The Best of Biscuits

Apr
14

I’ve written about biscuits many times on this website. Biscuits are good people. Case in point, one of my favorites, Biscuits and Gravy.
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Or Sour Cream Raisin Biscuits.
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And don’t forget the Ultimate Cheddar Bay Biscuits. (My homemade take on the famous Red Lobster treats.)
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Of course, once you have a Homemade Biscuit Mix, the world is your biscuit. You could make Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake.
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Or Fast Cinnamon Buns.
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Or just about anything else you can think of, or can find–on my all biscuits, all the time Biscuits Page.
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When I was growing up, Saturday mornings always meant biscuits with molasses. Homemade biscuits, of course. My mother was a biscuit maker. My biscuit mix is based on my mother’s biscuit recipe, which came from her mother before her.


In my Oklahoma grandmother’s farmhouse kitchen, there was a stand-alone cabinet with a big bin of flour over a sifter that was part of the cabinet. The flour bin held lots of flour, and even in Depression times, that was one thing farmers had in plenty. My grandfather would save wheat out of the harvest and take it to the mill to have it ground into flour. Because people were so poor, they would put it in printed materials instead of plain sacks.

In my mother’s words: “Sometimes Mama would go with Daddy to choose the prints and sometimes he’d do it himself. They were all so pretty, he couldn’t make a mistake. So Mama not only made the bread, but they grew the wheat for the flour and I had lots of pretty dresses to show for it. Mama would take me to town and we’d shop til I found a dress I liked, then we’d go home and Mama would cut out a pattern for it and make it.”

One of her fondest memories of her mother is of all those times she watched her work at that stand-alone kitchen cabinet making biscuits in the big wooden bread bowl that always stayed just below the sifter. When she was ready to make bread, she just turned the sifter handle and flour came down into the bowl.

“I can just see Mama making the biscuits, mixing mostly with her hands, then throwing a little flour on the dough board, cutting the biscuits out. When they were in the oven she pushed the mixing bowl back under the sifter and closed the door. Rarely did she wash the bowl so that the nest of flour was ready for the next time.”

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are the same–my mother making biscuits. She didn’t have a stand-alone cabinet with a built-in sifter and a bowl always at the ready, but she might as well have since she made biscuits on a regular basis. You could always count on them on Saturday mornings. She’d poke the small end of a spoon or knife into the soft, still-warm-from-the-oven biscuits then pour molasses in the hole and that’s how we’d eat them. We always brought molasses back whenever we went to West Virginia. I can’t remember a time in my life that we didn’t have West Virginia molasses in the house. How would we eat biscuits without that?

It’s amazing how many memories are built around food. Food is basic but deep, simple but evocative.

This morning, I had the easy but perfect sausage biscuit.
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And thought of my mother, my children, my past, my future. Because it’s all there. In a biscuit.

Better make you some. Get started here–the Biscuits Page.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 14, 2015  

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Comments

7 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-14
    8:26
    am

    My mom told me all of her underwear was made from flour sacks. She remembers being excited when they started getting flour sacks with printed fabric so she could have pretty panties. I guess it was yesterdays version of Victoria’s secret. Lol

  2. 4-14
    8:41
    am

    the cabinet you are remembering is a hoosier cabinet. The flourbin/sifter was the distinctive component of it. (And I learned all this from the 1986 basketball movie “Hoosiers” with Gene Hackman….you never know where information will come from lol)

  3. 4-14
    10:40
    am

    Lovely post Suzanne.

    I still have to follow a recipe and measure ingredients. My mother could make perfect biscuits while blindfolded with one hand tied behind her back. In her 90’s now, she leaves most of the cooking to my Dad who follows a recipe and measures like me!

  4. 4-14
    1:01
    pm

    I have an accent piece in my kitchen that has a flour sifter in it and I have a cabinet in dining room that has a pull out bin, that’s tin, that was used as a flour bin. Me I just keep my flour in a glass jar and the rest in the freezer. But I love biscuits.

  5. 4-14
    2:35
    pm

    We have my husband’s grandmother’s Hoosier cabinet she got for a wedding gift from her mother about 1920. My husband painstakingly refinished it taking every slat off and numbered them from the sliding doors. He left a few blemishes that adds to the charm–a burned and blackened spot where a candle or maybe oil lamp burned wood above it for one. It still held a few pieces inside including a suspended and revolving spice jar rack, glass storage jars and a bar of lye soap she made. Also a few pieces of mail. It is in our kitchen and I use it it for storage. Priceless!

  6. 4-14
    5:39
    pm

    :happyflower:
    What a nice post. I make biscuits 3-4 times a week, it is one of my favorite things to make.

  7. 4-14
    11:43
    pm

    You just can’t beat biscuits. Yum. I still have flour sack prints from my Gram. Thanks for sharing your memories about them both :-) Gloria

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