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How to make strawberry shortcakes and a book too




Hello!  Here are some strawberry shortcakes.   And I am writing a book.  Yes me!  I am!

I can't believe I just wrote that but it's true.

Let me tell you how it happened....


Back in March this year I signed up for Holly Becker's from Decor8 Blogging Your Way e-course.  It was wonderful and I learnt a lot.  If you want some direction with your blog then I highly recommend you sign up right now. 

One of the things Holly said that has stuck with me is "you never know who is reading your blog" and boy is that true.


Anyhoo, one of the final homework assignments was to write what you wanted to get out of your blog.   So thinking big I wrote, that one day, in my wildest dreams, I would like to write a book.   To be honest, that is a quiet dream I've had for many years, but one I chalked up with other crazy dreams such as living in Provence for a year or buying an island.  You know, I never seriously thought it would ever happen.  Crazy or not, I shared that dream about wanting to write a book in my homework and it felt good to get that dream out there, if only to my fellow e-class mates.


I swear, it only took two weeks before I received an email from the publisher at Random House asking me to call for a chat.  Whoah Nelly that was fast!


Over the next months, after quite a bit of work writing sample chapters, nutting out concepts and ideas, along with lots of championing from many people at Random House, that book dream became a reality.  

And now I am writing a book.  And I feel truly astonished and incredibly humbled by this opportunity.  


The book will be part memoir, part recipes, with lots of photos, telling the story of our life in Tasmania.  An expanded version of my blog really, with more details and more trials and tribulations on what it was like to pack up your city life and move to the countryside of a small southern island.
 Plus plenty of good things to eat.

It will be due for release early 2015, which seems miles away but it's not really in the book publishing world. 


I am so very excited about this project, actually thrilled beyond measure, that a dream so out there has actually come true.  Now I just have to write it.  

So I would like to thank you dear readers, for visiting my blog and for your kind comments and emails. Believe me when I say without you, this wouldn’t be happening.


My only regret is..... that I didn't include spend a year in Provence and buy an island on my blog homework back in March.  Who knows where I might have ended up.   



And Holly was right, you never do know who is reading your blog.

To celebrate the season, and the signing of the book deal, which I celebrate at any opportunity, yesterday the first of the strawberries appeared, so we made strawberry shortcakes.   Just like this.....

Strawberry Shortcakes 

makes 12 shortcakes 


for the shortcakes
325 grams plain flour
half a teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons caster sugar
125 grams unsalted butter
1 large egg (beaten)
1/2 cup of Greek style yoghurt
1/4 cup of milk

for the filling
250 grams strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon caster sugar
250 ml double cream, whipped

Method
Preheat the oven to 220ºC

In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with sugar and let sit for 30 minutes to bring out their juices.

Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder the sugar together in a bowl.

Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips to crumble the butter into the flour, until the butter is the texture of course breadcrumbs with some pea size bits too.

Whisk the egg, yogurt and milk together in a small jug or bowl, then pour into the flour mixture a little at a time, using a fork to mix until it comes together.  (go easy, you may not need all of the liquid)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll gently to a thickness of about 2cm.

Dip a 5cm round cutter in flour and cut out as many rounds as you can, then work the scraps back into a dough and re-roll to finish cutting out 

Place the shortcakes about 2 cm apart on a lined baking tray

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown, and let them cool slightly on a wire rack.

Slice biscuits in half horizontally. Spoon strawberries and their liquid over bottom halves. Spoon whipped cream onto strawberries, and replace top halves of biscuits.  (I actually didn't whip the cream, as you can see by the photos, so it's a bit messy, but I really think you should!) 




38 comments:

  1. Oh Michelle I cannot wait for your book! It sounds just perfect! You must be so super excited & proud of yourself?! Way to go xx

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  2. Thank you Reannon, I really am super excited! xx

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  3. Congratulations.. that is incredibly exciting news! I can imagine it will be such a beautiful book.. I'm already looking forward to sitting down with a cup of tea and leafing through the pages! x

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    1. Thank you Katie, that is a lovely thought. x

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  4. So exciting Michelle. It's going to be fabulous and I am so looking forward to reading more of your story. Mel xxx

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    1. Thank you so much Mel, your support means a lot.
      xx

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  5. Congratulations on your book and those fabulous looking shortcakes. Tasmania has the best berries.

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    1. So true Elizabeth, Tasmania does have the best berries. Thanks for your good wishes.

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  6. Congratulations Michelle...please sign me up for your book now x

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  7. Oh, Michelle, this is so very wonderful!! I am so happy for you and cannot wait to get my hands on your beautiful book. All the best for this special time and process of creating your very own book. x

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    1. Thank you Melania. I can't wait to get my hands on the book, it will feel very strange. And thanks for the good wishes. x

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  8. I will definitely be first in line your book! Congratulations! I adore your blog and how you describe life there so this book will be a treasure.

    I'm so happy for you. :)

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    1. Sarah thank you so much for your kind words. Your comments always make my day! xx

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  9. Wow Congratulations, it sounds like it will be one amazing book, good luck!

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  10. Congratulations Michelle, what an amazing opportunity .
    Your book will be amazing I'm sure of it. x

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    1. Aw thanks Zara - YOU are amazing - I know it! x

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  11. Looking forward to your book being published, if your words & photos on your blog are an indication of how the book will be, then your book will be a delight to read. One just never knows just what is around the next corner in our journey of living our lives. Congratulations.

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    1. Wow, thank you Jenny for saying such lovely things. You never do know what's around the corner ! x

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  12. A million congrats! What a beautiful book it will be!! Wishing you much joy on this amazing journey :) xx

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Steph x

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  13. Congratulations.
    I will make these Strawberry shortcakes this Cup weekend for my daughters and nieces and we will toast your success with Earl Grey!

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    1. Thank you so much, I wish I could join you! x

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  14. Congratulations on your upcoming book, I look forward to reading it. Just came by your blog after reading the Victorian farmers Weekly Times paper which had an article on women on farms blogs. Such an inspiring blog. I blog for the grandkids, mainly photo's which I would like to learn 'how to' make them look better. Will come back again.

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    1. Welcome Valda, and thanks for visiting! x

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  15. Congratulations on the book deal. The same thing happened to me, with Penguin. In the past couple of years I've been told a number of times by people in book and magazine publishing that they're constantly looking at blogs to find people to publish.

    Good luck with the writing. I'm sure the book will be wonderful.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Rhonda. x

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  16. A book! Sublime! And those strawberry shortcakes - drool. x

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    1. Thank you Amy, and yes those cakes were rather delicious. x

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  17. Congratulations that does sounds amazing and I look forward to 2015 to read it. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Kathy x

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  18. Such wonderful, thrilling news for you! Congratulations. x

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  19. That's fantastic news Michelle - can't wait to read it
    xx

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  20. Best news ever - i cannot wait! x

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  21. that is just amazing. i wish i came on blogs more, i keep hearing the most amazing news when i do. congrats precious soul! x

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