Well before the shelter-in-place guidelines dictated everything in our day-to-day lives, my roommate and I barely knew each other when we moved in together. As restaurant industry vets, we would spend our free time jet-setting to former co-workers new places of employment to explore the hottest, trendiest, most exclusive restaurant in the Bay, Area hoping for a slightly heavier-than-normal pour of Fernet Branca to finish off the experience while casually bonding over dessert and pretending like we were close.
Fast forward three months into S.I.P., we know each other a lot better now. A lot. Without restaurant outings to distract us, and paired with a limited budget, we have been cooking at home and discovering each other through food. I found out that my greatest love language is feeding people who I want to get to know better. I found that my roommate will inevitably never, ever be in the mood for what I want to cook. That's what got me into preparing James Beard’s mothers’ strawberry shortbread recipe. It's not a dish I would have made myself, (since it lacks all the most important ingredients I feel a good dessert should contain, namely chocolate) but my roommate was thrilled to learn that the recipe had never been published in any of the James Beard cookbooks and thus in part due to the exclusivity that we’ve been missing in going out, insisted I prepare it for him.
This dish checked a few boxes: a recipe from a prominent chef, California summer-ripe berries and a surprise ingredient of cooked egg yolks, the inclusion of which definitely caught me off guard. So I get to cook, he gets to eat. Win-win.
Through this new fractured space-time continuum we are in, the Fourth of July seemingly feels as though it is simultaneously eons and seconds away. On top of the movement for racial justice in our nation, it is very difficult to know how to celebrate this Independence Day or anything really. As we trek on though, I relish in the simplicity of connecting to others and celebrating through recipes like this.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
- 2 hard-boiled egg yolks, pushed through a small mesh sieve
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 3 pints fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved or quartered, depending on size
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 1 tablespoon sugar