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Carol Perkins: My mother could make the best biscuits
Previous column: Carol Perkins: Where is your quiet space
By Carol Perkins
I can't make biscuits. All of you will want to tell me I can, but believe me, I have tried. Guy won't even eat them, preferring canned biscuits to mine.
Just last week I decided to give the old biscuit baking one more try. Following the directions carefully, I did everything just as directed. At least I thought I did. Not ready to bake them, I cut out the dozen and put them in the refrigerator until dinner (supper) time, ready to surprise Guy. I popped them in the oven and could smell that distinct smell all over the house.
With a disappointed sigh, I noticed they had not risen as my mama's biscuits had always done as I took them out of the oven. They were like jar rings. (That was what I used for my cutter.) I picked them up, one at a time, and each crumbled at my touch. The taste was definitely that of Crisco. What happened? I couldn't figure that out but I think I doubled the Crisco. So, I presented my creation at the dinner table and when Guy picked one up, it also crumbled. "Sorry, but I just don't think baking biscuits is your thing."
My mother could make the best biscuits. I say could because she hasn't made them in years. I asked where she learned to make them because her mother's biscuits were not anything like hers. "I learned how from Polly," she said. Polly was her sister-in-law (married to Walter). I remember how light they were before they went into the oven. She would take the dough out of the bowl, work it around in flour, use a rolling pin (I use a glass) to make them just the right height and then cut them out with a glass. I can taste them now.
A few days later as I was in my office working, Guy came down the hall. "Do we have any cream of tartar?" We didn't. He was going to try making biscuits. I had to look at his recipe. I had never heard of using cream of tartar in biscuits, so I Googled substitute for cream of tartar and told him to use a teaspoon of vinegar. "If these fails, it will be because of the vinegar," he said. I knew he was already tasting failure.
His biscuits were a little taller than mine, but something was missing. Have you ever used all-purpose flour and left out the baking powder or soda and it had a bland taste...no taste actually? His had no taste. My crumbled and his were tasteless. I had kept my creations for the birds so we added his to the batch and put them on the porch.
For a day, the biscuits went untouched. Finally, I saw a little bird pull one to the sidewalk. Then it flew away. When someone says, "That's for the birds" that may not be true. Even the birds wouldn't eat our homemade biscuits.
This story was posted on 2019-01-24 19:51:34
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