Tuesday, August 8, 2017

To Mama be the Glory

When I was a kid I would spend time in the summers with my Mama Bird.  She was a woman who made a lot out of a little.  It didn't matter what the subject matter, she knew how to press on and make the most of it.  Let's start with her kitchen skills, shall we?  

She grew a garden, preserved everything she could and fed everyone who showed up at her table.  Three meals were made, per day, and not just a few side dishes, either.  A meat, vegetables, jams, sweet tea, lemonade, and biscuits were always on the table.  Whenever I would wake up at her house, biscuits were waiting for me.  Their preparation was never measured and never hurried.  

In later years she used Crisco, but early on she used lard.....the good stuff.  We will start with that for today.  


Measuring cups were never used.  A wooden bowl was taken out of a cupboard.  It contained flour and was kept covered with a flour sack.  A spoonful (?) of lard and a splash of milk were added to a well in the flour.  That was it and that is what I have here.  


She mixed it with her fingers until it was the consistency she wanted.  I mixed it a bit and determined it was too dry, thus a bit more full fat buttermilk was added.  I turned it out onto a floured surface and patted it out, careful not to work the dough too much.  


I cut the biscuits with a standard cutter that I bought at a store.  My Mama Bird used an old Beanie Weenie can.  I have a lot to learn.....


After I left a few fingerprints on the dough, I baked them on a stone with the sides touching.  This gives softer sides.  



The biscuits turned out delicious!  Tender, flaky and not overdone, I was satisfied with this first foray into the non-measuring lifestyle.  

One important note - my Mama Bird never left any detritus in her flour bowl.  There were never any bits of lard, dough, etc...  Her dough formation was precise.  She removed the dough and covered the bowl with the flour sack. All remaining flour was saved for the next time.   When I removed the dough from my bowl....well, there were bits of dough left.  

I still have some work to do.  



"Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits."  

Carl Sandburg 





26 comments:

  1. Lovely!! Recipe with beautiful memoir..

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  2. Hello, your biscuits look delicious. My mother made these homemade biscuits, they are delicious. Wonderful memory, thanks for sharing. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

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  3. YUM!!!!Do I like my biscuits. Now I will have to go out for breakfast and get some. Lard is in my cupboard, I use it for pies and tortillas. yours look like they may float away they are so light.mmmmmmm

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  4. This is beautiful and brings back so many memories of my grandmother in her kitchen and the way she also used to make her dough for biscuits. A time when good things weren't rushed and made more important. It's good to add these concepts into our daily life. Thanks for sharing. Your biscuits look delicious too!!

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  5. Besides lard I remember that we used bacon grease which was kept near the stove in containers that were sold back then and marked grease. My mother would dip grease out of there when making cornbread though I doubt it would make good biscuits, lard is better.
    A couple of years ago I happened to have a brave moment and looked into the kitchen of our Mexican restaurant and was surprised to see what looked like five gallon cans of lard on the shelf, lots of them it looked like a lard factory. They had good food.

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  6. They look perfect. Nothing worse than a brown burnt biscuit. I think I could eat biscuits for my last meal. I've never tried lard, but I'm sure it is the best.

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  7. You do realise you've just set off a biscuit baking spree Michelle.. surely it can't just be me that can't wait to give your Mama Bird's no measuring biscuits a try, they look so yum!

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  8. Hope you will share more about your Momma bird....love it and the biscuits look amazing.

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  9. Oh my this delightful and no doubt delicious. I remember my mom always used real lard for her pie crust. Something quite uncommon nowadays

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  10. Delightful,post Michelle. . .
    And the Carl Sandburg quote . . . oh my, perfection!
    I wish I was eating one of those biscuits right now!

    You have reminded me of my "mama bird" . . .
    Lard in her pie crust . . , hers was THE BEST!
    (She was Blue Ribboned often at the teeny, tiny yearly town fair.)

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  11. ...lard doesn't sound all that good, but it makes things taste good.

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  12. Boy they sure look good. Such nice happy memories!!
    I don't think my mom ever made biscuits. Cooking and baking is not something my mom liked to do.

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  13. My grandmother baked like that too - lard and everything measured by how it felt. I loved her cupcakes!

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  14. What a lovely memory shared... and those biscuits... heaven on earth.

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  15. good for you! They look so good!

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  16. My wife's Nana was like that too, measured by the feel. Now she inherited her skill. What a wonderful memory.

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  17. Michelle, if the biscuits tasted anywhere as good as they look, I would say you learned your lessons well.

    My grandmother must have been a lot like Mama Bird. I don't think she measured anything. She did it all by eyeballing the ingredients. But, she was a terrific cook. When her husband died and she needed a job to pay the bills, she went to work as the head cook at the local community hospital.

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  18. My mom was the queen of homemade biscuits and pies and everything like your grandma. Are you using self-rising flour? She didn't measure anything either... she just knew instinctively how much of everything to use. What I wouldn't give for one of her biscuits right this minute. Yours look SUPERB!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  19. Well done! They look delicious. I'm a not much measuring kind of cook. Can be disastrous but usually comes out just fine. Your Mama Bird sounds like a great lady.

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  20. Looks yummy to me and great memories

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  21. Hello Michelle!:) They look delicious, well done! I measure everything, but my gran never did, and just like your Mama Bird (love that name) she used lard.

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  22. This brings back memories of my mom cooking at home. She also fixed 3 meals a day and used a lot of lard in her baking and frying chickens. She didn't make a lot of biscuits once the canned ones were available at the store. Your biscuits look yummy!

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  23. reminds me much of my late Mom. O how I miss the smell of home cooking meeting me as I walked into her house! Thanks for the memories today! -Lisa

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  24. ummmm they look yummy. lard makes the best baked anything.

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  25. Omggg, those look wonderful!
    Hughugs

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  26. It's nice that you remembered about these homemade biscuits, Michelle, and yours looked wonderful. I've never made them myself and admittedly it' probably not as easy as it looked here.

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