For 22 years Judith DuBowy has been slicing strawberries and whipping up peaks of sweet cream for the annual .
The culinary mind behind the festival’s famous strawberry shortcake dessert and a festival co-founder, DuBowy has been instrumental in helping to raise thousands of dollars for charities serving women and children across the area. The idea for the fundraiser grew out of a changing society, DuBowy said. Twenty-two years ago, the world was opening up, women were working and PUMC’s traditional bazaar fundraiser, which relied on the work of housewives and Potomac moms wasn’t what it used to be.
DuBowy, then the president of the church women’s group, remembered that the church she had grown up in hosted a successful strawberry festival and hoped to mirror that success in Potomac. Many would argue that she has.
The festival grew from the work of two or three church members to being a church-wide event.
“It’s the one event that makes everyone just come together and work – the old, the young, men and women,” said PUMC Administrative Assistant Bobbie Wolman. Last year .
This year's recipients include Excel Institute, Child Savers, Washington Gas Emergency Fund, Key to the Cure/Suburban Hospital, Day Alzheimer’s Foundation, For the Love of Children and .
DuBowy estimates the festival sells nearly 600 shortcakes each year. With each cake being a handmade treat, she’ll be in the kitchen baking biscuits around 9 a.m. Saturday. The long day of dessert-making keeps DuBowy in the kitchen for most of the festival, but she says the work is well worth it.
“It’s making the desserts but also having people enjoying them and having people make comments about how they come every year,” DuBowy said. “I have people in line at 10:30 a.m. for strawberry shortcake. That makes me feel good.”
Customers will have two shortcake options – a biscuit or a cake, topped with sweet strawberries and whipped cream. DuBowy said the recipe is a secret family tradition, and customers can rely on a good product each year.
"You know when you come that you’re going to get the same cake, the same biscuit, the same strawberries, same whipped cream,” she said.
Patch tried to convince her to share the recipe, but we failed. Instead DuBowy offered this piece of advice to wannabe shortcake cooks: Biscuits have to be freshly made and the berries freshly sliced.
Do you have a favorite shortcake recipe? Share it in the comments below.