“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.
34 thoughts on “friday feast: beaucoup biscuits”
Always so beautiful, biscuits are – but I don’t eat them much at all anymore, which is a pity, but it’s easier to get a nice dose of healthy stuff in one’s toast bread – I think the biscuit won’t raise, after a point!!
Love that poem, though. I heard a bit of Southern Sass in that!
Why is it the things we love most are not healthy? Bah! There is a good side to that, though — when we do treat ourselves once in awhile they taste that much better. 🙂
I am drooling, especially since I’m eating sprouted wheat bread (good but NOT a biscuit) these days. I don’t make my own biscuits either because I know I could not touch my mother’s or my Aunt Irene’s. Aunt Irene baked her biscuits in an oven in the *basement* and could hear when they were done. My mother sometimes made angel biscuits. And the first wedding I ever attended (age 9), they served tiny ham biscuits and I never had anything so good.
Ah yes, ham biscuits — a new-to-me phenomenon I first sampled at a Christmas open house in our old neighborhood. Cute little biscuits and country ham — mmmm!
Yum on your mom’s angel biscuits . . . 🙂
Once again you have made me hungry, dearest Jama. Those biscuits look sinfully delicious. My mouth was watering when I saw the blueberries – I used to bake cookies from scratch, but once again I decry those lost bygone days. Now – my absolute favorite quick fix is Betty Crocker. Haha.
I also love how Traci’s poem matches the buttered-honeyed yumminess of your page. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Enjoy autumn and the hyacinths!
I also lament my now infrequent from-scratch cookie baking. Used to make dozens and dozens for the holidays. Sigh.
One of my favorite pies is Wild Maine Blueberry — haven’t found any other berries as sweet. We always have some blueberry jam in the fridge. 🙂
Jama! Great poem, and those photos! You have me drooling. I lived in Atlanta for five years, and my stomach remembers those days fondly. There was a place called The Flying Biscuit that you would love!
How you know me, Tabatha. The name Flying Biscuit definitely sounds like something I’d like to check out. Haven’t been to Atlanta yet, though. . .
Darn you. Now I want biscuits with my lunchtime soup. Or maybe *instead* of my lunchtime soup. 😛
Incidentally, I found a neat recipe last year that uses the skimmed off (hardened) fat from, say, chicken stock, or sauted chicken or whatnot. Chicken fat. As the fat in a biscuit. OMG – delicious for any savory need.
I’ve got some chicken fat I scraped off my chicken soup from last week — but I’d never think of using it for baking! I know people use bacon fat all the time and the flavor is out of this world. Definitely not a healthy choice. Life is hard . . .
I should have known better than to stop by at lunchtime. Yum! I had a very tasty biscuit from Whole Foods not long ago — now that HAD to be healthy, right??
LOL! No need to convince me! *runs to Whole Foods*
Yum, yum, yum! 🙂
Thanks for participating in Poetry Friday this week!
Thank you for hosting! Congrats again on the new book!!
You touched my heart, because I’ve long looked for a biscuit recipe to match a grandmother’s who died without giving up her secret. I loved the poem because I too grew up on biscuits, and they rounded my hips every time I visited. Best wishes in your search for someone to send biscuits!
Oftentimes it’s the love these bakers put into the making, rather than the recipe. 🙂
Someday we will bake biscuits together. They are not that hard. 🙂
Perhaps not, but such things always taste better when someone *else* makes them :). . .
I enjoyed your blog and am subscribing. Lovely pics, interesting quotes, comments and poetry that so well describes a staple of life, a biscuit.
So happy you dropped by. Thanks for your lovely comment and for subscribing!! Yay!
I love that poem! You find the best, most scrumptious things, Jama. Pass the jam.
Have as much jam as you like. And you definitely deserve another biscuit :).
Love this post!
I’m glad. Thanks for visiting, Janet! 🙂
I had such an urge to buy buttermilk to bake biscuits when I was at the grocery store yesterday. I passed, because I had no meal that needed biscuits coming up, but maybe this weekend.
Oh, so you’re a biscuit baker, one of those “experts” that I wish lived closer to me :)! I do love buttermilk. . .
Late to the biscuit party, but mmmmmmm…… delicious poem, delicious pix! And you made me miss my sweet Southern Grandma, who definitely made them from scratch and without measuring.
How blessed you were, Robyn. I miss my grandmas, too, even though they didn’t make biscuits. I miss their dumplings and kimchi!
Yummers – those biscuits, Jama. Thanks! As for hyacinths, here’s a little ditty that involves food (kind of) – it’s by John Greenleaf Whittier. My grandmother used to recite it:
If thou of fortune be bereft
and in thy store there be but left
two loaves, sell one, and with the dole
buy hyacinths to feed the soul
Oh, that’s so lovely, Julie! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂
You’re the only person who can make my mouth water AFTER I’ve eaten lunch.
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