Early County News

Making biscuits

All That’s Fit to Print

 

 

This might sound like I am a seasoned cook. I am seasoned only because I am no longer a spring chicken.

I love America’s Test Kitchen, a television show I used to watch on PBS. I think. Well, I found on Pluto TV which you can watch on your computer or tablet. America’s Test Kitchen is one of their offerings.

The show was a spinoff of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, which is a great — and expensive — magazine. Each issue does in depth articles on ingredients, cooking and gadgets.

My cookies were horrible until I read about what ingredients affected the turn out. I thought shortening the bomb, but I found butter will make a dough that spreads out. My shortening cookies were rocks.

I also use self-rising instead of all-purpose flour and adding baking powder and salt and sometimes soda of cream of tartar. That was chemistry lesson, but I can’t remember the details, but now I turn out pretty good cookies.

I learned about steaks from reading the magazine and watching the show. Well, I also learned by watching pit master competitions where they cook all manner of protein. That is how I learned to take the steak up, tent with foil and let it rest for five to ten minutes. Don’t overcook it. Usually, I don’t overcook because I like my steak cooked long enough to get the chill off.

I haven’t caught an episode or an article about making biscuits. No one can ever have enough biscuit learning, as Granny Clampett might have said.

A long time ago, I decided to make biscuits from scratch. No mixes, no exploding cans, no frozen dough. I did not consult a cookbook for a recipe but winged it instead. I mixed flour, shortening and liquid. I threw in an egg for good measure. I tried to remember my grandmother making biscuits and my home ec classes. Apparently, I was not paying attention.

When I put the pan into the oven, I believed I was making biscuits. When I pulled the pan out, I found I just made a mess. Actually, it was a pan of giant, brown door knobs.

Upon later consulting with a real cook concerning the failure of my biscuits, I was reminded of my decision to wing it, to work without a plan. Had I taken the time to look up biscuits in a cookbook, I would not only have found the correct proportions of flour, shortening and liquid, I would have known to leave the egg in the refrigerator.

As someone smarter than me wrote “just because a cat had kittens in the oven don’t make them biscuits.”

Right now, a lot of people running for office wants everyone to think they can do the job, whatever that job may be. All those candidates think they can do the job, but some things are a lot harder than it seems. Biscuits.

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