Choosing my first skill was tough. A few days after I posted promising to complete this challenge I looked at my list and all of them seemed too difficult. But as I write this on January 12th, I realize that this is the one I should be doing today. BISCUITS. My father passed away on this day in 2001, so it seems fitting that I use his mother’s recipe to try my hand at biscuit making.
I spent a lot of time with my grandma growing up. My mom was working full-time, caretaking for my Dad and went back to school at night to get her degree. But this isn’t about that part of my story. This is about how much I love being in the kitchen with her. When my grandma picked me up from school we would watch The Young and The Restless and cook dinner. (We ate dinner at 4pm). I would “help” by mostly getting in her way but she was always patient with me. My grandmother is responsible for my love of old movies, my sense of humor, and my affinity for southern cooking.
I thought it would be best for you all to hear the recipe from the master herself and just maybe you will do your best to follow along. You will hear that like most Black grandmothers formalized measurements and cook times aren’t a part of her cooking. You have to feel it to get it right. You will hear the skepticism in my voice. Notice how she didn’t say what temperature to put the oven on? This is truly a technical challenge.
So. I just made the biscuits. She was right. I had to feel it. I was feeling a little insecure about my memory so I looked at other biscuit recipes online but ultimately I used a different amount of flour, a different amount of buttermilk, and cooked them for a different amount of time than was recommended.
I was able to feel when the dough was just right. I used a mason jar to cut the shape just like we used to do. I’m not going to share exactly what I did because the journey is the best part for this one. I’m really not sure how to end this because I’m emotional over these biscuits. I’m going to sit for a spell, eat a few biscuits with marmalade, have some sweet tea (my mom’s recipe), and think.
FYI: For those of you west of Texas and north of Virginia, you may not be able to make these and have them taste good. It’s not a stereotype. It’s science.
Talk to you later!