Monday, November 27, 2017

Mom's Biscuits.

My mom was a great cook. She could cook anything. Nothing came out of a box. Everything came out of the Modern Family Cookbook. If it wasn’t made from scratch, it didn’t get made. If she were alive today she’d probably have her own blog, her own Facebook page, and her own YouTube channel. She was THAT good.

Mom made sure that my brother and I learned to cook, to sew, to do laundry properly, to clean the house, etc. I’m not raising two boys to become useless men, she would always say. She worked until I was born, and then she became a stay-at-home mom. My brother was born five years later.

Shortly after my thirteenth birthday she went back to work. She would prepare the next day’s supper, and all we had to do when we got home from school was put it in the oven or on the stove. Still, everything was made from scratch.

Saturday became biscuit day. She’d get up early, mix the dough, and start rolling it out on the kitchen table. She would roll that dough until it was paper thin, fold it, roll it, fold it roll it, until those biscuits were about twelve layers thick. When you ate them, they’d melt in your mouth. They were always perfect.

Until one fateful Saturday.

When she called us all to breakfast, we immediately noticed something odd about the biscuits. They were about the size of hockey pucks. They were about the weight of hockey pucks. My dad tapped his on the table. It was the consistency of a hockey puck. None of us said a word.

Mom was the first to speak, when she asked me to pass her a biscuit. I tossed one in her direction. Luckily, she ducked, or she may have received a serious concussion. The biscuit passed her and lodged in the hollow core pantry door behind her.

She turned and looked at the hapless biscuit stuck in the door. When she turned back to us we were laughing, and she said something about baking powder or baking soda (I can’t remember). The plate full of biscuits were quickly removed from the table. We had toast with our eggs that morning.

Everything turned out okay. Mom never screwed up the biscuits again. Dad replaced the pantry door. Shawn and I occasionally brought up the mistake.

Mom died in 1994. When I think about her it’s all about aromas. As Vernon Smith once wrote: “I can still memory - taste the fresh buttermilk pancakes and hot buttermilk biscuits - both made with lard! - that were cooked on the top, or in the oven, of that ancient iron stove.”

And those are some great memories.

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