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Now I’m hungry

Where I come from, we call great huge biscuits ‘cathead’ biscuits.

I miss biscuits and I’m way too lazy to make proper ones. Last few times I tried Bisquik, it tasted nasty and bitter to me. I don’t know if the baking powder has gone weird or what, but they were inedible.

I find plain scones very, very close, so I make do with that.


Comment from Armybrat
Time: October 28, 2020, 10:43 pm

I’m so happy to be living south of the Mason-Dixon Line once again! Southern biscuits, lovin’ from the oven! Southern biscuits are an art form. My own form needs practice. Get rid of the bisquick- that’s for Yankees who don’t know what a proper biscuit is or how to make one. The secret is in the ability to get the fat thoroughly incorporated. We had a nanny when we lived in GA (my daddy was an Army officer who was frequently gone so mama always had a nanny for us) who just rubbed the fat and flour thru her hands. I could never master her technique (mama kept contact with her-as she did with all of our nannies till they died). I actually softly freeze my fat and then grate it on a box grater. Mix with the flour, let it sit 15 min then knead a time or two, roll it out and cut. Also, don’t twist the cutter- this tends to crimp some of the edges and reduce rising. Last, but not least, place cut biscuits so they touch. I don’t know what the science is for this but, trust me, your biscuits won’t rise nearly as much if they stand separate.

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 28, 2020, 10:50 pm

Aw, c’mon man, there should be someone with proper biscuit-making skills available to lend a hand and ejdamacate ya.
Maybe a GI family member at a USAF site nearby?

Mailed my absentee ballot yesterday. Mrs Fert should get hers today or tomorrow. (I was able to request mine online, she had to mail in a request. Don’t know why the difference.)

Daughter Fertette (USAF Senior Master Sergeant) comes back to the states today! Yaaay! She, hubby, and two doggies have just completed her third four-year tour in Japan (real Japan, not Okinawa). Now they’re off to New Mexico. She has a few years yet to retirement. At’sa my girl!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 29, 2020, 8:54 am

This Anglo-American terminological inexactitude caused some confusion when The Weasel first appeared on the scene. You see, here in Eolde Englande, a ‘biscuit’ is wot you lot call a ‘cookie’. And even then, I’m not sure they are exactly the same as cookies, though sweet like British biscuits, are larger and lumpier.

I suppose cookies work better with coffee and biscuits with tea. Or something. Anyway, you wouldn’t want a milk chocolate digestive biscuit with your sausage and eggs, that’s all I know.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: October 29, 2020, 1:47 pm

Uncle B.
Had the very great pleasure of learnin one Peter Yates (wonderful man, salt of the earth, and I dearly wish I hadn’t lost touch with him) from Merry Olde on American grocery shopping.

He was absolutely fascinated with the number and variety of “biscuits” we had available to us, and was dumbfounded by the huge selection of laundry detergent.

Taking him grocery shopping was a treat in getting his English view on the differences in our larder stocking.

As for “American” and in particular southern buscuits.
We had a recipe for what we called “heart stopping” buscuits that we can’t find.

I vaguely remember they were thusly named because they had about a half a pound of butter AND half a pound of lard in them.
But good? OMG!
They were worth every bite of knowing how much fat was in them.
Alas Armybrat is right, Yankee biscuits are small and stingy in flavor and size in comparison.

Oh, and congrats OldFert! May her return herald in a return to reason, sanity, and the rule of law.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: October 29, 2020, 1:49 pm

I am totally going to try Armybrat’s method and recipe and make some real ‘Merican!!!!! biscuits today since it’s so cold and blustery again today. To be specific, I have some nice meaty chicken thighs and so I am cooking up my mom’s “chicken and biscuits”. This is slow stewed chicken in broth with carrots and celery and a bay leaf, and -maybe one clove or a half clove. I have zero idea where biscuits entered the family but they were real southern biscuits.

One thing to note is that in my family (and I can speak for no others) onion is specifically and strictly forbidden in this recipe, as is garlic. Further, the temptation to dice up a couple potatoes and toss them in is also verboten. The exile of onions is very unusual for my family’s German side, and the Irish side usually freaks out at the lack of potatoes (historical memory). However this recipe is the exception that proves the rule.

As far as I know there’s was never a single clove of garlic in my mother’s or either of my grandmothers’ kitchens. I didn’t go over to the dark side until college.

