When you cook, do you do it with love? Do you do it with tender, mindful, care? Or are you aimlessly going through the motions? Or maybe you're just task-minded? Maybe you've had a bad day and your attitude reflects that in the kitchen? Watch out if that's you! ...or your biscuits won't rise.
When Chelsea first started dating Sam (and long before she became the amazing cook she is today) she came to me and said, "I would like to make Sam your home-made Big Daddy Biscuits." (These biscuits are flaky, the size of your face, and ridiculously DELICIOUS) I was thrilled and quickly agreed.
We made our way into the kitchen, I got the recipe out and I started pulling all the ingredients out of the pantry and the bowls we would need from the cupboard. She stood there with a blank look on her face, her lips in a bit of an Elvis-curl, and asked what I was doing. After I informed her that the biscuits don't magically make themselves and there was a little work involved, her face changed. She was not happy.
I had her read the recipe as I watched (managed), and making sure she did the work since she wanted to make them for Sam. She begrudgingly added ingredients, fulfilling the recipe with each step. As she progressed, I kept reminding her why she was doing this...that she originally wanted to make them to show her love for Sam, and to be careful as she was making them because with the attitude she had, the love was lost in the recipe and those biscuits wouldn't rise. She rolled her eyes and hastily finished, ready to put the biscuits in the oven and be done with it. As she opened the oven door, I reminded her once again, "Chelsea, stop and remember why you're doing this. If you put these biscuits in the oven with your attitude, THEY WON'T RISE." She looked at me like I was nuts (not the first time OR the last time I've gotten that look) and placed the biscuit pan into the oven. She looked once more at the recipe to make certain she pulled them from the oven in the right amount of time, and smugly looked at me before leaving the kitchen.
DING! (That was my impersonation of the oven timer going off). We both head back into the kitchen...she turns off the timer...opens the oven door, pulls out the pan...and...FLAT BISCUITS.
She looked at me and without hesitation said, "Let's do this again." So we did. This time, she remembered why she wanted to make the biscuits in the first place, had a smile on her face at the notion of Sam being grateful for her gesture, telling me it was amazing that I knew those biscuits wouldn't rise. The exact same recipe, a different attitude. DING! (I'm jumping to the second batch being ready.) Chelsea opened the oven door to the most amazing biscuits that ever existed. They were gargantuan. She didn't even bat an eyelash before she smiled, hugged me, and thanked me from the bottom of her heart, knowing Sam would LOVE the biscuits she had made with LOVE.
This transcends into everything you do in life. It's what you choose to make of it. The biscuits that didn't rise were still edible, but the second batch were much more than that - they were incredible and delicious. Make sure you make much of what's given to you to make life incredible and delicious...and do what you do in life with love...or you, too, will end up with flat biscuits.
BIG DADDY BISCUITS
2 cups flour (I use organic unbleached but any all purpose will do)
1 (heaping) tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbs white sugar (I use organic. NOTE: agave will work, but they won't have the same texture as with regular sugar)
1/3 cup shortening (I keep old-school Crisco in my fridge...it lasts for years because I hardly ever use it, but it makes for great sustenance in this recipe)
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) Cut in the shortening (I actually use my fingers) until the mixture is course and mealy. Gradually stir in the milk until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 20 - 25 times, about five minutes. Pat or roll dough to about 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with large cutter (I use a juice glass, and just flour the rim so it doesn't stick) Repeat this until all the dough is used. (I take the remnants and put them together, pat it out to an inch and use it, too!) Brush off any excess flour (gently!) and place biscuits on an UN-greased baking sheet. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes. I have my oven down to a science and know that 14 minutes works perfect for me. These are great with white peppered gravy, or butter, or just on their own!!
Make sure you add the main ingredient throughout the cooking process - LOVE!