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Monday, June 18, 2012

A little Trifle for Dad

For most of the years of my marriage (and there have been many), I have prepared a meal and pie for my dad and/or father-in-law.  My husband's father passed away about three years ago, and my dad is far away in The Philippines this year, so the father of my children had Father's Day all to himself this year.  Since everything else was different about the holiday this time, I went all the way with the changes and prepared a different kind of meal (instead of a cookout) and a different dessert. My husband loves Trifle, so I fixed this favorite for him.  It's easy and fun to make, and really pretty served in a glass bowl.  It's fun to experiment with different kinds of berries and fruit, and different cake and pudding flavors.  The possibilities are endless, as they say!


1 9-inch yellow, white or pound cake; baked and cooled

1 package of vanilla pudding, prepared, or a recipe for vanilla pudding cooked and cooled

2 quarts strawberries, hulled and cut in half, sprinkled with sugar and allowed to juice for 15-20 minutes or so

2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

  • Cut the cake into cubes, approximately 2 inches square (nothing about this recipe has to be exact)
  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, then slowly add the whipping cream.  Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Arrange cake cubes in the bottom of the bowl so that they cover completely.
  • Drizzle half of the juice from the strawberries over the cake cubes.
  • Spoon half the pudding on the cake cubes.
  • Arrange about half the strawberries over the cake.
  • Spoon half the cream cheese mixture over the berries in the bowl.
  • Repeat the layers, and garnish top with a few strawberries.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strawberry Pie nights

Back in the summer of 1981 I was very pregnant and enjoying the last of the time my husband and I would have together to just do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted (well, within the constraints of  our "starving college student" budget).  He was working at the campus radio station, and many nights I would go over there with a pot full of dinner so we could eat together when he had a break.  When he got off at midnight we sometimes went to JB's for a treat.  JB's was the only restaurant in town that was open late at night back then.  The next summer, we had a cute little baby girl who we took along on these middle of the night outings.  It turned out that Cara didn't actually cramp our style at all.  Often our friends Jim and Neil were with us for those middle of the night snack attacks....and in the spring we all usually ordered the strawberry pie.

Strawberry pie still reminds me of those carefree nights when we laughed a lot and ingested too much pie and too many chocolate milkshakes.  I miss the company we had on those cool summer nights in Logan, but I am no longer so fond of those restaurant strawberry pies covered with plastic-like glaze.  Now I make it "all natural", and it's delicious.  Give this easy and yummy pie a try this summer.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 9-inch baked pie shell
2 quarts strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch

  • Separate the "prettiest" strawberries (about half of them) to put into the pie shell whole or halved, depending on how big they are.  Remove the stems from the remaining strawberries and smash them up with a fork or potato masher until they are juicy mush.
  • Add the sugar and cornstarch to the mashed up strawberries and heat on medium, stirring often, until the mixture is thick and boils.  Let cool.
  • Remove the stems from the remaining strawberries and arrange them in the pie shell.  You can leave small strawberries whole, but cut large ones in half.
  • Cover with the cooked strawberry mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Serve with sweetened whipped cream.