Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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♥ Mama’s Biscuits ♥

A wooden rolling pin

Image via Wikipedia

I’m just back from my annual retreat with my Romance Writer Ink sisters. We had a GREAT time (as usual!) The women in the group do most of the cooking while we’re there, and I have to say, we’ve got a great bunch of cooks.

I make a breakfast each year, and I always make the same thing. Biscuits and gravy. I’m always happy to share the how-to, and this year our speaker, the fabulous Jean Brashear,  asked for my recipe. (If you haven’t yet, check out her book, The Goddess of Fried Okra. It’s great!)

So while I was sharing, I thought I’d share here, too.

Mama’s biscuits:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

2 C flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt

Mix the dry ingredients, then add enough buttermilk to make a sticky dough—about 1 cup.

Flour a pastry board, dump the dough onto it and knead lightly until just manageable.

Pat out dough (you can use a rolling-pin, but Mama never did) until it’s about an inch thick.

Cut out biscuits.

Put enough oil in your biscuit pan to cover the bottom well. Heat the oil in the oven until very warm. One at a time, turn biscuits over in hot oil and scoot to the edge until all the biscuits are in the pan. Bake at 450 for twenty or twenty-five minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

Easy-peasy, huh?

I gave the recipe to a friend once, who came back and said, “You left something out. Don’t you put oil or fat or something in the biscuits?”

“No. You don’t. The oil or fat is in the pan.”

“I’ve never heard of any kind of bread without fat in it.” She had I-think-you’re-wrong look on her face. “Neither has my mom.”

I called my mother to see if I’d been making them wrong for fifteen years, but she assured me it was the way her mama taught her.

I told Marilyn Pappano, who had the pleasure of living several places in the south while her husband was in the navy, about that once. She said she’d seen them made that way many times when she lived there, and since Grandma Reeves was born on the Delta (Mississippi Delta) that makes sense.

What recipe do you make when you’re cooking for a crowd?