Strawberries and Tea

“Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.”
– Terri Guillemets

Here in the south, it is strawberry season. There’s nothing more lovely than to pick your own strawberries – fresh and warm from the field.

I found this delightsome mug while doing my thrift shopping rounds last week. I shared a couple finds here and will share more later this week.

This is Alpine Strawberry by Roy Kirkham, made in England.
I love the strawberries and blossoms winding their way round the mug and the occasional bee. Anything with bees on it draws my attention.

Right now, this moment is the only one we’re guaranteed. We make lists and plans. We think we know what we’ll do tomorrow, next week, next month. But really…all we have is right now. All we ever have is one wonderful now after another. So in this one golden moment of precious life—pick the strawberries – Kate Bartolotta

When I go to the pick-your-own fields I find it a wonderful time to contemplate the blessings of life – there are so many – one should never take them for granted or miss giving thanks.
I made these Pecan Shortbread cookies to go along with my tea and strawberries – their tender butteriness are a perfect foil for the sweet berries.

Pecan Shortbread

3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups small diced pecans

note: I was out of all-purpose flour so I substituted self-raising flour
and omitted the salt. Worked just fine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until they are lightly mixed together. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. In another bowl, combine and sift together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the cookie dough comes together. lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on counter, set the dough on top and shape into a flat disk. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a plain or fluted cutter (or cut into any shape you like). Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.

Interesting strawberry information:

The first ‘garden’ strawberry was grown in France in the 1800’s.
There is a new cultivar of strawberry that is called ‘Pineberry’, White Soul or White Delight. These pineberries lack the protein that causes strawberries to ripen to their red color. Some consider this the part of the strawberry that may cause allergies. The pineberries are currently being marketed to European restaurants and bakeries.