17 November 2007


On special occasions and at least once whenever our relatives from Maine visit, my grandmother makes meatloaf and these biscuits. They're as much a staple of my childhood as sweet potato casserole, chicken pot pie, pinwheel cookies, or (yes, even) spaghetti. I love them more than cheesecake, saving room for at least four or five at the end of any meal they grace with their presence. These biscuits (or in our quirky rural-Mason-Dixon-line-farm meets Northern-Ball-mer (Baltimore) meets Towsonite-suburbia slang: bick-its) don't have anything fancy about them, they aren't exotic, or even particularly unique in recipe from other baking powder biscuits (in fact, the baking powder I used had nearly this recipe printed directly on the side) – but in the eight or so minutes that they spend in the toaster oven, they transform from just anybody's dough to my Mammaw's biscuits.

I don't know how they do it, but they do. When I smell the crisping dough, I am instantly transported back to my grandparents' rancher, Mainer cousins at my side making stick-and-duct tape swords, or careening around the basement on the old red tricycle, or messing around with the pop-O-matic on the Trouble set. My memories are almost always linked in to food, a mutually beneficial relationship for both of us. Yet even without twenty-odd years of memories tied in to these biscuits, they still smell doughy and rich coming out of the toaster oven, and make excellent jam and butter vehicles, as my suitemate remarked while she scarfed down six of them.

Baking Powder Biscuits Bick-its

Repurposed from the dining hall:

1 cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

Bought at the store:

2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

4 tablespoons shortening

  1. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Use a colander over a large bowl or pot, tightly holding colander and bowl or pot together at the rims and shaking side to side, thus avoiding turning your kitchen or dorm room into a flour bomb detonation zone.
  2. Cut in shortening with two knives until it is mostly mixed but still a little lumpy.
  3. Pour in milk and stir until all dry matter is absorbed.
  4. Drop rough, tablespoon-sized portions onto an ungreased baking tray. Bake 7-8 minutes on 450O F in the toaster oven. Yields 30 biscuits, though only 24 are pictured because my suitemate ate 6 before I took pictures. : )



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"Your N" said...

How to respond without using terms of endearment to embarrass you?!... I loved reading about our family in your blog and knowing that so many of our times together are now very special memories of yours, particularly involving eating good food, which is a special favorite of mine.