Friday, February 5, 2010

Betting on better biscuits

So, sane people start the new year resolved to diet/exercise/quit swearing and such. Every Jan. 1, I take a vow to overcome my flour-phobia.

This year, I've been kneading, baking pies and trying to get my biscuits to raise to cathead heights. So far, I'm not even batting .500! This is typically the spot on the calendar when I throw my head back and scream into the heavens: "Why can't I bake?"

But I will not be deterred this year. I am going to keep practicing until I get it right. And, now, I have even more incentive. I tossed out a biscuit bake-off challenge on Facebook and a couple of friends bit. So, it's on.

I've been using the recipe on the can of baking powder, but I am going to experiment with a couple modifications, including using melted shortening. That's one of the secrets of the best biscuits in the world, at Bryant's in Memphis.

Once I get my biscuit technique nailed down, I'll figure out the particulars of this bake-off. And then ponder: What's best spread on them? Jam? Jelly? Honey? Sorghum, perhaps. Or sausage gravy and a couple of eggs?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pea-con or Pea-kan?

Made my first-ever pecan pie this weekend and it was mighty tasty. Had a slice straight up, but thinking it could only be better with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Ever since taking a pie-making class, I've been sharpening my dough-making skills. I'm getting there. Even the "mistakes" still taste pretty darned good. Like the lemon meringue that was so close.

There's a recipe in my friend Martha Foose's "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea" book that's up next: Sweet Tea pie! Doesn't that sound like a slice of summer?

What's the most unusual pie to join your recipe rotation?