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Red Herring

If you read the last post, you know that I found a kid’s book called “Saying I Love You” lying around the house, and it freaked me out a little.  I worried Scott was trying to tell me something.

Well, you can all go ahead and high-five each other because everything’s fine.

Apparently, Scott went through a “grumpy, sad phase” years ago.  I don’t know the details, but he probably stopped shaving and started sleeping on his couch.  He probably sat around in his bathrobe, surrounded by beer cans and Chinese take-out, and watched infomercials for 2 weeks.

Depressed guys in movies are always doing that.  Also, it would explain why we have a bunch of QVC Chef’s Choice Stainless Steel Egg Cookers in the attic.

Anyway, at some point Scott’s sister decided his dark phase had gone on long enough.  She decided to remind him that people cared about him.  But since he was far away and wasn’t answering his phone, she had no choice but to stage an intervention by U.S. mail.  She sent him “Saying I Love You” because, well–this was before all the intervention reality TV shows.   We didn’t know as much about intervention then as we do now.

The End.


Scott has assured me that his grumpy, sad days are long over.  But just in case, I decided to do something nice for him.

I thought about getting a mariachi band to follow him around at work all day.  To make him feel special, you know?  But (a) mariachi bands are expensive; and (b) Scott’s building has a lot of security.

I had to call him to ask if–hypothetically– a trumpet section would make it past the metal detectors.

The rest of that conversation did not go well.

So instead I bought some strawberries.

And I baked a bunch of scones.

And I made his favorite dessert: strawberry shortcake.

And then I ate it by accident and had to start over with a new scone.

And more strawberries.

It could have gone on for quite some time.

But hey– check out my strawberry shortcake workstation, y’all.  That’s a piece of branch from the tree that fell in our yard!

Strawberry Shortcakes {Download & Print Recipe}

Adapted from a recipe for currant scones in The Joy of Cooking, with thanks to our friend Mary for introducing me to it.

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

For the scones

2 c. flour

1/3 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

6 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 egg

1/2 c. heavy cream

For the strawberries & cream

4 c. strawberries (or less– 4 c. makes more than enough for 6 people)

1/4 c. sugar

2 c. cream

1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

1 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar (optional)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with a rack in the middle of the oven.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, the 1/3 c. sugar, baking powder and the salt.  Drop in the pieces of cold butter.  At this point you can use two knives, a pastry blender, or your hands (I use my hands) to mix the butter into the flour mixture until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas, and the smallest pieces of butter are the size of bread crumbs.  The butter shouldn’t melt or form a paste.

Add the egg and the 1/2 c. cream at the same time.  Mix with a rubber spatula, a wooden spoon or a fork just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  This will only take a few stirs.  It’s very important not to overwork the dough here, or your scones will be heavy.  Gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently against the sides and bottom of the bowl 5 to 10 times, pressing most of the dry bits into the ball so they adhere to the dough and the bowl is somewhat clean.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into an 8″ round about 3/4″ thick.  Cut into 8 or 12 wedges, or use a biscuit cutter to make circular scones.  Be careful not to overwork the dough when consolidating the scraps to make more scones.

Place the scones at least 2″ apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Brush the tops with cream or milk.  Bake 10-15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

While the scones bake, slice the strawberries.  Toss them with the 1/4 c. sugar.  Let them sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, until the sugar dissolves into a syrup.

Using a whisk or an electric mixer, beat the 2 c. cream until soft peaks form.  Beat in the vanilla and sugar quickly and stop beating, or else the cream will become lumpy and buttery.

You can put the scones, strawberries and cream on the table and have people make their own strawberry shortcakes, or you can put them together yourself.  The scones are nice and crumbly, so don’t expect to be able to cut the top off perfectly.

The scones are best when they’re fresh out of the oven, but they’re still fine for the next two days.


Even though Thunder loves the water, we’re not sure she can actually swim.  We’ve heard many bulldogs can’t because they’ve got short legs and big rib cages.

So our friends loaned us a dog life jacket.  She was like “This is a joke, right?”


68 Comments Post a comment
  1. Our pug loved the water when she was young and she couldn’t swim because of the large chest and short legs. She would start out fine and before you know it her back end would start sinking and her front paws would be coming out of the water trying to dog paddle…ah, fond memories. 🙂 She was adorable and I miss her so much. She is no longer with us…I’ll love her and miss her forever.

