I get lots of requests for recipes from family and friends and as I thought about cooking and my love for being in the kitchen, it made me realize that good, old fashioned, “Southern cooking” is not as common as I thought these days. Peoples lives are very busy in general today, and I especially feel like there’s a disconnect with the younger generation. They’ve grown up in a time of fast-food and schedules that are so busy that drive-thrus are quite the norm. Their lives seem to happen in fast-forward, so there’s no way they have time to sit down together for a meal. The days of sitting down with your family in the evening and sharing a meal seems to be a lost art that really shouldn’t be, and not just for the food, but because the fellowship and time spent together is priceless. I think folks today feel like they don’t have time to prepare home-cooked meals, but guess what?? You do! Great, sometimes semi-homemade meals don’t have to take a lot of time…or ingredients for that matter. A LOT of what I cook comes from a handful of staple items I keep in my fridge/pantry, and these are items that most kitchens have. Flour, butter, milk, a few canned staples, your choice of meat, and you can make just about anything! Preparing meals at home is not only cost effective, it’s healthier and most importantly, it allows us more time with the ones we love most, even if only for a few short minutes each day. Some of my very favorite memories from my childhood involve time spent in the kitchen with my Mama or grandmother. I learned everything from making biscuits to canning all the bountiful items that came from our gardens most years. Those are times that not only taught me a lot, but are times that I will forever cherish. We need to be passing down these skills to our children. Time with family is always time well spent!!
So, let’s get to cookin’, ya’ll!! When I was trying to decide which recipe would be first, only one seemed fitting…BUTTERMILK BISCUITS!!! Making great biscuits is truly an art form and I not going to lie, it took me a while to get them just right. No matter how many times I had watched my Mamaw Nell make biscuits, they just weren’t as good as hers. I would make a pan and throw them out, and repeated this process over and over again before I finally got it right. It probably had something to do with the fact that she had been getting up at sunrise every morning of her life for the past 50 years to make them for my Papaw, but eventually I did get it right. Practice really does make perfect when it comes to the kitchen. These biscuits are guaranteed to be the best biscuits you’ve ever slathered butter on!!
SOUTHERN BUTTERMILK BISCUITS
2 cups self-rising flour
2 heaping tablespoons shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1-2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat your oven to 425*. Combine flour and shortening in a bowl. I prefer to give my God-given utensils to work the shortening into the flour. Your hands really do work best and you can make sure that it is mixed well, almost into a fine crumble. Next, add the buttermilk, more or less may be needed. I like my dough a tad on the sticky side. Once it is mixed well, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface, I use wax paper for easy clean-up. You want to handle the dough as little as possible. Sprinkle the top of the dough and your hand with flour, and very lightly pat into a circle or oblong shape, about a 1/2 inch thick. Now you are ready to cut out your biscuits. You can use a biscuit cutter in any size you prefer. My Mamaw always used an old tin can. I use an old drinking glass, so whatever works for you. Once you have cut our your biscuits, place them in a well greased pan. I prefer to cook mine in an iron skillet unless I’m making a lot. This recipe yields 8 biscuits, depending on the size biscuits you make, so they fit perfectly in a 9″ cast iron skillet. You want to bake them in a 425* oven until golden brown, 15-20 mins. Now, here’s the secret kicker to these fabulous biscuits…once you remove them from the oven, brush them with 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter and cover your pan with a kitchen towel. 5 mins and you’ve got yourself some heavenly biscuits ready to slap, slather, and dunk into all the jellies, butter, gravy, or honey you can stand.
This is really SO simple once you get the hang of it. Hope ya’ll make it a point to sit down with your family at least a couple times this week…and enjoy some good old fashioned, Southern, buttermilk biscuits while you’re at it!
Until next time…God Bless!