StoryThyme: Curly Locks (and Strawberries with Cream)

Welcome to a new feature here called StoryThyme, a celebration of Mother Goose poems, fairy tales, and children’s stories.  In true Hungry Bookworm tradition, I am going to create a food inspired by these magical texts.

Today’s poem “Curly Locks” is almost always included in compilations of Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

Curly Locks, Curly Locks,
Will you be mine?
You shall not wash dishes,
Nor feed the swine,
But sit on a cushion

And sew a fine seam,

And sup upon strawberries,

Sugar, and cream.

Origin:  This rhyme has no set origin, but it seems to be linked to the Victorian era.  During that period, curly hair was so in demand that having it could determine your life’s social status.  If you didn’t naturally have curly locks, you sought to acquire them, either through curling or wigs, as soon as possible.

Thoughts: You know, as a straight-haired person, I’m not sure whether I should feel offended or not!  Does this mean that I am going to have to feed the swine?  And **gasp** wash dishes?!!!  That seems like hair discrimination to me.

What, am I forbidden strawberries too?

Maybe I just need to go out and get my hair curled…

Except for the fact that the last time that happened, I was in third grade and it made me look like a poodle.

Do poodles, then, get strawberries and cream? Is that good for them?

Dulce de Leche Strawberries

In defiance of Mother Goose, I decided to sup upon strawberries, sugar and cream anyway.  In a gesture of solidarity, I suggest that all of you straight, wavy, spiked, and bald-headed people (oh and heck, come along curly-haired people) make this recipe as soon as possible.  With a tiny bit of preparation, we can all enjoy Dulce de Leche Strawberries, thank you very much.

You may be wondering, what is Dulce de Leche.  Basically, it is milk and sugar that is cooked until it thickens and caramelizes.  It is a very popular around the world and it seems to have originated in Argentina and Mexico (correct me if I’m wrong).  There are many ways to make this delicacy (that you will just start eating by the spoonful), and I decided to follow the advice of David Lebovitz since I trust him in all food matters.  This will take 1.5 hours of almost-completely passive time and will give you a whole lot of joy, especially when you dip strawberries in it, or put it on your tea, or spread it on your toast, or…you get the picture.


  • 14 oz of sweetened, condensed milk (I used skim)
  • As many strawberries as you can eat


  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Pour condensed milk  into a shallow baking dish.
  • Set the dish within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
  • Cover the pie plate  with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
  • Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth.
  • Dip strawberries in this heavenly concoction and eat.  Then grab a spoon and just dig in.  Swoon.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using.