P.S. Bisquick is an invention of the Devil and works best when buried next to a box of Uncle Ben’s Rice.

Comment from Drew458
Time: October 29, 2020, 2:34 pm

My old ex-pat friend who lived in Winchester used to beg me to send him American Bisquick. The stuff is different in UK.
That said, it makes hockey pucks, not biscuits.

You need White Lily self-rising flour and your choice of butter, lard, or really rich heavy cream. Try good butter cold and use real buttermilk for the liquid.

I use the regular White Lily and add my own baking powder, the kind with no aluminum in it. That aluminum is why English Bisquick tastes like tinfoil.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 29, 2020, 3:10 pm

I could happily eat scones instead of biscuits 🙂 especially with Devonshire cream.

My father liked thinnish biscuits, so my mother’s biscuits were two crispy sides with barely enough dough in between to soak up the butter. They were delicious because she baked them in bacon grease! Sides touching. And we always had wild plum jelly for the sweet.

I was in my 50s before I finally figured out how to make Goldilock’s biscuits that would please JavaMan and me, too (not too thick, not too thin). I use a flat wire whisk to cut the fat into the dry ingredients, then I use a 2-tined fork to stir the milk into the fat & flour mix. Push it into a ball and dump it out on the floured board. I knead it about twice, pat it out and cut. As Armbrat says—no twisting the cutter. My cutter is the real deal and sharp so I get a clean cut.

The whisk and fork keep me from over-working the dough so the biscuits are tender as can be. I use the whisk and fork technique for making pie crust too.

@Anonymous—your chicken and biscuits sound delish! Just the right combination of ingredients.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: October 29, 2020, 7:10 pm


Damn, you remained anonymous so we wouldn’t know who’s door to knock on around supper time!

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: October 29, 2020, 7:49 pm

I am anonymous! Not, not that anonymous , the chicken -and-biscuits anonymous!

I just changed iPads and we are undergoing some confusion.

Note, I am also Spartacus! sometimes…. I’m the fourth one….


Comment from BJM
Time: October 29, 2020, 8:02 pm

I learned to make biscuits like Armybrat’s from my Southern Gran…she used a fork and her fingertips to quickly work the butter/lard into the flour. She never measured anything, just eyeballing, measuring dry ingredients with the palm of her hand (a technique I still use). Armybrat’s right about the biscuits must be touching. Dunno why but it’s true.

She made Gramps breakfast biscuits and cream gravy everyday for 60+ yrs. The smell of country style sausage and/or bacon and biscuits wafted through the house…floating us out of bed. I think it was a ploy…she was an early riser and about 5:30 AM wanted some company…out came the skillet and Voila! Hungry faces appeared around the kitchen table like magic. Good times.

@Some Veg…it was chicken & dumplings at Gran’s…but her base was always the Trinity…otherwise basically the same wonderful dish. One of my winter comfort foods fer sure.

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 29, 2020, 8:46 pm

Durned Yankee — Thank you. We’re glad she and her family are back in the States, I just wish we could see her (can’t make the trip from Georgia to New Mexico right now).

Some Veg: From the clip…You don’t look like Corey Booker…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2020, 8:52 pm

Aw, Armybrat- you already know my top tip! I don’t remember where I read the thing about using a cheese grater for the butter/lard but it’s brilliant. I actually use a spice grater with tiny holes. I used to work it through with my fingers exclusively, but this is so much better. Pastry cutter – fie!

I don’t often make biscuits, though. I make chicken and dumplings a lot, since we have a chicken every Sunday. It’s essentially the same recipe without kneading, isn’t it?

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: October 30, 2020, 2:09 pm

Someveg – Hah, given our proximity, I make it less than 10 miles as the corvus flutters, we really could knock on your door at suppertime!

That would be rude though, even for a couple of real Yankees.

Comment from BJM
Time: October 30, 2020, 4:50 pm

Stoaty…yeppers, pretty much the same just a tad more milk like drop biscuits. I never knead biscuit dough, I just fold the dough a couple of times into a mass and roll it out to the thickness I want. That allows the layers of butter specks to do their magic in the oven.

A trick I learned from a pie making wizard-friend is to keep a rolling pin in the fridge…the extra coldness makes a difference with pie crust and biscuits…any dough with butter.

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