Monday, June 15, 2009

Home Sweet Sweetbiscuits.

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,

Melissa Bastian


Anonymous said...

I don't have a blog/account, this is Sarah from Deviant.

This recipe sounds awesome, but I just wanted to point out that Fleishmann's margarine contains vitamin D3 which is derived from sheep oil. I used to love it and swear by it but once I found that out I had to drop it. Sorry for the bad news. I'll definitely try this recipe with Earth Balance. Thanks! :)

melissa bastian. said...

Wow, that's so odd. There aren't any other sources for that vitamin? Have you confirmed that's where they get it? The main thing that's always aggravated me about Fleishmann's is that the unsalted doesn't have milk in it but the salted does - that's never made any sense to me.

Anonymous said...

What I found through google search was that it is almost always animal derived and that rarely a synthetic is used, usually if a company wants an alternative they use vitamin D2. Considering the fact that companies want everyting done as cheaply as possible, I would assume they use the animal one, I have not confirmed with them one way or the other, but I did call a vitamin company when I found it was in my multivitamin and their's was animal derived. :(

That's strange that the salted one has milk, because here in Canada neither of them do. I guess I would suggest contacting Fleishmann's to see if it might be different in the United States.


Anonymous said...


Apologies! I called Fleishmann's for the US and you guys are lucky ducks, they said that there are no animal products in any of their stick margarine! It contains vitamin D, but not vitamin D3.

Unfortunately for us here in Canada, Fleishmann's is owned by a different company and they confirmed for me yesterday that the vitamin D3 is in fact animal derived. :(

Sorry for the misinformation! :/


melissa bastian. said...

Wow, what a crazy trail! Well thanks Sarah for doing all that legwork. It's such a good illustration of traits so typical to this whole industry - that we have to be so diligent to get the right info about each and every product, even when they seem similar, and that they'll find any ol' way they can to get an animal product into something that doesn't need it! Ugh, so frustrating.

Well, Sarah, I'm sorry that by you they insist on using unnecessary animal ingredients. Maybe you could start a letter writing campaign to talk them out of it! If you do I'll be happy to help you spread the word. As for here in the states, I'm just glad there are still a few "conventional" products that remain untainted...