Now if you see that girl of mine
Tell her if you please
That when she bakes those biscuits
To roll up her sleeves. . .
With temperatures hovering, following TS Lee’s progress like a rainy monarch through Knobite Corner, in the upper sixties–a great relief after a high of ninety-eight last Saturday–I’ve spent three of the last four days cooking. Monday, I made a beef Veg-All cheddar casserole. Yesterday, I made a pot of vegetable soup and cornbread muffins. The soup is excellent, even if I do say so myself; the casserole needs extensive tinkering but is edible. As for the cornbread muffins–hey, who can eff up a Martha White cornbread mix?
Today, feeling frightfully brave, I decided I’d do some more baking.
So I began with my one and only five-star accomplishment: apple raisin muffins. Lacking the requisite two cups of raisins, I was about to throw up my hands in disgust when I heard Her Majesty Queen DinoSnob murmur, use what raisins you have and add extra apple, dingbat.
Excellent idea, Your Majesty, I said aloud.
Aren’t they all?, she said. She loses no chance to remind me that, in addition to being a traditional country music maven, she has a fearless culinary heart; one failure and I’ll never make a dish again, while she’ll try till she gets it right.
So, I used my scant half-cup of raisins, chopped up not one but two Red Delicious apples in place of the rest, mixed up my muffins, and set them to bake in my funky square muffin pan.
As the rest of my sad story has nothing to do with the muffins, allow me to say that A) Her Majesty was correct in her choice of ingredients and thinks next time I should eschew raisins altogether and B) Mom, my captive test subject, announces unequivocally that I have outdone myself.
With the homey fallish scent of apples, cinnamon and nutmeg wafting through the house, I decided I’d use up some more of the quart of milk I’d invested in to make the cornbread muffins and make biscuits.
After all, who can eff up the recipe on the Bisquick box, right?
But that was before I realized that box of Bisquick had been in the cabinet since the Christmas Her Majesty made Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage Balls for a brunch– sometime, I fancy, in the Stone Age, because it was hard as rock and crawling with mealworms.
Ewwwwwwww! Her Majesty and I chorused as I slamdunked the box into the trash.
Then I decided to try the recipe the way it was given on the White Lily bag of flour I’d used in making the highly successful muffins.
Her Majesty pointed out, You don’t have Crisco. . .
No, I said stoutly, but I have cooking oil.
That, said Her Majesty, isn’t what worries me.
Ah, c’mon, where’s that fearless culinary heart?
She left me alone to court disaster.
Bake them biscuits, baby
Bake ’em good and brown,
Cause when I’ve had my breakfast
I’m Alabama bound. . .
All went fairly well, I guess one could say, at first: I put out my two cups of flour (self-rising; I’m a lazy woman 😉 ), then added two thirds of a cup of milk and enough cooking oil to make three-quarters of a cup of liquid.
And I mixed it up, and it did form a nice doughy ball.
So I’m home free, right?
Wrong. I’d forgotten–my two previous adventures in biscuitmaking having induced traumatic amnesia–how damned sticky the dough can be.
The rest of the story is too painful to share save in outline.
I did manage to salvage seven biscuits from a doughball that should have made a dozen.
I had to vacuum up a copious amount of flour from the floor around my worktop.
There’s still dough clinging to the ceiling and a light dusting of flour in my hair and eyebrows, which has a peculiar aging effect.
But–to my surprise–such biscuits as did come out of this round of insanity are the best ones I’ve made yet.
And I comfort myself with this:
My sister, a world-class cook, can’t make biscuits at all.
Nanny nanny boo boo. . . 😉
Walkin’ in my sleep, babe,
Walkin’ in my sleep
Up and down that Dixie line
Walkin’ in my sleep. . .
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