Strawberries Cranius — Legendary Recipe
By William Lawrence Sr.
The morning sun burned away the mist and shone brightly upon the majestic palace in the city of Themiscyra on the Black Sea.
The sparkling white marble edifice was the home of the raven-haired Queen Penthesilea, the magnificent ruler of the Amazons.
Now, as the sun poured through the windows and beat on her over-sized bed, her nearly seven-foot body stirred.
Cranius, her chief slave and servant, stood silently and watched. He was in love with his beautiful queen, but she hardly knew Cranius was there. He was treated like a piece of furniture.
Cranius cast his eyes downward, as Penthesilea stretched, causing the muscles to ripple in her broad back. She yawned and the soft brown eyes flecked with gold which matched her gossamer sleeping garments opened wide. Cranius, as always, was taken aback by her amazing beauty.
Except for the servants, the Amazons allowed no men in Themiscyra. Even the male children were sent away, and only daughters were allowed to be reared in the city.
Years before, during a deer hunt, Penthesilia aimed at an animal, but the arrow went astray and killed her only sister. She was overcome with grief, but decided not to slay herself. Instead, she vowed “to die on the sword of the bravest man in the world. Of course, that was Achilles.
Penthesilea snapped her fingers and told Cranius she was ready for breakfast.
She needed plenty of fuel to power her large and lithe body.
The gorgeous queen ate a morning feast of eggs, cheese, cold chicken, sizzling hot fish, sweet rolls, and then polished off a double portion of Strawberries Cranius, a wonderful desert invented by her faithful servant.
Finished eating, she leaped frorm the bed. Her thick black hair fell below her waist.
Cranius felt a chill as the watched her dress. She was preparing for combat. The short white skirt, the halter and the high boots were white. The breast plate and helmet were gold.
She ordered her army to assemble.
“Saddle up,” she said. “We are going to fight the Greeks.”
Within minutes the disciplined regiment was mounted and galloping off to help the Trojans.
Achilles, naturally, sided with the Greeks.
Penthesilea caught sight of Achilles as she led her brave warriors into combat. Achilles saw the beautiful queen sitting high in the saddle of a sorrel stallion. Their eyes met. It was love at first sight.
It was a love that was not meant to be. Penthesilea attacked Achilles with the ferocity of a tiger and the brave soldier was forced to defend himself. He smote the Amazon queen with his sword. She fell, mortally wounded. Achilles tried to save her, but could not.
Cranius sobbed uncontrollably at the word of his queen’s death. He vowed he would never make his strawberry dessert for the new amazon queen. It would be his secret memorial to Penthesilea.
And while the following recipe is not exactly the same, it is similar and very delicious.
1 quart strawberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup kirsch
1 cup whipping cream
Cut strawberries in halves and place a few aside for garnishing. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and kirsch, stir. Cover, refrigerate about two hours. Before serving, beat whipping cream in a bowl until soft peaks form, fold in strawberries and garnish.