    July 18, 2012
    • Oh, and I’m glad that the book turned out to be nothing! 🙂 I was checking back to see what it was all about! 🙂

      July 18, 2012
      • Aww, LeAnn, I wish your sweet pug were still here. Sometimes I get upset just thinking of how lonely I’ll be someday, since they don’t live forever.

        July 19, 2012
  2. Shortcake made with cream is the best shortcake. Good of you to spoil Scott, although I, personally, would love a trumpet serenade someday (not the whole band — someone can just play “The Trumpet Shall Sound” from Handel’s Messiah — I know, I know, I have odd tastes — it’s the music, not the dead being “raised incorruptible” — Eeeeww.

    July 18, 2012
    • I love the trumpet. And trumpet players. Did you happen to read this post–about the time I wooed a kid Daniel by singing to him in 5th grade? Daniel played the trumpet in band class.

      Ah, Daniel.

      July 19, 2012
      • I hadn’t read it, Katherine, but I have now! Poor you and poor Daniel. I used to have a boyfriend who cringed if I sang on the street (I tend to sing if I’m really happy or really sad or learning a new song). He’s gone now…

        July 19, 2012
        • Yeah, you cannot have a boyfriend who cringes when you sing.

          I sang “Midnight Train To Georgia” for Scott shortly after we started dating. YIKES. He probably kissed me just to shut me up.

          July 19, 2012
  3. Jenn #

    I was always convinced that my Dachsund couldn’t possibly swim with his adorably short legs and barrel chest, but one time we were swimming in a friends pond and I decided to chuck The Wiener in, and whaddayaknow? He’s a great swimmer!
    (Note: I didn’t actually “chuck” him in. I brought him in with me and gently released him, to his extreme consternation.)

    July 18, 2012
    • Jenn, the last sentence in your comment cracked me up. It reminds me of the fact that when I went off to college, my mom “released” my pet turtle into the wild. As in, she drove down the pond near some tennis courts and dumped him in. Probably to his extreme consternation, too. It was a TINY TURTLE–smaller than an apricot but bigger than a silver dollar. The turtles in that pond were enormous snapping turtles and they probably ate him. She sent me a POSTCARD notifying me of his new location. WTF.

      July 19, 2012
      • Jenn #

        Oh jeeze. Did she send the postcard from the turtle as if he/she was on vacation?

        July 19, 2012
        • That, at least, would have been entertaining. But no. She did not. She sent it from her. It was filled it with just regular stuff going on, until you got to the end, where it was like, “Oh. I almost forgot. I liberated Pablo in the town pond so he can live with the 50-lb. turtles.”

          “Live” my arse.

          And yes, that’s right. HE HAD A NAME.

          July 19, 2012
  4. Stephanie #

    Oh. That strawberry shortcake looks…..oh. Oh my. I completely understand how you ate the first one by accident. I’m totally bookmarking this to make for breakfast one morning! I love the pic of Seymour comforting Thunder in the life jacket! They’re so cute!

    July 18, 2012
    • Stephanie, I’ve been eating them for breakfast, too! Scott actually likes to pour milk over them. I like the way you think, but I’m not 100% sure Seymour was comforting Thunder. I think he was more like “HA HA HA, dude you are so screwed.”

      July 19, 2012
  5. That plate in the finished-product/soon-to-be-devoured shot is just what I’ve been looking for! Any chance you can tell me where you found it?

    July 18, 2012
  6. I can vouch for the fact that Weenie Dogs can swim. Some *actually* seem to enjoy it (although 2/3 of my herd does not!) (and the remaining 3rd prefers to lounge lazily on her “throne” – aka Pool floatie) (and yes, she *does* demand that we fan her with ostrich plumes and feed her peeled grapes). (but no – she CAN’T have Strawberry-Scone-Shortcake. Nuh UH! That’s SERVANT food!).


    P.S. Can I have one of your extra QVC Chef’s Choice Stainless Steel Egg Cookers? 😉

    July 18, 2012
    • Ha! I would love to see a picture of three Weenie dogs in a swimming pool. Especially if pool floaties are involved. Do you have any?! I love even thinking about it.

      July 19, 2012
  7. Amy #

    Nothing says I love you like strawberry shortcake! Looks awesome. Also, btw, if you cut up some more of those branches, you could totally sell them on Etsy for at least $50 a pop. I’ve been looking for things on there during my wedding planning and have definitely seen them.

