I'll just say it - my childhood was... tumultuous. The path was never clear for my parents, and it seems that however murky things are for the parents, the children live in a place about 10 times muddier. So it goes. But for all the things they never quite figured out, food was something they always got right. It may not have been copious, but the meals that made it to the table were always home made, vegetable heavy, relatively healthy when compared to the Standard American Diet, and quite frequently delicious.
Waking up in my house was always a little bit nerve-wracking, because you'd never know quite what was happening beyond the bedroom door. Some of the very best mornings, though, the mornings that I always knew would be happy ones, were those where dad would wake me and my sister up early because he was making biscuits from scratch. He would make an enormous batch of them, and come get us just before the first tray came out of the oven. We'd stand around the kitchen eating them hot from the oven with good fruit preserves or apple jelly; we'd always eat too many, and there would always be plenty to snack on later when they were more dense and room temperature, a kind of delectable hockey puck.
The following recipe will produce a small batch of biscuits that are absolutely nothing like my dad's. But that's alright. Because they're my biscuits; they're not supposed to be like his. They're a little sweet, and a little crumbly. Even so, getting up first thing in the morning to make them evokes something of that old magic. I wake Jonathan up to share them with me; he acts grumpy about it, but he loves them and asks for them sometimes. They're also super-easy and satisfying. What more could you ask from a baked good?
A note on preferences: I tend to include my take on brands, flours, type of "milk", etc., but these things can always be tweaked to what you prefer.
* 1 and 1/2 cups white flour
* 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup Fleischman's unsalted margarine (1 and 1/2 sticks)
* 1 cup Blue Diamond unsweetened vanilla almond milk
* pinch of salt (to make up for the salt that's not in the margarine)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set your obscene amount of margarine to soften, either on top of your warming oven or in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds. (Not melt, mind you, just soften.) In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder, and sugar and whisk together well. Add in the softened margarine and the milk; mix until reaching a homogeneous sticky biscuit-dough like consistency. This will be difficult mixing, but doesn't take all that long.
Spoon into a giant-muffin tin, the kind that has only six muffins per sheet. Use one which is nonstick or lightly oil it, or both (my tactic). Divide the dough evenly between the six wells. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Eat while still warm, slathered with the best blueberry preserves you can get your hands on. Ours came from the Amish. Mmmmmmm, Amish jam
Until next Monday,