Happy Father’s Day

Well, it’s Father’s Day, and all I’ve done is phone my Dad, and make some strawberry jam from some of the strawberries I bought when he and I went to some farmer’s markets yesterday.  The strawberries made me think of him, since they seem to be his very favourite fruit, and then I started thinking about strawberry shortcake, which is hands down his favourite dessert, and probably his favourite food.

The strawberry shortcakes I grew up with were made with a proper cake, sponge or pound, topped with mounds of fresh berries and whipped cream.  Dad loves whipped cream on pretty much anything you can put it on, so the more the merrier as far as he is concerned.  I made this type for his birthday recently, using the lazy daisy cake recipe posted previously on this blog, and it was delicious.

For years, though, I’ve seen recipes for shortcakes made with more of a biscuit type of cake.  I’ve asked Dad, and it seems the cake sort is his favourite, so that’s what I make, but I’m intrigued.  I’ve never had the biscuit kind.  So then I started thinking again, and finally went to find a biscuit shortcake recipe.  I don’t have time to make it tonight – it’s a work night – but I thought I’d share the recipe in honour of Father’s Day.  I hope to try it soon, or a similar recipe, and when I do, I’ll be sure to give you some feedback.

My Dad with his Dad, c 1935

The recipe I found is from Occident Family Recipes, a very small book with pages that can be cut apart into recipe cards.  It’s from the early 30’s, so not much older than Dad.  The book states on the front cover “Costs More – Worth It.”  If Occident Flour is still being made, it’s not available where I shop, so when I make it, I guess it just won’t be quite as good as it should be…. same as when I don’t use Five Roses Flour, or Ogilvie’s, or any of the other brands that proudly proclaim themselves to be the very best flour money can buy.

The recipe tells you to start with their Baking Powder Biscuit recipe, but to double the shortening.  The recipe is as follows:

Baking Powder Biscuits

  • 2 cups “Occident” flour, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients together twice.

Cut in shortening.  Add milk gradually, until mixture is soft, spongy dough.

Turn on slightly floured board.  Pat or roll lightly to 3/4 in. thickness.  Shape with biscuit cutter.

Bake in a very hot oven.  (425° to 430°F.).

Time 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 15 small biscuits.



Use OCCIDENT Baking Powder Biscuit recipe, using twice as much shortening for richer dough.

Roll dough 3/4 inch thick.

Shape as biscuits or in two layers and spread butter between layers.  Bake in hot oven.  (400°F.).  Time – 20 minutes.

Split with fork after baking.  Spread layers with butter and fill with sweetened fruit.  Place thick layer of fruit on top.  Use strawberries, peaches, cherries or any dried, canned or fresh fruit as desired.  Serve with whipped cream.

Front cover of OCCIDENT Family Recipes




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