Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I love biscuits. I always have.

I love them with gravy.

I love them with strawberry jelly.

I really love them with sorghum.
Yummy, yummy, in my tummy!

My mom was horrified when all I wanted to take to school for my snack in Kindergarten were biscuits and sorghum. When she grew up, that's all she had to take to eat at school. But I had all kinds of choices and I choose biscuits, because I loved them. I'm sorry I put you through that Mom, but I loved your biscuits.

Mom made them for breakfast or Sunday dinner after church with sausage gravy and fried potatoes, and in the summer, fresh sliced tomatoes.

Mom made them with fried chicken (or fried squirrel or fried turtle) and mashed potatoes and gravy.

Mom made me learn how to make them as soon as I was old enough.

She always used Bisquick, it was quick, easy, and quite reliable, so that is how I've made biscuits for years. But, always the glutton for punishment, I decided about a year ago to master the art of making them by scratch. After trying numerous recipes and not being happy I finally found one I like, is easy, and makes good tasting biscuits, right in my Betty Crocker cookbook.

Let's make biscuits shall we?

Buttermilk Biscuits
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

First, heat your oven to 450 degrees.
Next, mix together with a fork: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Now add in your shortening (I usually use lard or Crisco or even bacon grease):

Mix it together, with a fork or pastry blender, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs (think pie crust).

Now, make a well in the center and pour in your buttermilk. Stir it with your fork until it is blended in and dough is beginning to form. If your buttermilk is thick, you might have to add a little water to get all the dry ingredients wet and sticking together.

Then flour your clean countertop and plop the dough on top.

Now, knead it a bit,

working it into a smooth round ball.

Now roll it out to your desired thickness, Ms. Crocker says to 1/2 inch.

I rolled these out a bit too thin for my taste. Oh well.

Cut with a floured biscuit cutter, push straight down and then turn the cutter.

This is a cutter my mom gave me sometime early in my marriage. It is an old one that will cut doughnuts too if you put in the middle dohicky (sorry to throw in the technical term). Do you see the string around the handle? One day my granddaughter will ask her mother, "Why do you have a string around the handle of your biscuit cutter?" My daughter will reply, "Because my mother did it that way." My granddaughter, ever wanting to learn, will come to me and ask, "Grandma, why do you have a string around the handle of your biscuit cutter?" And I'll tell her, "Because when I was a little girl, my mom liked to collect biscuit cutters and display them. She wanted to hang them on the wall, so she tied strings around them to do so. I just never took it off."

It'll become as famous as why women cut the end off the ham before putting it into their roaster.

Okay enough tangents, back to biscuits.

Put the cut biscuits onto a cookie sheet, fairly close together.

Bake at 450 for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Then enjoy with jelly, or sorghum, or sausage gravy (upcoming post). And if there are any left over they are a delicious snack warmed in the microwave with a slice of cheese on top.

My mouth is watering. Excuse me while I go eat a biscuit, or two.

Buttermilk Biscuits
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make well in center and pour in buttermilk. Stir together until forms a dough, turn out onto floured surface. Knead into a smooth round ball (not too much kneading). Roll to desired thickness (1/2 inch), cut with biscuit cutter, place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 24 biscuits

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mistake turned Delicious

We enjoyed Nathan's apple pie and ice cream (and cupcakes for those who didn't like pie) on Saturday evening when Grandpa and Grandma could join us.

I made the ice-cream on Saturday morning and made a mistake. I was doing too many things at once (making ice-cream, baking the pie, and fixing dinner) so I accidentally doubled the amount of sugar but not the eggs, nor the salt and started mixing.

Ooops. Now what to do? I don't have the half and half or whipping cream to double the entire thing, nor the time right now to freeze two batches. I don't want to waste all these ingredients and throw them away.

Along comes my knight in shining armor, otherwise known as David, to save the day . He says he'll run to the local store and buy more of what I need, we'll freeze one batch now, the rest we'll put in the refrigerator and freeze on Sunday or Monday and make Grasshoppers out of the batch.


Oh this is good, this is very good!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I find ages of people I know to be a fascinating thought. Here are some examples.

1. A couple in our church have become good friends, they are eleven years younger than us.
2. Our very good, dear, best friends whom we love to vacation with are four-five years older than us.
3. My dad had he still been living would be 75, and my father-in-law turned 80 this year, yet my friend Laura's dad just celebrated his 71st birthday and Laura is, at the most, ten years older than me.

I could go on and on and I know you can too.  But I really do find it amazing to sit and think about that, because life is interacting with people of all ages, shapes, and sizes, not the twenty to thirty same-age peers for eight hours per day, five days per week, for twelve to sixteen years.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Is it a quality of all children or just mine?

Nathan's yo-yo birthday gift has resulted in a new-found obsession for all the kids. Incessant "can I try" questions have pestered him (and me). Our weekly shopping trip yesterday including shopping for two more yo-yos. Now I am constantly pestered to "watch this," and "can you get me to the website so I can learn tricks?"

My consolation is that there could be worse things they obsess over and they were greatly delighted to learn that Ancient Greek children also loved to play with yo-yos.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Double Digits From This Point Forward

Look who reached double digits for the first time today.

Pretty nice haul of presents don't you think? The kids have normally purchased one big gift for the birthday sibling in years past. This year, however, they decided to each buy one or more smaller gifts for the birthday celebrant.

David and I gave him a Lands' End tote bag for library books plus three of the Stephen Biesty Cross-Section Books (thank-you Amazon used sellers!) he has constantly borrowed from the library.
Hannah gave him freezes and a yo-yo.
Ellie gave him a gum-ball machine.
Abby gave him two packages of candy bars and two boxes of macaroni and cheese (we ate for lunch).
Sam gave him "flarp" (silly putty that makes the noise of farting - ahh boys!) and Pop-tarts.

We also gave him the gifts throughout the day, which was quite fun. Nathan, as the birthday boy got to pick the meals for today:

Breakfast: bacon and waffles
Dinner: chicken patty sandwiches, french fries, and macaroni and cheese
Supper: Pizza Ranch

He wants apple pie. We'll enjoy that along with cake and homemade ice-cream on Saturday when Grandpa and Grandma can share in the treat.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Training

The first 50 degree day prompted the kids to skeedaddle outside as soon as I would let them for a game of catch. As soon as David came home, he couldn't resist joining in the fun.

"Throw it to me Dad!"

The snow is mostly all gone, except for the huge piles from clearing the parking lot.

Ahh, warm, spring days feel so good after a long, snowy, cold winter.
Wonder how long it will be before we get our usual March snowstorm and it is back to boots, coats, hats, and mittens?

Friday, March 05, 2010


I have several posts I want to share but haven't had the time to sit and write them.

So for now, here are the teasers:

One post will be all about biscuits and gravy.
I'm getting hungry just looking and thinking about them. Yum, yum, yum!

Another post is all about why 5 children and their spouses took Dad and Mom to a wonderful German restaurant on the last Friday in February.
There was plenty of good food, good conversation, and of course good beer!

But the details will have to wait. I'm still busy teaching the children as we finally started our monthly goal list again. We've picked out our reward (but I'm not telling!) and so we're all trying to keep up with our work. But I'm also busy the next two days attending a scrapbooking retreat. And I need to finish baking bread as we currently have none. The yogurt and granola are made though, and so once the bread is done, it will feel like food is in the house once more!

Ta ta for now!