Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all dry ingredients. Add shortening and use a pastry cutter or fork to blend in the shortening. The mixture should look like course breadcrumbs. Knead in the buttermilk; the mixture will be slightly sticky. Adding more flour will result in a dense biscuit. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough to 1 /2 inch thickness. Cut out biscuits and place on a baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the milk and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake 14-16 minutes, or until golden brown. Top shortcakes with strawberries and whipped cream. Yield: 8 servings
Strawberries for Shortcake
Divide the strawberries, puree one half in the blender and refrigerate. Slice the other half of the strawberries and combine with the sugar and lemon juice. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Add the pureed berries to the sliced berries and serve. Yield: 8 servings