Biscuits

It’s been three years. Besides being married for three years this week, it is also the third anniversary of one of the best wedding gifts I received. It was just a 3×5 card. Handwritten in simple blue pen is the recipe for “Justin’s Biscuits”. Mamas know what makes their babies happy. And good mamas pass that information on to their wives.

There are books, restaurants, documentaries and cooking shows dedicated to this love affair that Southerners and beyond have with this light, fluffy, buttery, palm size bread. As a little girl, it was one of the first words I learned to say and then later spell. My grandfather took great pride in teaching me the complex spelling of such a simple food.  In college, one student body president candidate even made the campaign promise of no more burned biscuits in the cafeteria.

There are only three ingredients in my recipe, flour, fat and dairy, so simple yet in some ways complex. If your ratios are off you could have a flat mess. Or if you mix too much you could have a hockey puck. Or if you leave them in too long, well you’ve gone and burned the biscuits. No one is happy if those things happen. But if the balance is perfect, you handle that dough with love and care as if it is your own child, and if you wait for the perfect time… well, magic can happen. Oh, the life lessons I have learned while making biscuits.

Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to pass this recipe along just like my mother-in-law did for me. But for now it’s permanent home is safely stuck on the side of the refrigerator. It’s served me well for three years so far, and we’ve got a lifetime to go.

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I made these last night for dinner.

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Breakfast Love

I made my husband’s favorite breakfast this morning. The recipe isn’t a new concept but the result of a happy accident. To get the full picture, I have to go back to the very beginning, a very good place to start.

Saturday morning breakfast was a pretty big deal growing up. We were all together, with our untamed hair (even dad had one or two out of place) and morning breath. My sister and I puttered around in one of my dad’s old T-shirts as a make shift gown.

Most Saturdays it was muffins from a mix or peanut butter toast and scrambled eggs. But some Saturdays mom would pull out the big guns and make cinnamon rolls. Made with a basic biscuit recipe, it was filled with all the goodness she could concoct, raisins, pecans, sugars both dark and white, cinnamon and butter- no recipe is ever made the same way twice in my mama’s kitchen- that’s how she rolls.

My sister and I would stand on either side of her, holding our breath as she carefully and evenly rolled the dough, keeping all the insides where they belonged. And then she sliced them, baked them, and we devoured them.

Fast forward to my college years. I shared an apartment style dorm with three other girls. There were no mothers around to make us cinnamon rolls, so I attempted to replicate all the steps. Surrounded by my roommates, I rolled the dough while they held their breaths. The most nerve wrecking part of the whole process is transferring the cut rolls to the baking pan. Raisins get lost every time. The roommates had captured their breath by now and had moved on to more important things… like homework. So like any college kid would do, I thought, what’s the easiest way to do this? And thus, the log of love was born.

I took the rolled dough and shaped it into a doughnut shape. The ends did not quite meet so I tucked them into the center and Walla! A heart shape cinnamon roll! I baked it, drowned it in glaze, and suddenly my roommates appeared ready to share in this sweet breakfast treat. We sat around our small table with untamed hair, morning breath and wearing our boyfriend’s old T-shirts, comforting ourselves with tastes and love  of home.

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There’s no guarantee that the roll will come out looking like the perfect heart shape, but isn’t that the chance you take on love?

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