My best friend Cindy’s son will be taking his driver’s test in the next couple of weeks. There are three things that I think about when I hear about someone taking their driver’s test….lawnmowers, my father laughing, and strawberry shortcake.
Cindy has heard this story a gazillion times, so Cynthia, I know you’re reading this, so you can skip these next few paragraphs while I tell everyone else my story….
I’m not a fan of driving, and there is no doubt that I’m a defensive rather than an aggressive driver. There is a very big reason for that…
I was a late bloomer when it came to getting my driver’s license. I took my test when I was 18 years old. When my friends were all going for their driver’s tests, there were rumors going around school of a very, VERY grumpy and balding examiner, who was failing kids left and right… they called him “Grumpy Bald Guy”. I was nervous enough, I didn’t need to think about grumpy bald guy (GBG for short).
My father drove me to my test that day, and as we sat there waiting, I prayed and prayed that I wouldn’t get GBG.
Yeah, my prayers didn’t go through that day.
GBG came walking up to my car.
My lime green Gremlin with a white stripe.
Mmhmm… That’s right.
GBG didn’t smile. Didn’t really do anything really, except get in the car, and wrote on the papers that were on his clipboard. I did everything I was supposed to do, checked everything I was supposed to check… my window was down so that I could do my hand signals…and his window was down too. We were set to go.
…And then he told me to make my first right hand turn at the stop sign. Ok, I made it through the right hand turn perfectly. Deep breath. So far so good.
It’s important for you to know that there was a man mowing his lawn to the right of us… GBG started to tell me to do my three point turn, when all of a sudden there was a loud bang on my car… GBG makes a loud grunting sound, and falls forward.
Somebody shot my car, and then shot GBG! There’s blood! The man was bleeding!! What does an 18 year old girl do, when she thinks that her car and GBG have been shot?? Well, she slams on the brakes in the middle of the street, and starts to cry…that’s what she does!
I can’t even tell you if I put the car in park, sobbing, I asked GBG if he was alright… maybe a little loudly, and very, very shakily.
GBG sits up, and grabs a handkerchief out of his pocket, and puts it to the side of his head. He had me pull to the side of the street until he could get his wits about him. And there we sat, him holding a handkerchief to his head, and me crying, watching the man mow his lawn.
He looked around the car, and picked up a pretty good size stone from the floor. The only thing that he could figure is that the man that was mowing the lawn to the right of us, hit a stone. The stone must have flown from the lawnmower blade, and somehow hit my car, but then somehow made it perfectly inside the window… and hit GBG in the head!
What are the odds?
I asked him if he wanted to go back to where we started the test, and he said “No, let’s continue the test”. He quickly rolled up his window, and the test continued.…
From that point on… my three point turn turned into a five point turn. My parallel parking was about three feet from the curb. I don’t remember using any hand signals at all…
We made it back to where we started, and the test was over. We got out of the car, and he walked over to my father, and stood there talking to him for a few minutes, and I sat in the passenger side of my car, waiting for my father to come take me home.
Pa laughed all the way home.
I cried all the way home.
I swear he had tears rolling down his eyes as he was telling my mom about it, he was laughing so hard. I know that he wasn’t laughing at me, but just laughing at the whole situation. In hindsight, it’s hilarious! But at that point in time, my life was crashing all around me..
I stood there crying, watching her cut up strawberries while he told her about it. Mom was making strawberry shortcake for dinner. She would do that once in a while. It was a special treat when we had strawberry shortcake for dinner…and I think that she was making it to celebrate my drivers test!
Now, back then, they didn’t tell you that you passed your test on that same day. We either had to wait for the license to come in the mail, or we could call within a couple of days and they would tell us whether we passed or failed. There was no doubt that I failed that day.
I didn’t want to know. But after a few days, my father said that I should call. “No way” I said. So he called for me. After he hung up, he turned to look at me… “You passed.” he told me. And he gave me a great big hug.
And then we laughed…
GBG passed me.
He passed me.
To this day, I’m shocked that the man passed me. I did everything wrong during my test. I slammed on the brakes in the middle of the street when the rock hit my car. I sat there sobbing like a lunatic. Everything I did after that was completely wrong.
