To Mama be the Glory
When I was a kid I would spend time in the summers with my Mama Bird. She was a woman who made a lot out of a little. It didn't matter what the subject matter, she knew how to press on and make the most of it. Let's start with her kitchen skills, shall we?
She grew a garden, preserved everything she could and fed everyone who showed up at her table. Three meals were made, per day, and not just a few side dishes, either. A meat, vegetables, jams, sweet tea, lemonade, and biscuits were always on the table. Whenever I would wake up at her house, biscuits were waiting for me. Their preparation was never measured and never hurried.
In later years she used Crisco, but early on she used lard.....the good stuff. We will start with that for today.
Measuring cups were never used. A wooden bowl was taken out of a cupboard. It contained flour and was kept covered with a flour sack. A spoonful (?) of lard and a splash of milk were added to a well in the flour. That was it and that is what I have here.
She mixed it with her fingers until it was the consistency she wanted. I mixed it a bit and determined it was too dry, thus a bit more full fat buttermilk was added. I turned it out onto a floured surface and patted it out, careful not to work the dough too much.
I cut the biscuits with a standard cutter that I bought at a store. My Mama Bird used an old Beanie Weenie can. I have a lot to learn.....
After I left a few fingerprints on the dough, I baked them on a stone with the sides touching. This gives softer sides.
The biscuits turned out delicious! Tender, flaky and not overdone, I was satisfied with this first foray into the non-measuring lifestyle.
One important note - my Mama Bird never left any detritus in her flour bowl. There were never any bits of lard, dough, etc... Her dough formation was precise. She removed the dough and covered the bowl with the flour sack. All remaining flour was saved for the next time. When I removed the dough from my bowl....well, there were bits of dough left.
I still have some work to do.
"Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits."