I should be writing. Instead…biscuits. [Again.]

Yep, when in doubt, it’s biscuits.

IMG_0459

Savory biscuits bordered top and bottom by the traditional ones.

Well, that and the suggestion from my wife that, ‘gee, with all this fruit around, I think biscuits would be perfect.’.

And so, with the Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’ playing in the background, two versions are in the oven, with the aroma of the parmesan cheese-colby cheese-chive-Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute version [a not-so user-friendly label] filling the kitchen.

Starter recipe: Sky High Wheat Biscuits from Bert Greene’s The Grains Cookbook. I can send it to you.]

As always, I can’t help but stray from the exact instructions, but I’ve used this recipe for over a decade. [Instead of 1 cup cake flour : 1 cup wheat ratio, I went with 1.5 cups all-purpose and a half cup of wheat flour.]

The other version, what one might call ‘plain’—I added an egg and some vanilla and a little extra sugar. So yes, feel free to call them ‘shortcakes’–the accompanying strawberries won’t argue with you.

As I was hand-blending the frozen butter chunks [an upper-body workout hack.], my mind drifted to my semi-recent high school reunion.

And I pondered some of the questions I would like to have posed to the folks.

No, nothing about the staged–I’m dating myself here–Godfather-themed ‘abduction’ of a favorite teacher. And nothing about the senior boys’ version of ‘Alley Top’ during intermission at a Friday dance.

Instead, I would want to know what they’ve been cooking. And when they started cooking.

After all, when many of us parted at graduation, few of had any baking, sautéing, or barbecuing skills.

So, my questions:

What are your specialties?

What events pushed you into the kitchen? A lonely Saturday night during or soon after college? Forsaken by a spouse for a weekend? Expectations of kids? Having Thanksgiving hosting duties dumped in your lap? Or how about the age-old ‘just because’?

My first ‘real’ cooking experience took place sophomore year in high school.We were supposed to contribute to a culinary celebration in French class and I teamed up with my lifelong friend. He proposed [and made] stuffed French rolls. [I know what you’re thinking. I didn’t have the heart to tell him.]

I went with chocolate eclairs and son of a gun if I didn’t whip out the Joy of Cooking and successfully crank out the cream puffs shell recipe [page 646] and follow up with some variation of a chocolate icing. [Would have been fitting to try to make Fudge Cockaigne as a further nod to the French theme, but I was probably still dumbfounded that the cream puffs recipe worked for me.]

I would love to hear of your first successful experience in the kitchen. Chime in down below. Thanks for reading.

Bonus photo: [Seems my ‘craftsy’ wife needs an alternative leaf press.]

leaves in Joy of Cooking

6 thoughts on “I should be writing. Instead…biscuits. [Again.]”

  1. Tim, my Mama let me in the kitchen when I was really young (8 or 9?) because I loved to bake. (Blame it on the junior miss oven toy – that actually worked- & accompanying cookbook.) My first entry for a real oven was a French cheese-apple loaf with cinnamon topping (still make @ Christmas.)

    Your biscuits look yum! 😋🍯😋

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  2. V! I still haven’t forgotten your suggestion of White Lily flour. We did a complete search in town and I didn’t feel like going online to buy some. But when I find it [I’ll be in Portland OR soon…I will track it down there.], I’ll get back to your comment about biscuits. On another note, that French cheese-apple loaf with cinnamon…oh, mama, savory/salty and sweet. Sounds great. Thanks for reading! Back to the adoptive dog search!

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  3. Fun read! I’m going to have to remember that frozen butter upper body hack lol, very good!

    My first successful experience in the kitchen as a lad (beyond mac n’ cheese) was probably popcorn with brewers yeast, maybe some kind of pasta dish. My best friend was/is a good cook and he taught me how to make a really good omelet way back then too.

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  4. Hey, SSFT! Omelets can take a person a long way. Popcorn with nutritional yeast, eggs with nutritional yeast…works for me.
    Thanks for checking in. After the frozen butter, I’m buff!

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  5. Hey friend! Just read this. . . 4-H in 5th? 6th? grade. Jams, jellies, baking. . . i dislike baking to this day, but can do it well. My first meal? Roast chicken, potatoes and some sort of veggie. Very garlic forward, as I sometimes continue to this day. My father would cook days-long beans or pasta sauces or minestrone-type soups. My mother was very good in the kitchen too. I remember wild boar from an Uncle with land on the river, wild duck and venison from various family members. By the time we graduated high school I was good in the kitchen, if I may brag a bit. By the time I moved out of the dorms in college, very capable of feeding myself and whomever I was rooming with. To this day I much prefer cooking a meal to baking and will quite happily cook for 50 people rather than bake a dozen cookies.

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    1. Whoa…that roast chicken, potatoes, and veggie thing? That is our go-to comfort meal, even/especially if we go with a store’s rotisserie chicken. But oy…cooking for 50 vs. baking a dozen cookies. Lanette…I’m stupefied. Sounds like we could talk cooking for hours. Cooking classes here in Corvallis were our favorite thing to do. The food/cooking thing really breaks down barriers. Unfortunately, the local JC has fallen off of offering them.

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