But the grumpy bald guy passed me.
To this day, I still have the rock that hit him in the head.
I’ve kept it in my jewelry box for all these years. It serves as a reminder that some of the things we think are so “life crashing” at the time, are just memories and sometimes funny stories that we can tell later on…
So while I was cutting the strawberries for this, I was thinking of my mom, standing there cutting up strawberries while my father was laughing and telling her the story…. and I was thinking of Zach, Cindy’s son, knowing that on the day of his test, I’ll cross my fingers, and silently hope that there isn’t a man mowing his lawn to the right of him…just like I did for my kids…and probably will do for everyone that I hear has a drivers test coming up…I know that he will do just fine during his test, and I have no doubt that he will pass with flying colors.. I love that boy.
I made this strawberry shortcake a little differently this time around… I really wanted strawberry shortcake with the warm biscuits, and fresh strawberries….but I was really in the mood for cheesecake with fresh strawberries too…so why not have both? There really was no reason not to! And to be honest, even if there was a reason not to, I probably wouldn’t have listened..
Strawberry Cheesecake Shortcake. I simply made the whipped cream into a cheesecake whipped cream. It’s delicious. The best of both worlds! It’s a wonderful dessert… or a wonderful treat for dinner!
I truly hope you do have strawberry shortcake for dinner sometime…
I’m bringing my strawberry cheesecake shortcake to Angie’s Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener to share with everyone. Angie is a beautiful host, and always puts on a wonderful party! This week, she has asked Margy from La Petite Casserole, and Sylvia from Superfoodista to co-host… two absolutely beautiful souls. I know that this party will be so elegant, so sophisticated with these two wonderful girls in control. I just cannot wait to get there… Thanks to Angie, Margy, and Sylvia.. it’s going to be a wonderful time..
Life is good, it’s a “He passed me. The man passed me.” kind of good…
Strawberry Cheesecake Shortcake
Just a quick note: The biscuits that I made were “Ruth’s Diner Mile High Biscuits” that I found on Pinterest, and that’s the recipe that I’m sharing with you today. It made exactly 7 biscuits for me. I toasted the remaining three biscuits for a couple of days, and ate them with fresh strawberry jam.
2 quarts fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar (I don’t like them too sweet, so use as much sugar to suit your sweet tooth)
Cheesecake whipped cream (Recipe to follow)
Ruth’s Diner Mile High Biscuits (Recipe to follow)
Whole strawberries for garnish
In a large bowl, mix the strawberries and sugar. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Ruth’s Diner Mile High Biscuits:
Adapted from Deals to Meals
3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water (Prudy’s note: I had to use 1/2 cup water. 1/4 cup just wasn’t enough)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and butter until crumbly. Mix in buttermilk, egg and just enough water to make a workable dough. Mix the dough until it is just barely combined (don’t over mix). Roll the dough onto a floured cutting board about 1 inch thick. Cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter, or a 2 inch round cup. Place on a greased baking sheet (touching each other) and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 12-15 biscuits, depending how thick you make them.
Tips to making awesome biscuits:
*ONLY hand mix your dough. Don’t mix in a Bosch or with a hand mixer. The dough will be too tough and the dough will become dry if you use a mixer. You don’t want to over mix this recipe. The best way to mix this dough is with a pastry cutter or using two knives and cutting the dough back and forth. This method takes a little longer but will ensure the perfect biscuit. You want pieces of butter left in your biscuit, that is what keeps the dough light and flaky.
*Next tip is to keep your biscuit dough fairly thick. You want a tall and thick biscuit more than you do a thin and hard biscuit. Keeping the dough thick will ensure a chewy and soft biscuit. I keep my dough about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick (cooking times may vary depending how thick you make them).
Cheesecake Whipped Cream:
1 8oz cream cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the shortcake:
Slice a biscuit in half, place the bottom half in a bowl. Pipe the cheesecake whipped cream onto the bottom half of the biscuit. Generously top with strawberries. Place the top half of the biscuit on top of the strawberries. Pipe a dollop of cheesecake whipped cream on the top of the biscuit, and garnish with a whole strawberry.