What's cool about his birthday being April 20, which day he shares with Adolf Hitler, is how completely and utterly his sweet and downright schnookumy personality gives the lie to the notion of any sort of astrological predestination. Suck it, star-gazers!
(Also, happy birthday, Amy!)
Birthday highlights so far:
- Adorable baby harp seal puppet from Grammy and Pa via the Audubon Society gift shop
- Easy Bake Oven from Grandma and Grandpa, complete with Rhys' blase face on the box
- More Legos than you can shake a stick at, really, from pretty much everybody
- Pirate Playmobil figures from awesome Nanny Eryn, who came over and helped us celebrate with her cute girlfriend Aubrey
- incredibly delicious strawberry lemon shortcakes: recipe below
Strawberry Lemon Shortcake
Makes 4 shortcakes, serving 4 to 8 people depending on how lavishly you wish to celebrate
Combine in a bowl:
- 3 cups halved and thinly sliced strawberries
- 2 to 4 Tbsp sugar, adjusting to account for strawberries' sweetness
Combine in a largish bowl:
- 2 cups flour
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
Add 4 Tbsp cold butter and cut in with two knives (or a pastry blender, should you be blessed with such an item) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. This will take a long time and you will start to get annoyed. Persevere.
In a smaller bowl, combine
- 6 Tbsp half-and-half
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 1-1/2 tsp. lemon zest (Zesty!)
Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients; dough will be sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times. (Ten shall be the number thou shalt knead, and the number of the kneading shall be ten. Eleven shalt thou not knead, neither knead thou nine, excepting that thou then proceed to ten. Twelve is right out.)
Divide dough into quarters; pat each into a pleasantly rounded, 3/4" thick form. Arrange on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 2" between cakes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes, watching to make sure they don't go from just-right to crispy in a precipitous fashion. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes while you finish the other accoutrements, which are:
Stir together 3 Tbsp softened butter and 1/2 tsp lemon zest. Set aside.
Beat 1 cup whipping cream to soft peaks. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2-3 tsp powdered sugar. Beat until thoroughly combined.
Split shortcakes in half lengthwise (derrr). Spread each cut side lightly with lemon butter. Pile strawberries onto bottom half, dollop with whipped cream and replace tops. (Or, for a less profligate dessert, just serve the tops and bottoms separately, piled with strawberries and whipped cream.)
Dust lightly, if you like, with cinnamon or cocoa powder and serve it forth.
Oh, and in other news, here's Mean Jean making her Barack Obama face.