Mom’s Strawberry Shortbread

Dyeing

This past weekend I took time to dye some of my husband’s clerical shirts. After a bunch of washings, the shirts fade in color (blackness) and start looking kind of shabby. So I bought some Rit dye and went to town.

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In our Lutheran tradition, it’s customary for pastors to wear black clerical shirts. If a guy goes around without one, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s like any uniform: it helps with identification.

The only job I’ve had to wear a uniform was when I worked in a veterinarian’s office, and we were required to wear scrubs. That was before the days of cutesy scrubs with ice cream cones and hearts. These were just plain old white scrubs. It was a good thing the vet required we wear them because one of my jobs was cleaning out the kennel. Sheesh. Used a lot of bleach in those loads of wash.

Anyhoo, Scott tends to favor the black clerical shirts that are common in the catholic tradition. The ones with the white collars that go all the way around the neck are generally used by Anglicans. His require a “tab” collar–a white plastic piece inserted into the buttoned up collar. One time, when we were traveling he forgot to pack a tab. I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t just cut up a margarine container and make do.

Anyway, every so often, I’ll dye a batch of his shirts, and that usually makes them last a little longer. These shirts aren’t cheap. They’re about $50-$60 each, and you have to mail order them, so it’s kind of a big deal when we have to replace them.

Wearing his clerical shirt (which we affectionately call a “blackie”) out in public has sometimes brought meaningful stares when he’s with Jacob and me. I mean, Jacob looks a lot like us–it’s pretty obvious he’s our son. So, it’s like you can almost see the calculations people are making in their minds: uh, okay, here’s this catholic priest with some blonde lady and a teenager who looks like he could belong to them. What’s going on here?

But most of the time people don’t pay much attention.

Mom’s Strawberry Shortbread

However, you should pay attention to this recipe. This is DiDi’s 100-year-old shortbread recipe. I know, I know. It’s not quite strawberry season yet. I know! Quit reminding me. But I just couldn’t stand waiting any longer. And I wanted to take it to my cooking club’s heritage recipe gathering on Wednesday. So strawberry shortcake it is.

And here we are back at another DiDi recipe! You’re a rock star these days, DiDi!

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Here’s the shortcake in the oven.

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And here it is, baked and cooled. Strawberries to follow.

As for the shortcake, it’s deliciously sweet–definitely a keeper for another 100 years at least!

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