A Shout-out to simple, comfort food
A couple of months ago, I got an email from a writer of an online travel magazine, asking for an interview. In the nineties I did lots of interviews. Magazines, radio, even a couple of talk shows. The Host(s) would generally ask the same question. “What’s Whitney Houston like?”, then, “Tell us about the project.” I learned to give the same answer a hundred different ways, depending on the medium. I realized, when my career began to slow down, that I was never really asked anything about me. Not that it mattered. I never considered myself to be a very interesting person. Funny. Don’t get it twisted, but, nothing special.
The blog, The Interview: Me, is a repost of an interview I gave for Pietro for his Facebook page a couple of years ago. Never having Facebook, proudly, and hopefully never will, this young Italian writer had to send me my own copy. I was so impressed by his manners, it was easier to say yes then, than it was this time around. As a result of going to the website and reading his cadre of interviews with very accomplished people in the travel industry, I feel inadequate. Winning!, taught me about saying no and potentially robbing oneself of one’s blessings. I’m still trying to get out of my own way. I just received the questions yesterday. Wish me luck. I’ll let you know when it publishes.
On This Day
May 27 is National Grape Popsicle Day. Not that I’m pissed I’m doing Homestyle Biscuits this week, but, damn, I wish I’d have known that sooner. I freaking love popsicles. I even have molds. Oh well, next year for sure. With summer just around the corner, I can still see us, on our skateboards, soda in one hand, push-up or 50/50 bar in the other, headed to the mall to watch the latest. Sugary liquid dripping down our arms and onto our clothes, making us attractive to small flying things with wings. Honing our curb dog skills as we bobbed and weaved our way to mass air conditioning. After all, nothing would come between us, the movies and the arcade. Remember the arcade?
The World is in an Uproar
My breakfast prayers have always included thankfulness for allowing me to see another day and to bless the food and the hands that prepared it. My mother used to make these, what she called “Hoecake biscuits”. They were so good. She’d fry them in a cast iron skillet after letting them rise, under a tea towel, for what seemed like an eternity. As a result, by the time they were ready, there were never leftovers. She died with that recipe. I’m on a bit of a quest to try and recreate her method. Tons of trial and error. So far, only error. In the meantime, I’ve done pretty well with these. I’ve been making biscuits for years, watching tons of videos to see other methods and using the best techniques of the lot.
Adding ‘Style’ makes it taste better
The definition of Homestyle. (adjective) such as would be made or provided at home, simple and unpretentious. Nothing beats a good biscuit with some jam, jelly, honey or just plain. High blood pressure has made me more cognizant of salt intake, so, these are made with no added salt other than the butter. I also add a little sugar which really balances them out nicely. I’m grateful for these food blogs, especially in the times we currently live in. There’s no escape. Remember to turn all devices off each day, for a designated period of time, to retain coping skills. While these may seem like the worst of times, I’ll bet my ancestors could make a pretty good argument against that. Yours too. We’re a country of immigrants. We all stand on the shoulders of those who had it much tougher. We owe it to them to eat a biscuit.
CB's Homestyle Biscuits
- 1 Box Grater
- parchment paper
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 spatula or wooden spoon
- 1 bench scraper (optional)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) frozen
- 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup chilled buttermilk
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- Preheat Oven to 450 degrees F
- In a large mixing bowl, sift 2 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, sugar, stir and set aside
- Roll stick of frozen butter into flour mixture and grate frozen butter using the large holes of the box grater. Toss together grated butter and flour. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add chilled buttermilk and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon for 10 times. dough should almost come together and be sticky.
- Turn dough out onto floured surface. Lightly sprinkle flour over the top of the dough. Bring together with hands, then rolling pin. Roll dough into a 3/4 inch-thick rectangle (about 9x5 inches). Fold dough in thirds, like an envelop. Repeat rolling and folding process 5 more times. Use a bench scraper to prevent dough from sticking to surface and occasionally lightly sprinkle flour on board to keep it moving.
- Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2 inch floured round cutter, reshaping scraps and flouring as needed.
- Place dough rounds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet so that the rounds touch. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove, Brush with remaining melted butter.
- For Pillowy dinner rolls: Cut in 1/2 cup cold shortening instead of cold butter. You'll get a soft biscuit that stays tender, even when cool.
Biscuits or Popsicles?