love me some biscuits

“Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.” ~ Carl Sandburg

Hello Friends and Hello 2021!

Nice to be back, and I must say, you’re even cuter than you were last year. How is that even possible? Maybe it was all those cookies you ate over the holidays. 😀

I was so happy to toss out 2020 and turn the page on a brand new Susan Branch calendar. Marking the days, weeks, and months with her charming art, quotes, photos, and recipes is how I like to roll. I think of her as a good luck charm; her optimism and positive energy really keep me going.

If January is any indication, we’re all in for a BIG year. Huge challenges, yes, but I’m hopeful that with our new President, Vice President, Democratic Congress and our collective faith in the power of BLUE — we’ll be able to heal, restore, build, and move forward for the good of all.

2021 will be one heck of a feast, and I’m anxious to dig in, so please pass the biscuits!

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via JaneCBaker
IN RHAPSODIC PRAISE OF BISCUITS
by Joan Leotta

Biscuits transubstantiate from
buttermilk or Lily brand flour and
Clabber Girl baking powder
into a heavenly delight.
So, it is only right that they
are the first item passed
after prandial prayer.
Plucking one from the basket
passed to me,
my fingers tingle as they brush
the lightly crisped top.
Slowly, I separate the still warm
bread of perfection
into two perfect halves,
tamping down the steam 
with a pat of real butter
and a swirl of honey.
I lift one section to mouth
and savor the
sweetness of the topping,
aided and abetted by the salty,
creamy butter amid the
biscuit crumbs.
Edible perfection.

~ from a broadside sponsored by Poetry in Plain Sight (Winston Salem, December 2019)

*

*

The “first item passed” for our first meal of 2021 should be quintessential comfort food, don’t you think? Seriously, who doesn’t love biscuits?!

It’s all about Grandma’s recipe, waiting anxiously for a fresh batch to come out of the oven, and just as the poem says, plucking one from the basket with the highest degree of anticipation. Yes, speak of biscuits in divine terms. Do they not transform us from mere mortals to giddy gastronomes at first bite? The nostalgic flavor of a good homemade biscuit can lift me right out of my seat!

Have you already tried Susan Branch’s melt-in-your-mouth biscuits? They’re my favorite and the recipe is included in the 30th Anniversary Edition of Heart of the Home: Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen (Spring Street Publishing, 2016). I remember Susan mentioning her grandma’s biscuits in Home for Christmas (Spring Street Publishing, 2020), and I’m assuming this is the same recipe. In any case, these are easy to make and are definitely “edible perfection.”

Go ahead: break one in half, watch the steam rise, slather with butter and jam or honey. Close your eyes as you bite into a tender, buttery piece. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

Susan Branch's Best Biscuits

  • Servings: about 14 biscuits
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Put flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into mixing bowl and stir with fork. Slowly add 1 to 1-1/2 cups cream, stirring constantly, just until dough comes together. Place dough on floured board and knead for about a minute. Pat dough flat to about 3/4 inches thick. Cut with round 2″ cookie cutter and brush both sides with melted butter. Place the buttered biscuits 1″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes, till browned. Wrap them in a napkin and serve them in a basket.

~ adapted from Heart of the Home: Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen, 30th Anniversary Edition (Spring Street Publishing, 2016)

Take another sip of tea, wrap your lips around another biscuit or two, and let’s all have a good year. It’s a new day, a weight has been lifted. I’ve never been more hopeful, and I’m so glad you’re here.

*

The lovely and talented Laura Shovan is hosting the Roundup at her wonderful blog. Be sure to zip over and check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week. As always, stay safe, be well, wear your mask, and have a great weekend!

*


*Copyright © 2021 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

33 thoughts on “love me some biscuits

  1. Yum! I love how biscuits become part of the prayer in that first passing. And, ohhhhhhh, the love in this post. Thank you, Jama. Thank you for the fun ways you show us the good and point us in the direction of getting there. A biscuit for the journey too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year, dear Jama!
    I am so happy you are back and that you’ve passed the biscuits my way…*nom nom*. Oh, uh, excuse my manners, I was “aided and abetted” by the deliciousness of Ms Leotta’s poem and Ms Branch’s recipe. Thanks for sharing your basket of goodness on this ‘new day’! Yay!
    :), Bridget

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! “Edible perfection”! My son & daughter-in-law gave me a special biscuit mix for Christmas from a company they like. I haven’t made them yet, but will! I’ve noted this recipe, too, Jama. From a grandmother who kept us all in biscuits, hot for dinner, toasted at breakfast, & tiny sandwiches for picnics kept us all wanting more if you can believe it! Welcome back to a fabulous NEW year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love everything about this! That kitty baking! 💕 biscuits have become a weekly indulgence for us since the Pandemic. My friend gifted me sourdough starter and I bake them using the discard every week when I feed the starter.
    Glad to see you are back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t tried this recipe with GF flour, but it would probably work, if you’re using something like King Arthur Measure for Measure GF flour.

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  5. Now I am drooling for some biscuits. I find I make them more often now that I found a recipe that uses up my sour dough starter discard. And yes, isn’t it delightful to feel so hopeful in this new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Jama. I’m reading this recipe and imagining how delicious that heavy cream must make these biscuits! Thank you for the poem — scrumptious. And for the nod to women in leadership and smart girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh how I used to beg my mother to bake those flaky “pull-apart” biscuits from a can! It must have been the enticing TV commercials that convinced me they were tasty . Homemade all the way now!

    Happy 2021 Jama!

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  8. It’s so good to have you back – I’ve missed you! My husband makes the best biscuits, but he’s recently given up carbs, so he doesn’t bake nearly as much as he used to. Feeling nostalgic… Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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    1. Wish I could be better about cutting back on carbs — but since I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, I think I’m entitled to at least one vice. . . 🙂

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  9. Biscuits without cutting in cold butter? I want to try this!
    Welcome back! Did you hear there’s a Maya Angelou Barbie?

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    1. No cutting in of butter — that’s why I like this recipe. So easy. Just measure out the dry ingredients, stir in the cream and you’re ready to go. Did not know about the Maya Barbie. Must investigate! 🙂

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  10. Jama, I am delighted that you shared a Susan Branch recipe that I never tried. Her cookbooks are one of my favorites. I did not know that there is a new one out. Beside being a cookbook it is a beautiful read filled with lovely images. I can drift into that biscuit right now but I have some cookies to make. Thanks for the lovely post with a nod to women and hope!

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    1. It’s not a new cookbook, but an anniversary edition of her first one. She republished it (Little, Brown was the original publisher). Her cookbooks are unique — even if you never make any of the recipes, they are so lovely to read with all the art and quotes. Of course, the recipes themselves are wonderful — haven’t made one yet I didn’t like.

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  11. Yum Jama, what a scrumptious post, and even one week later, oops, busy week last week… I’m going to try your biscuit recipe with a couple modifications for my delicate digestion. Joan Leotta’s poem is pure biscuit perfection– and I loved all the art by Susan Branch. Thanks for this feel–good post!

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