    July 18, 2012
    • Um, WHAT? This is good to know. Thank you! Wow. I bet you’ve found awesome stuff for your wedding planning. Any favorite Etsy shops I should visit for cool stuff in general? I always feel lost when I go on there– I just don’t know where to start, so I rarely visit.

      July 19, 2012
      • Amy #

        Hmm, I don’t have any shops in particular that I frequent. I usually just type something cool in the search bar, and then spend hours getting sucked in….kinda like Pinterest.

        July 20, 2012
  8. Dang. I was hoping there’d be a recipe for herring on here…

    July 18, 2012
  9. Thunder do not worry because I think you are STYLIN! Your post reminds me that I need to do something special for my other half since he has really stepped up with my injury and love him for that:) Have a Great Rest of the Week!

    July 18, 2012
    • You know what would be nice on top of these strawberry shortcakes? Some of that strawberry mint you discovered! I’ve never seen that before.

      July 19, 2012
  10. a #

    Yum! We’ve been eating strawberries like crazy around here, but we never have strawberry shortcake.

    July 18, 2012
    • When I was growing up we used to make strawberry shortcake with Bisquick biscuits. These scones are so much better and remarkably easy.

      I haven’t had any fresh, local strawberries yet. Still getting mine at the grocery store, which is kind of a bummer, but I’m going through them fast, too!

      July 19, 2012
      • Tina W. #

        We always had shortcake with Bisquick biscuits, too. As an adult, I was startled to discover that SOME people (aka my boyfriend’s family) use those spongy little cake things they sell in the store for shortcake. Ugh. Strawberry shortcake is now off the menu when I visit.

        July 19, 2012
  11. Thunder does not look impressed! 😛
    Love strawberry shortcakes, simple and fresh!

    July 18, 2012
  12. Hahaha, I, too, was checking back to see what that book was all about. It was too funny of a title to not take notice!

    July 18, 2012
    • Hee hee. What a find. I think we’re going to re-gift it to Scott’s sister, because now she has a toddler who could probably make more use of it than we can (now that we’ve discussed it in detail.)

      July 19, 2012
      • Nikki (Scott's Sister) #


        July 20, 2012
  13. Meredith #

    I knew a frenchbulldog who could swim.

    July 19, 2012
    • Nice! Apparently there’s a deep fountain in town where everybody takes their dogs. I’m curious to see how she does. She’ll probably win the 500 meter backstroke, but we’ll bring the lifejacket just in case.

      July 19, 2012
      • I hope the life jacket and the timer 😉

        I also assume it’s fine if you jump in the fountain as well, that way you can be sure she’ll be fine.

        July 23, 2012
  14. Seymour: Ooo! This smells funny. Can I eat it?

    I’m having a really sad, grumpy period right now—would Scott loan me his book? And could you send me strawberry shortcake? Or just the beautiful pictures of it would do.

    July 19, 2012
    • Yeah, Seymour sometimes likes to grab Thunder’s leash and walk her around with it. Makes sense, I guess, since he’s a herding dog. Although we introduced him to some real live goats a few weeks ago, AND HE JUST SAT THERE. What the hell, Seymour.

      July 19, 2012
  15. Well, Scott has a really sweet sister. And yes, interventions have come a long way since then, haven’t they?

    July 19, 2012
    • Indeed they have, They’re all the rage right now, eh? While we’re on the subject, since no one intervened between me and these scones, they are now all gone.

      July 19, 2012
  16. Anna F. #

    I’m thinking Shortcake would be a good name for a pug.

    July 19, 2012
    • Anna, someone has to make this happen stat. I could not agree more. I’m going to tell the lady who fostered Seymour when he left the animal shelter–sometimes she gets to name the dogs!

      July 19, 2012
      • Anna F. #

        Kee hee. Keep me posted.

        July 19, 2012
  17. Uh-oh. 2.0’s favourite dessert? Strawberry shortcake. Maybe he IS a robot.

    Oh, and The Rutherfords LOVE shrimp. So we’re safe. (Safe-ish. I mean, they are still really annoying.)

    July 19, 2012
    • The Rutherfords WOULD like shrimp. They probably don’t even devein them. They probably eat all the legs and stuff because they think it makes them tough.

      Gah, I’m getting a migraine just thinking about it.

      July 19, 2012
  18. Pets are for torturing.

