Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dry wells and biscuits

The end of summer is always crazy with the start of a new school year but this year is "special". Construction at my main school assignment is nutty enough...but then my well went dry.

The following is a How-to on biscuit making with the minimum of mess.

First, line something with a plastic bag. A quart pyrex cup fits perfectly.

Add two cups of flour. Don't worry if the cup is exactly doesn't matter.

Next add the 3 teaspoons of baking powder and whatever salt you like. I use 1/4 teaspoon (actually a big pinch) but a regular recipe is more. Fluff everything together with your hand.

Add about a 1/4 cup of olive oil...the kind marked for baking that has no olive taste. Fill the cup with milk (I use Silk soy milk). Mix BRIEFLY and splash in more milk if too stiff. (Dust in more flour if you go too far the other way...relax...with enough jam anything tastes great!) I used my pastry tool for this part as I figured hands take more water to clean than the tool (which I can take to work and wash!)

Take the bag out of the cup, give it a few prods and kneads to be sure there aren't any dry corners hiding in there.
Use a soup spoon to grab small egg sized blobs and put them on an oiled baking pan.
I use muffin tins as it makes the biscuit exactly the same size as my breakfast vegie-sausage and it looks cute :-)

Bake about 18 minutes at 400 degrees and dump on a rack to cool. I place mine in the frig for a day or less so they slice really well, cut them in half, reassemble, and freeze all in one big bag. I thaw one a day as my sausage cooks each morning.

Did you notice that painted board behind the biscuits? My mother painted that when I was in second grade. I was (and still am) so impressed! Back then we lived in the county. My town had a crossroads with a general store in an old farmhouse, an old hotel that still had a carriage shed attached with ancient circus posters pasted on the inside walls, an empty corner and the church. Houses, maybe 5 or 6, were strung down the roads in each direction. That was it. Well, there wasn't much for adults to do around there but the women of the neighborhood all went somewhere (after my bedtime) one day a week to learn how to do decorative painting! Mom had a practice board, a black board you would try a fancy brush stroke on and then rub it away with a rag dampened with turpentine. I adore the smell of turps to this day. We only lived in the country for two or so years before moving back to a city and apartment life again. As a child I always thought of that time as my "real life" and my brick apartment living as sort of a spell I had been placed under. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of the apple tree with its horizontal branch low to the ground which was my horse.....

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