Biscuit Maker

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I’m on a mission:  Re-create my Granny’s homemade biscuits.  My Origins house church family has become my test group.  (They haven’t complained too much about this.)  My first try involved regular milk and butter.  Nah… not so good.  It’s not that they tasted bad… just not like Granny’s.  So the second try, which created the mess you see above, involved buttermilk and yes, that little jar you see toward the left is bacon grease meticulously preserved for just such a purpose.  I also tried a different technique with the cutter.  Straight down, straight up, no twisting the biscuit cutter.  Into the oven…

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At this point, I wanted to bottle the smell in my kitchen.  Sausage in a skillet on the stove, buttermilk biscuits in the oven, and coffee brewing in the pot.  Add in my family and friends laughing together in the next room and you have BLISS!

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And there they are… ta da!!!  Still not Granny’s.  BUT better than anything you can get in a freezer bag or a can, I guarantee!  Made with my own two hands.

I think perhaps biscuits are one of the finest expressions of southern femininity.  Maybe it’s just me, and the biscuit-making women I knew growing up.  But there’s something about a woman who can make biscuits from scratch.  Something that says love and comfort, patience and peace.  It takes practice, so the biscuit maker must be a woman who has cooked for someone else more than once.  It takes some intuition, since biscuit making is shrouded in a certain mystery about just when the dough is ready and just how much handling it can tolerate.  It takes some willingness to get dirty, since there really isn’t a better tool for biscuit making than one’s own hands.  It takes determination to go the extra mile, since these days anyone can make do with a can or a mix, or a fast food drive thru, and fewer kitchens know the kind of time and effort involved in from-scratch anything.

More than just possessing the culinary technique, I want to BE the biscuit maker.  I want my life to emanate the sweet, smiling softness that is a biscuit maker.  I want to put a few extra minutes and a bit of extra thought, and a lot of extra love into the tummies of those who sit around my table.  Biscuit makers have open arms for babies and hot coffee for friends.  Biscuit makers know that a few very simple, very inexpensive things can come together to make something delicious.  Biscuit makers know sweet tea and porch swings and what to do with both on a Saturday afternoon.

I’m blessed to have memories of lovely biscuit makers, and now I’m giving my own kids biscuit making memories too.  I hope they’ll not only have a yummy recipe to emulate, but a way of life, too.

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4 Responses to Biscuit Maker

  1. Angie says:

    One word: lard!
    And she hand rolled each biscuit. She didn’t cut them with a cutter.

    • Rebecca says:

      OK, am I missing something? I thought bacon fat and lard were one and the same. (I need to read Lard For Dummies) As for the rolling by hand I plan to try that next. I think she also used self rising flour. I’ve been using AP with baking powder but according to my research, self rising is the southern tradition. I knew she didn’t use a cutter, but I wanted to play around and see what would happen. Most of what I’ve read says that the more you handle the dough, the less flaky and tender your biscuit will be. You can see in the pic that they rose much higher than hers did… probably from me using the cutter instead of rolling by hand and handling the dough a little more. So next Sunday’s plan is Crisco, Buttermilk, and roll by hand, no cutter. We’ll see….

  2. Mary Kelso says:

    I wish I could smell that.

  3. Pingback: Weekend Time Warp - Rebecca's Pitcher

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