“Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.” ~ Carl Sandburg
Well, butter my buns and call me a biscuit!
Go on, grab one (a biscuit, not my buns, silly). You’re perfectly entitled — Autumn is officially here and September is National Biscuit Month. Not that I need any excuse to indulge my biscuit love. You know what I’m talking about. When they’re warm from the oven, you ever so gently break one apart and that little column of steam rises. Oh, tender, flaky bliss: a pat of butter on each half, melt, melt, maybe a drizzle of honey or a lick or two of jam. With each heavenly bite, the South rises again and again.
I freely admit to never having successfully made biscuits from scratch. Yes, I’ve consumed my fair share of ‘whomp’ biscuits (Dough Boy goodness in a can), but I’ve always felt genuine-for-real homemade biscuits should be left to the experts. Most often, they are kind, huggable grandmas wearing faded flowery aprons who never measure ingredients but their biscuits turn out perfectly every time. Anyone have a Southern grandma I can borrow?
While I can’t offer you any biscuits I made myself, I am pleased to serve up this fine poem I discovered recently in the Summer 2011 Issue of Alimentum: The Literature of Food. Some things are sacred, and as we full well know, food is usually more than just food.
by Traci Yavas
Stop feeding her those biscuits, he says.
You’ll make her fat.
I grew up on those biscuits.
Dunked in soup beans,
Drizzled with honey,
Drowned in maple syrup,
Dappled with butter.
My grandmother patted out
Those biscuits by hand.
Baked two pans at a time.
My mother used a rolling pin
And a biscuit cutter.
I won a 4-H blue ribbon for those biscuits.
Those biscuits have built my bones and
Rounded my curves.
Those biscuits lie within me like secrets
I’ll carry to my grave.
I will feed her those biscuits
If I want.
Posted by permission of the author, copyright © 2011 Traci Yavas. All rights reserved.
Don’t you love the defiance? Naturally, I was curious about the backstory. Traci tells me the poem is indeed autobiographical; she won a blue ribbon for her biscuits (a beloved family recipe) in a 4-H contest when she was in the 4th or 5th grade.
Traci: My grandmother will drop a day-old (or older) hard biscuit into the bottom of her hot coffee, and eventually she will eat it. I suppose she finishes the coffee first — I’ve never noticed. She calls these biscuits “soakers.”
Now I make biscuits with the HeartSmart Bisquick. I don’t like them nearly as well, but I think it’s better than nothing, and I hope it’s healthier than my original recipe!
TRACI’S BISCUITS (ORIGINAL RECIPE)
about 2 cups self-rising flour
1/3 – 1/2 cup Crisco (or some other vegetable shortening)
3/4 – 1 cup milk (buttermilk is better)
Cut the shortening into the flour and then add milk. Stir until mixed, add flour if too wet (or milk if too dry).
Bake at 350-375 degrees on the top (or nearly top) rack.
Just as the poem says, these can be patted by hand or rolled out and cut with a biscuit cutter.
Oh my, those sound good. Any experts out there, please make this recipe and send me some ☺.
Meanwhile, let’s wrap our lips around a few more. That’s the beauty of virtual feasts — guilt free, calorie free.
If you need breakfast, how about a habanero honey country ham biscuit?
Maybe Paula Deen’s cheddar biscuit with hoecake:
And if you’re in the mood to go whole hog, there’s always the Pioneer Woman’s Biscuits and Gravy:
♥ Anastasia Suen at Picture Book of the Day is hosting today’s Poetry Friday Roundup. Why not waddle over there and check out all the cool poems being shared around the blogosphere this week? Don’t forget to congratulate her on the release of her brand new picture book, Road Work Ahead!
♥ Related Post: Sara Lewis Holmes and Her Biscuit Boys
HAPPY AUTUMN AND HAPPY WEEKEND!
She of the Rounded Curves
P.S. You didn’t think I’d forget the hyacinths, did you?
Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.