Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Art of the Biscuit

Back in 1938, Momma and Daddy eloped.  There were probably a lot of reasons, I think most of them had to do with Daddy being from a very wealthy family and Momma wasn't.  But at dinner one night, Grandpa Will was saying there was just nothing like a good biscuit.  Then he pointedly looked at Momma and asked her if she could make biscuits.  For some reason, Momma couldn't cook.  I don't know why, she lived in a home with several sisters but she was one of the middle ones and just never learned for some reason.  Then she lived with my Great Aunt Esther and apparently didn't learn there, either.  So she told Grandpa Will that she couldn't cook.  I never got to know Grandpa Will, he died way before I was born but if Daddy was anything like him, then I can just imagine his reaction, what had his son done?  Married a woman who could not cook a biscuit?
So I have been in pursuit of the perfect biscuit.  I'm not there yet, but getting closer.  I need to apply what I have learned to a recipe that Jerry brought home one day, if I can achieve that, I will have the perfect biscuit.
I go shopping on the weekends and get the food for the week as many do, but I also cook most of what we need for the week, either partially or completely.  Today I made the biscuits, cooked up some chicken breasts with pepper, onion and celery to be sliced up for chicken sandwiches for lunch, I have a pound or so of stew beef, also with pepper, onion and celery, in the small crockpot which will cook until 11 tonight.  I probably won't do anything with that but put it into a tupperware and freeze it for a beef pot pie some night.  If the beef is precooked and tender, it's not much to cook a few potatoes, throw together a pie and have it out of the oven in just over an hour.  I will be doing a stir fry in just a bit, veggies are chopped, but will make it just a bit closer to dinner time.  Basically onion, green pepper, zucchini, crookneck squash, broccoli, carrots.  I stir fry this and just add whatever rings my bell, so will probably be oregano, garlic, basil, and will serve these with some Parmesan cheese on top.  Lastly, the "casserole".  Take two cans of vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Throw in a package of whatever kind of macaroni you like ziti, penne, even just plain spaghetti.  Let it cook as long as it usually does, then turn off the heat and stir.  Put in one can of diced tomatoes, lots of oregano and basil, and half of a jar of whatever spaghetti sauce you like (freeze the rest for the next time).  Dump in half a package of the little Walmart Italian meatballs (thawed) and mix well and heat a few more minutes.  OH, YUM!  The vegetable broth gives it an unbelievable taste.  Don't drain it, leave it all in.  I put some mozzarella cheese on top, too.  The original recipe had teeny tomatoes cut in half (Jerry can't have the seeds), and then Jerry remarked that it would be wonderful with some black olives in it (I don't like them) so this is our compromise.  You can do what you like with it, even throwing in some of the veggies I chopped up for stir fry would be very good and very interesting.  Anyhow, I make a whole pound and it lasts us for 3 meals or so.
I am making some macaroni salad to have for lunches, too, as I pack our lunches each day.  I try to have something different each day so will have macaroni salad two days and apple cobbler and peach cobbler (I didn't make that) two days.  Hoagies, roll ups and regular sandwiches.  I got so tired of velveeta sandwiches when I was a kid.....
I have been trying to use up some stuff in the pantry, I get things and think "this looks good" and then don't do anything with it.  Or get six on sale and then for whatever reason, just forget about the last two packages.
It's really handy to have stuff ready to just heat up after a long day.  And, on that thought, I must go now and move some more hay.  We don't have very much left to do but my energy level is just sapped today.  It's not that hot, but maybe it's just that I've done so much my mind is saying "'Scuse me, do you realize it's Sunday, a DAY OF REST?"  Well, yeah, I do but someone's gotta do the cooking around here and I'm not doing it when I get home from work every day!


  1. Those biscuits are gorgeous! Back in the stone age, I used to work at a small chain of restaurants called Biscuitville - and as part of the management team, I had to go to Biscuit University. There definitely is an art to making them and not turning them into hockey pucks! I am still the only person in my family that can make biscuits that aren't weapons. ;-)

  2. Oh, and to add to your mother was one of nine girls growing up on a farm. Each had their assigned tasks, the older ones usually got to help out in the kitchen and the younger ones got laundry duty or working with the chickens or picking vegetables or tending to the animals. My mom was the designated cow milker. Later on when she and my dad got married in 1950, she had no clue how to cook - but according to my dad, "she could milk the hell out of a cow." She is a fabulous cook now, but apparently had quite the rocky start!