Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Garden Update

Good news! I planted seeds and against all odds they grew! Nothing ate the seeds, a huge rain didn't come and wash it all away, and not a single deer has touched the plants. My husband built two raised beds and I think next year we may add another. I had to plant some stuff in our flower bed because we had so much.

No, we're not eating solely off our garden or anything, but we have enjoyed lots of lettuce and some peppers, and the squash and tomatoes will soon be ready. The herbs have done really well too.

This has been fun. Granted, if given the choice between gardening or sewing, I'll pick sewing every time. Also, I would rather be baking in an air-conditioned kitchen than swatting at bees in the garden. That said, I'm definitely going to give this a try again next year. I feel like I've really learned a lot.

Oh, those are our chickens. We're hoping to see some eggs soon. That has also been fun. I think my husband has almost succeeded in making me an outdoor girl. Almost. Now he wants to get bees; if that doesn't do it, I don't know what will!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Family Biscuit Recipe

Here's an easy recipe that my mom and her mom made. When I got married, I copied it into the back of a cookbook I got as a shower gift. These biscuits are great with gravy and a good vehicle for jam. You can also use this as a basic recipe for cheese biscuits or cinnamon-raisin. I'm sure there are lots of great recipes out there for biscuits. However, these are different because, they have three ingredients people. You can't get any easier than that.
Biscuits require a light touch. Too much mixing or kneading and they will be dreadful.
It took me a few tries with these when I was new to cooking to get them right.
Here goes...

2 cups self-rising flour (If you've never used this, it's great for pancakes too.)
1-1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or milk, but buttermilk makes them richer, I think)
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Just mix with a fork until it holds together. Don't overmix. If it looks dry, add a little more buttermilk. If it's too wet, you can knead a little flour into the dough on your counter.
Roll out on floured surface, careful not to roll them too thin. I use a glass to cut them out. Place on nicely oiled pan. I always use a little of the buttermilk left in the measuring cup to rub on the tops.
Bake at 450 degrees in the center of your oven until golden brown. Times will vary based on how thick you cut them.

Notice the little tiny biscuit. My mom always baked the bit of dough that was left after rolling out the biscuits. When I was little we called that the "baby biscuit". I always got it because I was the youngest. Funny how you carry on silly traditions like that.
This recipe can easily be doubled, or tripled. Enjoy!