Monday, May 3, 2010

Poky Little Puppy Strawberry Shortcake

The Poky Little Puppy was written by Janette Sebring Lowrey in 1942, and illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.  It was one of the first Little Golden Books ever published and was, as of 2001, the best-selling children's book of all time.  (Incidentally, somewhere around here I have a copy of the list as of 2001 and the list as of a few years later - Harry Potter really shook some things up!)  It is also a personal favorite of mine.

Anyhow.  For those of you who are unfamilair, or who haven't heard the story in years and years, this is the tale of five puppy siblings, who disobey their mother and go digging under the fence to see what's in the wide, wide world beyond their home.  Off they run, "roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble," toward adventure.  But one of these puppies - the Poky Little Puppy - lags behind his siblings because he's so curious and distracted by everything.  He is also the last one to get back under the fence at the end of the night, which is lucky for him, because his siblings have all been sent to bed without dessert for being naughty, and he gets all of the rice pudding for himself.

The next day, the same thing happens - off they run, "roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble," into the wide, wide world.  Their mother is again very disappointed in her offspring, and the puppies are again sent to bed without any dessert.  All, that is, except for Poky (which I always assumed was his name, even though I realize now that it's a descriptor and not necessarily a name at all - but you never know.  After all, how many cats have I met named Brownie?).  Poky comes home after the rest of the puppies have gone to bed, and eats all the chocolate custard by himself.

On the third day, the puppies again venture out into the wide, wide world beyond the fence and run, "roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble," and have a grand old time.  When they get home and see their mother disappointed, though, they fill in the hole they dug and get to share the dessert she's made - strawberry shortcake.  All, that is, except for the Poky Little Puppy.  He not only gets home too late for dessert, but he has to squeeze through the slats of the fence, because the hole has been filled in.

Now... I don't know exactly why, but I've always felt bad for Poky.  I shouldn't, really.  He disobeyed and couldn't keep up with his siblings, and he ate 10 servings of dessert over the past two days, but the lack of strawberry shortcake always made me sad.  The book even tells you that he was "feeling very sorry for himself" at the end of it all, and maybe that made him a better puppy, but he was just curious, right?  Poor guy.  Maybe because I love strawberry shortcake so much, but it just seemed like a cruel punishment.  An injustice that needs to be rectified.

So, it may be late by 68 years, but here, Poky, is your shortcake.  I hope it was worth the wait.

Poky Little Puppy Strawberry Shortcake
1 pint of strawberries
2 tbsp. of sugar
Whipped cream

**NOTE** Biscuits are the traditional foundation for strawberry shortcake (well... besides shortcake), so that's what I've used here, but angel food cake is also a nice foundation.  The foaminess sucks up the strawberry juice quite nicely.

1. Prepare biscuits according to recipe or package directions.  I used Bisquik to make mine, though Pillsbury does make some great ones in a tube if you're in a hurry.  For the traditionalists out there, Alton Brown has an awesome recipe listed here: .  I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while now, but finals week is not the time to dive into something like a new biscuit recipe.  (If you are using angel food cake, I would recommend waiting until it's time to serve and then slicing it into good-sized chunks, to avoid getting crusty edges.)
2. Wash and hull the strawberries, and slice into a bowl.  Add the sugar and stir; let this mixture sit at least an hour or until it's time for dessert.  Fun fact - the sugar will draw out the strawberries' natural pectin, which will make a syrup as this mixture sits. This will take about an hour, but you can make it a few hours ahead of time, if you like.  If you're short on time or haven't read ahead in the recipe, please remember that strawberries are quite awesome without any syrup at all, so you're in luck.
3.  To assemble, cut a biscuit in half horizontally.  Place one half of the biscuit in a bowl, and top with the strawberry mixture and whipped cream.  Repeat with the remaining half of the biscuit, more strawberries, and more whipped cream.  Top with a berry for garnish, if desired.

Fabulous.  I love it.  I could eat this every day of my life and not get bored.

I usually cheat and make biscuits a la Pillsbury, but this time I made them a la Bisquik - admittedly, not the same as homemade, but they look homemade, don't they?  And they are pretty tasty.
Mmmmm.... I know they're done, because the bottoms are golden brown and delicious.  Plus, the house smells awesome.
As a final quick note... I need to stop apologizing for not writing, but I am sorry, really.  Perhaps I shouldn't have taken on this project while I'm still in school... but for some things, you just don't want to wait to get started.


  1. oooh looks so favorite dessert!!


  2. This looks very yummy...and just in time for summer!

  3. They came out nicely. I wish you all were closer so I could share!

    The best thing about this dessert is that if you use angel food cake and fat-free whipped cream, the whole dessert is fat free and low in calories, but it sure doesn't taste like it.