So another bloggy blogger with the Foreign Service has set up 3 weekly challenges...so I am going to try and participate and do some of them. The first challenge is to post a photo from your post that makes you happy (easy enough!).
In the beginning of April it rained for a couple days and then suddenly everything was green....a few days later flowers were everywhere....for a 4 year old, picking flowers for mommy was heaven. On our walk home from school everyday, Clarissa and I would stop on a hill in our neighborhood and pick flowers. At one point I think we had 4 vases of flowers around the house.
We soon realized that the pretty white daisies smell like stinky tennis shoes (I feel a tad bad blaming Mason for his stinky feet for a few days) and Clarissa was extra sneezy....so we are now flower free, but the hill still looks beautiful (and tons of orange butterflies rest on the purple flowers and she's has yet to successful catch a butterfly).
Monday, May 12, 2014
Thursday, May 1, 2014
(I love the fact that it gets light earlier now and the sunlight is streaming in while I'm cooking). So I've been told I am a yankee being from St. Louis and all. But back in the day when Missouri was trying to become a state, it was actually divided....even the city itself was divided.....but technically I was born in North County....(but my mom was born close to the boot heel of southern Missouri....)....so who knows if I'm a yankee or not....but one southern food I do love.....buttermilk biscuits....as does the family. So that is our typically Sunday breakfast.....
So back when we lived in SC, you could buy frozen biscuits that you baked in the oven....I made these all the time but when we got up to DC.....nary a frozen biscuit could be found. So I took a bread making class at Arlington County Adult Education center and in addition to 7 other yummy bread creations, I learned how to make buttermilk biscuits. Our instructor Ed was great. We met 2 nights and each night made 4 recipes, sampled each and brought home a little goody bag to continue savoring (or share...which I was nice and shared with Richard!) So here's what you need to make buttermilk biscuits (with a few tweaks I've made since class).
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coarse sea salt
85 g (aka 6 Tbsp) grated cold butter
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp vinegar and about 1 cup of milk, see below)
So, since here in Georgia I haven't been able to find actual buttermilk, I start by making the buttermilk. I measure 1 Tbsp of vinegar and pour it in my measuring cup. I then add milk up to the 1 cup line and let it sit at least 5 minutes while I do the rest of the biscuit prep.
While the buttermilk is brewing, I put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.
When I buy my 400g bricks of butter from the store, I go ahead and precut it into 85g chunks. I then throw these chunks into the freezer. When making these biscuits you don't want the butter melting until the biscuits are baking in the oven, so you want the butter cold during prep.
I use a grater to add the frozen butter to the flour mixture.
When I get down to just a little bit of butter that I can't grate without adding some flesh to the biscuits I put it aside and save it for later.
After grating the butter....
Then you mix the grated butter with the flour. You want it throughly mixed (you want little bits in every bite). You can use a pastry cutter to mix it well, but last time I made them I forgot that step and it turned out fine (if you don't grate the butter you will need the pastry cutter).
Next stir in the buttermilk. After mixing put the dough on a floured surface.
You must be gentle with southern food (no kneading allowed)......pat the dough out into an ~1 inch thick rectangle. If the dough is super sticky sprinkle with some more flour.
Then fold the dough in half and then pat out again (sprinkling more flour if needed).
Repeat the fold and pat out one more time (this is what gives the biscuit its layers of yumminess).
Next use a biscuit cutter (or a glass) to cut out biscuits. You don't want to twist the cutter or it will making it harder for the biscuits to rise in the oven. When you are left with dough scraps, pat them back together and make another rectangle and cut some more out.
Place the biscuits on a baking sheet. I've found a silicon pad (or parchment paper) makes them real easy to remove the biscuits when done.
At this point I preheat the oven to 450°F and let the biscuits sit and rise while I get the rest of breakfast going. Once the oven is preheated, I put the biscuits in for 12-15 minutes (until puffed up and a nice golden brown). Remove the biscuits from the oven and take that little piece of butter left over from grating and rub on top of each biscuit.....