My bad biscuit resolution

February 22, 2016

24  comments

Leslie Anne Tarabella - Making Southern biscuits I’ve been working over a month now on my new year’s resolution, and it’s still somewhat of an embarrassment, because at this stage in my life, I should have already learned how to make a decent biscuit.

 

I come from a long line of biscuit makers with my Euchee Valley Grandmother being the Queen, but the skill bypassed me and my biscuits wouldn’t coax a starving mutt out from under the porch. But this year, I’m determined to correct this personality flaw, and as God is my witness, by December 31st, I’ll bake a batch of mouthwatering, fluffy Southern biscuits, if it’s the last thing I do.

Mary B's biscuits, Leslie Anne Tarabella
My friend, “Mary” makes great biscuits . . . but they’re not Grandmothers.

 

I’ve already spent a few captivating hours on YouTube watching tutorials that have only served to confuse me. You see, I don’t want to make just any old biscuit, but instead, am focused on learning how to make the exact biscuits I grew up poking my finger in and filling with fresh syrup, made by my great uncle on his sugar cane farm.

Making Southern Biscuits, Leslie Anne Tarabella

What’s wrong with me? Do I not wear pearls and send enough thank you notes? Have I not always flung my watermelon rinds into the pasture for the less fortunate cows? How did I miss the Southern gene for biscuit making? How did I skip this requirement for Belle 101?

 

I promise you on the red-head of my firstborn, I can . . . click HERE to finish the story.

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This story first appeared on al.com and in the Press Register.  

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  1. Brought back a lot of memories of standing at my Grandma’s side watching her make dream biscuits. She too had a magic bowl that she used. I have never ever ever had a biscuit like hers. I still miss her and her biscuits!!! I have tried and tried to master them too, but to no avail. There was something about the movement in her hands I think:)

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Such good memories, so little skill! We’re doomed! Keep practicing and let me know how it goes.

  2. My favorite two things about my great-grandma’s biscuits — the first was poking a hole in the hot biscuit and filling with Karo syrup. The other was mixing cocoa powder and sugar and butter into a paste for the biscuits. Both were so delicious! She was famous for her egg custard pies and biscuits and used lard for the latter. Maybe The Pig has some for your biscuit-building venture. If I could, I’d surely be your taste-tester 🙂

    1. I thought for sure Grandmother’s recipe would have used lard, because she used it for lots of other things, but alas, all her written instructions say are,”oil.” Could she have meant lard? I’ll need to try the cocoa/sugar concoction! Mmmm!

  3. You know I had to laugh at this! I decided about 22 years ago when we left Texas and were stuck in a small college town for a couple of years before settling in Birmingham that I was going to learn to make the perfect biscuit. The game changer was the purchase of a food processor. We came to Birmingham to the old Macy’s (as opposed to the new one we have now) and bought it. I use very cold butter, but I do not grate it. That is asinine. I have read that instruction, too, and laughed out loud. Whole fat buttermilk, White Lily self-rising flour, and that cold butter is all you need.

    Now don’t ask me about Granny’s biscuit. (She always said it in the singular.) She used lard, whatever flour she had and baking soda, plus the buttermilk, all mixed up in that wooden bowl. She did not roll them out, but pinched them and rolled them in her hand, flattening them with her knuckles. She baked them in a black skillet in a wood-fired stove. I can’t do this to save my sorry soul.

    My version is light as a feather, and no one has ever once complained.

  4. For some reason I never saw my Mother, who was a good cook, ever make biscuits. I have always wondered if Daddy didn’t complain once too often “these aren’t like mama made” and she never made them again. Wish I had asked. Saw both Grannys and Mother in Law make them with the bowl of flour and expert touch, turning out wonderfully delicious biscuits. I have one of their beautiful wooden bowls and set flower arrangements in it.

  5. Setting out to please my new husband with biscuits like his Mother made, I had a good laugh and was relieved from a lot of pressure when he told me he never could stand his Mothers’ biscuits and was happy with the store bought kind.

  6. LOL, you will figure it out. I make pretty good biscuits but couldn’t give directions, just throw the ingredients into a bowl and roll them out. Now you’ve made me hungry for biscuits………..

    1. I understand. I can bake my kind of special cookie all day long, but it’s hard to tell someone how to do it. There’s just a certain knack . . . now go eat some hot biscuits!

  7. Leslie Anne, I agree that every good Southern lady must make the perfect, light as a feather, melt in your mouth biscuit!! Mine are pretty good (hubby thinks they are perfect because his mother never made them), but will never compare to my Mother’s. She kept that bowl with the White Lily flour in the cabinet and she added shortening, never butter, and buttermilk, and made a well as she called it and mixed with her hand! I can still taste them! Good luck!

  8. Hello dear Leslie Anne… Sorry I haven’t visited but your site is still not updating on my blog roll. Anyway, I love biscuits . The closest my mother ever got to making them was heating up Pepperidge Farm frozen ones. Have a great week.

  9. I cannot say a whole lot as I make good biscuits. I have no idea what I do other than follow a recipe (I don’t make them often enough to have it memorized, yet), but I am sure if you keep at it, you will be the best biscuit -maker since your grandmother. Oh, and be careful with the weather down there. I saw where it is supposed to get bad. I expect our tornado season will fire up pretty soon too. Stay safe!

    1. Thanks Lori. Practice makes perfect, and before this storm hits, I may as well get in the kitchen and try some biscuits again. A stormy night with warm biscuits . . . cross your fingers!

  10. Reading your post and all these comments has my sense of nostalgia working overtime. My Southern MIL would tell stories about members of our family, many tied to food of course. The memory of her older relative, Addie– long gone– still made my MIL long for Addie’s biscuits. Not only were they perfect in texture and flavor, but she pinched her biscuit dough in a way that each one was the same size. The family still marveled at them many years after Addie’s death.

    After hearing her story I thought what a nice thing to be known for after one passes. I want to put the story on the net so that Addie’s memory will not be lost.

    So after you perfect your recipe Leslie Anne, you too may be a legend 🙂

    1. Well, legend of one kind or the other for sure!

      Thanks for sharing this sweet story Cynthia! Loved the part about how Addie’s biscuits were perfectly pinched!

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