Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Fraud Confesses

As I was making lunch today, I realized that I was living a lie. It is time to come clean.

I love to cook. I love growing, and harvesting, and preserving my own food. I love to can my brains out. I love being a homey, lovely, soft kind of person. I have a large repertoire of soul and body nurturing recipes and practices that make me feel fulfilled and strong. But there is a glaring chink in my armor of love.

I cannot make biscuits from scratch.

Under my sweet FIL's tutelage, I produced rocky lumps of concrete. Under the proficient hands of my Grandma, I produced biscuits so light and flaky that they were nothing but flakes so loose that you could not take one from the platter without using a spoon. I have studied recipes from southern cooks who claim that theirs is the "fool-proof" way.(anyone know what the level below fool is called?)I have watched shows and read books, studying the method and technique of countless experts and ordinary people. All to no avail. Even my guru of cooking, Alton Brown and his Ma Mae's recipe were no match for my incompetence.

It's not that I don't understand the pastry processes behind biscuit making. I get the science. I just lack that special magic touch. It is one food that just doesn't click for me. Therefore, I am forced to fall back on supermarket alternatives to meet the biscuit needs of my country-cooking-raised husband.

Every time I pick up "Pillsbury's Lard Chunks" my hillbilly foremothers spin in their graves. Whenever I tear open that packet of "Biscrete Baking Mix" I blush and quickly toss the incriminating evidence in the wastepaper bin. The only mix that makes me feel slightly better is Jiffy's "Buttermilk Biscuit Mix" and even then I have to roll them out in wheat flour just to be able to sleep at night. The shame knows no end.

Maybe someday I'll be able to manage what most girls around here can do in their sleep by the age of thirteen, but until then, can we keep this our little secret?

And as the lovely, Aussie, Fe just reminded me, most of the world outside my secluded behemoth of a country would call what I am trying to make, scones. Biscuits/cookies are a whole different story! :)


Fe said...


Once again the translation got me:-)

Biscuits to me are your cookies—and I couldn't understand how _anyone_ could have so much difficulty making biscuits... then I realised. Scones! _that's _ what you're having trouble with... That makes _much_ more sense:-)

impromptu-mom said...

Me and my secluded American brain! :)

It's so easy to forget that people everywhere read my ramblings.

Yes, what I am angsting over would be called scones just about everywhere else in the world.

Biscuts/cookies are my specialty actually. :) lol!

thicket dweller said...

I have a biscuit recipe for you. I don't see how you could POSSIBLY mess it up. I'll send it via snail-mail.

Joanne said...

I can make biscuits from scratch--but never do, because Bisquick biscuits are total comfort food to me. (I just never tell anyone they came from a box!)