Category Archives: recipe

Buttermilk Biscuits

Bread is one of my biggest weaknesses, and that weakness can be narrowed down to buttermilk biscuits. Amazingly, the same set of ingredients can be used to turn out many different styles of buttermilk biscuit! Each biscuit maker I know has a slightly different style to baking, which results in a different tastes and textures. My mom rolls her dough and makes thin, crispy biscuits. My mother-in-law hand forms her biscuits and shoots for dark, golden tops.

I make my biscuits like my great-mommaw Ruth–I do hand formed biscuits. (I’ve never mastered using a rolling pin, probably because I like a stickier biscuit dough.) I’ve been told that our biscuits are similar in taste and texture.

I like to start with the basics: buttermilk, flour, baking powder, salt, and crisco. I know crisco is sometimes considered a food no-no, but I’ve tried the original recipe which uses lard and it just makes too dense of a biscuit for me.

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I start with 2 cups of flour in my bowl. I add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of baking powder. If you are using self rising flour, the baking powder can be optional – unless you want a really fluffy biscuit. Add 1/2 cup of crisco, pinched apart into small pieces. Blend all ingredients together with a fork or pastry cutter.

I have seen the recipe where the lard/crisco is replaced with butter. I have not tried this version before – but I think I’ll try it out next week just to see what happens.

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After the dry ingredients and fat are well blended, add in 1 cup of buttermilk. I like to use whole buttermilk, but low fat works just as well. Stir dough until sticky and all of the flour is worked in. Don’t over stir the dough or you’ll end up with biscuits that are dense instead of flaky.

Take an extra hand full of flour and put it in a bowl – be sure to dust your hands and the top of the biscuit dough. As you form each biscuit, re-dust your hands in the extra flour – this will keep the dough from getting stuck on your hands.

To hand form your biscuits, pick up a small blob of dough. I usually go with a blob that is slightly larger than a golf ball. I like to lightly pat my dough into a basic biscuit shape, then lay it out on the pan.

I like to finish off my biscuits with a dab of buttermilk on the tops. It adds a little extra flavor and it keeps the tops from getting too brown (I like really light biscuits the best). I’m not sure how common adding buttermilk to the tops is. Its just something that I picked up from my mom, and she picked it up from my dad’s mom.

Pop them in the oven on 450 for about 11 or 12 minutes – then you are good to go!

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Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe:

2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup crisco
1 tbs baking powder
pinch of salt

Oven – 450
Time- 11 – 12 minutes

Collards: A Southern Superstition

The New Year means resolutions for most of the country. But in the South, it also means it’s time to cook collards. Eating collards and black eye peas on New Year’s Day is a southern tradition, or really a superstition.

Collards represent cash, and black eye peas represent cents. If you eat both on New Year’s Day, you’ll make lots of money in the upcoming year, or so the superstition goes. And just so you’re prepared to make lots of money in the New Year, below is my mom’s recipe for cooking collards, with some photos of her collards at Christmas. She cooks them like my grandma used to, frying them after boiling them.

Have a Happy New Year and don’t forget to eat your collards and black eye peas!

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Here’s my mom’s recipe that she learned from my grandma:

  1. Cut the leaf off of the main vein that runs through the leaf. They seem to cook better if I have a large amount of leaves to cook at one time.
  2. If any of the little veins that runs through the leaf is of any size, I cut the leaf from around those also.
  3. Once I have my leaves, I wash them several times.
  4. Then using a large large pot, I boil the leaves until they get really soft (I usually cook for an hour or so)
  5. Then drain the leaves good to get rid of excess water.
  6. Then with my hand chopper, I chop the leaves up really small.
  7. Then in a large frying pan I put oil (enough to cover the pan but not deep).
  8. Place collards in pan to begin cooking process.
  9. Sprinkle some sugar over the collards and stir.
  10. Once they start cooking I turn heat down and cover with a lid. Keep checking. Sometimes I keep adding a little oil and sugar.

Do not let them dry out when cooking (Keep moist with oil). I let them cook slow for a while. Many people do not add the sugar, but that is the way we like them.

 

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Collards in the frying pan, ready to eat.

Soppin’ up Soup

It is generally well known that I am not fond of cooking. One thing I do like to fix is homemade soup – chicken, potato, sausage, rice….you name it, if it goes in broth I’ll probably attempt it.

Armed with my trusty Hotpoint stove, the only electric stove our house has ever had, I’m fighting tonight’s cold, windy weather with my favorite sausage potato soup.

Begin to brown 1 lb. sausage. In a stock pot, simmer garlic, onions, and a small amount of chicken broth until onions are tender. Add remaining stock and chopped carrots and celery. ** You can substitute celery for Kale**

Allow vegetables and broth to simmer. Wash and slice 3 – 4 potatoes leaving the skin on. I typically use either russet potatoes (they hold up better in soup) or Yukon Gold (I like the texture and flavor the best). Add sliced potatoes and browned sausage to the soup.

Allow soup to simmer until potatoes are tender – then, you are ready to eat!

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This is one of my favorite soups to make – it is hearty, tasty, and it reheats well. I’m not the biggest fan of vegetables, so this is also a healthy and sneaky way for me to eat more of them.

Click the image below for a printable recipe card.

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