, on a cold, dark night …early spring morning… Rhys made his triumphant remarkably peaceful entrance into the world.

What’s cool about his birthday being April 20, which day he shares with Adolf Hitler, is how completely and utterly his sweet and downright schnookumy personality gives the lie to the notion of any sort of astrological predestination. Suck it, star-gazers!

(Also, happy birthday, Amy!)

Birthday highlights so far:

  • Adorable baby harp seal puppet from Grammy and Pa via the Audubon Society gift shop
  • BdayeasybakeEasy Bake Oven from Grandma and Grandpa, complete with Rhys’ blase face on the box
  • More Legos than you can shake a stick at, really, from pretty much everybody
  • Pirate Playmobil figures from awesome Nanny Eryn, who came over and helped us celebrate with her cute girlfriend Aubrey
  • incredibly delicious strawberry lemon shortcakes: recipe below

Strawberry Lemon Shortcake

Makes 4 shortcakes, serving 4 to 8 people depending on how lavishly you wish to celebrate

Combine in a bowl:

  • 3 cups halved and thinly sliced strawberries
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp sugar, adjusting to account for strawberries’ sweetness

BdayshortcakePlace in refrigerator and allow to macerate (hee hee) while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Combine in a largish bowl:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Add 4 Tbsp cold butter and cut in with two knives (or a pastry blender, should you be blessed with such an item) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. This will take a long time and you will start to get annoyed. Persevere.

In a smaller bowl, combine

  • 6 Tbsp half-and-half
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1-1/2 tsp. lemon zest (Zesty!)

Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients; dough will be sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times. (Ten shall be the number thou shalt knead, and the number of the kneading shall be ten. Eleven shalt thou not knead, neither knead thou nine, excepting that thou then proceed to ten. Twelve is right out.)

Divide dough into quarters; pat each into a pleasantly rounded, 3/4" thick form. Arrange on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 2" between cakes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes, watching to make sure they don’t go from just-right to crispy in a precipitous fashion. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes while you finish the other accoutrements, which are:

Lemon Butter
Stir together 3 Tbsp softened butter and 1/2 tsp lemon zest. Set aside.

Whipped Cream
Beat 1 cup whipping cream to soft peaks. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2-3 tsp powdered sugar. Beat until thoroughly combined.

Split shortcakes in half lengthwise (derrr). Spread each cut side lightly with lemon butter. Pile strawberries onto bottom half, dollop with whipped cream and replace tops. (Or, for a less profligate dessert, just serve the tops and bottoms separately, piled with strawberries and whipped cream.)

Dust lightly, if you like, with cinnamon or cocoa powder and serve it forth.

Oh, and in other news, here’s Mean Jean making her Barack Obama face.

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
This entry was posted in Gratuitous Catblogging, Mini Activities, Recipes, Things That Happened. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Birthday Berry Benham Blowout

  1. Jac says:

    Love, Jac’n’Mike

  2. Amy Sorensen says:

    Happy Birthday, birthday twin!!! I hope it was a good one!

  3. azureavian says:

    happy happy rhys!!!

  4. Herm says:

    Hahahahaha–that TOTALLY looks like Obama. Amazing.
    And, once again, since he seemed to not really notice our singing (“Rhys! Did you hear the clapping?” “Uh…sorta.” “That was Augie! He was clapping for you!” Silence) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO RHYSIE!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Happy Birthday Rhys!

  6. Ute says:

    Happy birthday, Rhys! Logan was excited to see your pictures. He sang a birthday song for you. 🙂

  7. Helena says:

    Happy Birthday! 🙂

  8. magpie ima says:

    Happy Birthday Rhys and that Obama comment made me laugh. Thanks!

  9. Stephanie T. says:

    Happy Birthday Mr.Rhys! Dang…is he cute or what?!
    you’ve been tagged

  10. Mimi says:

    Happy Birthday and Many Years to Rhys!

  11. Lori V. says:

    Happy Birthday, Boychild! 🙂

  12. Becky says:

    Happy Birthday greetings from Canada. Does it get any better than Lego and cake? We’re gearing up for something similar next week (birthday, Lego, cake), when #2 child turns nine — which I do believe is the anniversary of old Adolf’s demise. Odd…

  13. Summer says:

    Happy Birthday to Rhys!!!!!
    Looks like sweet fun and I am jealous of those Pirate Playmobile figs.

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