Saturday, December 5, 2009

Biscuit Bobble

Ah, real life. Who needs glamorous, made-up characters and exotic locales. Ordinary life is plenty challenging on its own. That's my opinion, anyway. It's one of the premises on which I base this blog. Just looking at my own life as a tale worth telling has made me see how much is happening to me, a quite ordinary person, on any given day or week.

Let's take yesterday. It was deliciously uneventful at first. I got to rest and read for most of the day. Other than doing a couple of loads of laundry (yawn), my main task of the day was cooking dinner for My Beloved and his parents. They wanted sausage gravy and biscuits. Now I've made this dish many times before, and I'm pretty proud of my biscuits. (The mother-in-law buys hers, don't you know.) Piece of cake, or so I thought. I forgot that this kitchen was new to me. It's someone else's kitchen, with different stuff in different places from my own. The first outing in an unfamiliar kitchen is always bumpy.

First I turned the oven on to preheat and found the necessary supplies. Check. On to mixing and my first mistake--upping the batch on the fly. In case you haven't done a lot of baking, I must inform you that this practice is dangerous. The tendency is to forget the increase already begun and to short an ingredient out of inattention or habit. I almost fouled out there, but caught myself. That was a good thing, because the leavening is never a good ingredient of which to use too little. Biscuits should be for eating, not for playing hockey or a long sea voyage (Hardtack, anyone?).

While working away, I began to notice an unusual smell. Eventually the odor prompted me to check the oven, just in case. It was then that I learned that my dear mother-in-law stores her skillets in there...with oil in them. Two of the now-hot pans had plastic handles, which luckily hadn't melted yet. I found the pot holders really fast. Check. I also learned why biscuit cutters have open tops. Cutting biscuits out with a drinking glass makes flour go everywhere and mashes them pretty flat. To top it all off, when I thought I turned off the timer, I turned off the oven. The poor pale things finished baking with residual heat only. No wonder it took them so long.

By the time my sweet husband arrived and remarked that my biscuits looked a little wrong, I was officially in no mood for critique. I announced the closure of the complaint window, and we ate those biscuits, which tasted just fine despite their hard and short life. The whole incident just proves my contention that even second rate homemade is better than store bought. Besides, even the pro's have off nights. I've read the books at school to prove it. I'll just anticipate the day when I make for them my "These-may-be-the-best-I've-ever-made" biscuits, and they weep with long lost joy.

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