Sunday, June 15, 2008

Biscuits at Dawn

Since the last time we spoke, Do has hightailed it out to California and is trying simultaneously to impress his new boss (aka work the expected 14-17 hour days of a graduate student) and to find us an apartment in Berkeley/North Oakland. My parents and my little brother have come out to Washington D.C. to help me pack up the place, which makes it very déja vu from all those childhood moves (only now we're 4 adults, which is a whole new dynamic). My last day at my job was on Friday the 13th, and I was much less melodramatic about it than everyone expected. I really loathe goodbyes in the gerund form: I'm here or I'm gone, there's no anguished leaving. That said, while walking out of the ugly Federal building, I did turn around and realize with astonishment that I spent a whole year of my life here. Was it a year well spent? Have I grown, changed, matured as a result of that year? Or was I just treading water? 1/23rd of your life is an awful big fraction.

Anyways. Last night we had a minor adventure when, sometime between witching hour and the crack of dawn, a painting decided that it would preempt the move and leaped, valiantly, off the wall. Unfortunately, in between the wall and the floor was a bookshelf with a wine glass on it. The resulting crash around 4 a.m. brought us all to our feet, and then to our hands and knees hunting down shards of glass. Needless to say, none of us was really able to get back to sleep after that adrenaline rush. So my Mom, being the amazingly gracious hostess that she is (even though, technically, it's my home and she's the Yankee component of her cross-Mason-Dixon line marriage), baked us all biscuits from scratch.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that my maternal line has a gift for baking. These biscuits are no exception: light, fluffy, flaky, and they don't taste like commercial dinner rolls. The keys are real butter and buttermilk (or a substitution of yogurt and milk, if you're moving and are trying to use up the ingredients in your fridge). Another one of my Mom's hallmarks.

Mommy's Sunday Morning Biscuits
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbs chilled butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c yogurt
1/4 c milk (You can replace the yogurt and milk with 3/4 cups buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Using your fingers, squeeze butter with flour until the butter breaks up into small bits. Make a well in the center and add the yogurt and milk all at once. Fold it all together with a light hand, until it forms a dough. Put the dough on a floured surface and pat it down to make it 1/3" thick. Use a glass as a cookie cutter, and place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned (12-15 min).


Psychgrad said...

That would scare the crap out of me...The picture falling in the middle of the night...not your mother's biscuits. The biscuits look great.

Good luck with the move!

noble pig said...

Thanks for gracing my Sunday with these. They look and sound wonderful!

That Girl said...

oooohhhh I'm sending this link to my mom with a note telling her how she is currently failing me.

kittie said...

Oh, your poltergeist obviously isn't happy about you leaving!!

The biscuits look worth the scare though :D

Johanna said...

love scones (which is what we call them) and I love your description of squeezing the butter between your fingers to rub the flour into the butter! My mum and grandmothers made these so often that sometimes i feel sad that I don't!