    July 19, 2012
    • The only problem is that when Thunder and Seymour bark at each other, they’re saying the exact same thing, the other way around.

      July 19, 2012
  19. Karen #

    Hello! I’m a labmate (and regular mate) of Scott’s from UVA who has been lurking and loving your blog for months. I just had to add my two cents on the dog lifejacket! We have one for our pug Spaulding.
    (Non-swimming Spaulding video)

    We tried her swimming without it, and her butt sinks and she pitifully flails her tiny arms. With the vest she is much, much more graceful.

    July 19, 2012
    • Karen, I’ve totally heard about you! I’m so glad to kind of meet you at long last. I love the video. She’s adorable, and looks really spunky! Thanks for chiming in about the life vest– I can’t wait to see what a graceful Thunder looks like.

      July 19, 2012
      • Karen #

        Sorry about the embeddedness of the video, it feels much more invasive than a link, which what I thought would appear.
        1. YouTube videos of bulldogs swimming are a perfect antidote for future sad days.
        2. Brent says the best part about the life jacket is carrying the dog around like a six-pack.

        July 19, 2012
        • No worries– I love it and have the setting that way, I think.

          I watched SO MANY bulldog puppy videos on youtube before I got thunder. I would watch them whenever I felt down. I don’t think I saw any videos of them swimming, though. I think I’ll save that in case I ever need it. 🙂

          July 20, 2012
  20. Camille (the northern most one) #

    Oh my….

    Dear Thunder; You look adorable in your new life jacket – rather like a yellow suitcase that floats. The top handle is to die for – so very chic’.

    Both our dogs have life jackets. Did you know Cairn Terriers tend to sink like rocks when placed in water? No? Well there you go – your fun fact for today. BTW – Buzzy McDuff and the Pip shoot me the same look every stinkin’ time the jackets go on.

    July 19, 2012
  21. Question. How did so many types of dogs WHO CAN’T SWIM survive to the present day? Did we just invent them (I guess they’ve all be bred to be certain ways),or are some of these guys just exempt from natural selection? Because how on earth did Cairn Terriers not go extinct millions of years ago (or whatever)? It’s like pandas. They can’t reproduce without a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, some smooth jazz, and an instructional video. What?

    I don’t get it.

    July 19, 2012
  22. Have you considered having someone with a harmonica, or better yet — SPOONS — play a happy song for Scott? And perhapsThunder prefers a color other than yellow. Maybe a leopard or zebra (or maybe calico!) print. I bet there’s a Hello Kitty jacket out there with her name on it.

    July 19, 2012
    • Yeah, or maybe Thunder’s like “I may be colorblind, but. . . yellow? Really? Hit me with a paisley, woman. Or a nice pinstripe.”

      Also– excellent suggestion about playing Scott a cheer up song. I’m SURE I can find someone in Alabama who plays the spoons.

      July 20, 2012
  23. I’ve seen that look before. She’s getting ready to report you to PETA 😉

    July 19, 2012
    • Yes, PETA probably already has a file on her–left over from Christmas, when I put a Santa costume on her for 45 seconds and she was so mad that she almost ate the beard.

      July 20, 2012
  24. CAM #

    We have strawberry shortcake with bisquick shortcake here. I can’t believe there’s something even better!

    Thunder looks very dapper in her vest. We had a dog that had to wear a diaper for years. We called it his “outfit” so he wouldn’t feel embarrassed–maybe that would work for Thunder?

    July 19, 2012
    • Ha! It’s worth a shot. . . I could try saying “Thunder, wanna wear your awesome rockstar haute couture fancy pants magic suit?!” and see if that changes things. . .

      July 20, 2012
  25. Oh dude… Thunder is gonna need a dog version of ‘Saying I Love You’ to get over this one.

    July 20, 2012
    • I think the dog version of “Saying I Love You” is letting her eat the book “Saying I Love You.”

      So I just might be able to make this happen.

      July 20, 2012
  26. I just laughed out loud reading this!!

    July 26, 2012
  27. Elisabeth #

    When do you add the baking powder? I would guess that it is with the flour, sugar, and salt, but just checking.

    August 17, 2012
    • Elisabeth! ACK! Yes, it’s with the flour, sugar and salt and I hate that I forgot to put that in the instructions. I get annoyed when I see other people make that mistake, so thank you so much for pointing it out–I’m off to correct it right now. Have a great weekend!

      August 17, 2012

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