I’ve been good this year…well, I mean I’ve been fairly good. Okay, I’ve been about 49 percent good this year, but considering my track record that’s like, super good. But I digress…this letter isn’t about the adult me. This is about the Shaw Girl of Christmas past. The sweet, happy, innocent little Shaw Girl who believed in you and was really, really good. Remember the letter I sent you when I was five? You must remember because I even included glitter in the envelope as an enticement (well, the glitter I didn’t eat…I had a thing for craft supplies at that age). That was the year I pleaded for an Easy Bake oven…the ultimate gift to a budding foodie. How I yearned for an Easy Bake oven…something to bring my delicious creations to life. My friend Cheryl had one but she wouldn’t let me use it…she mocked my lack of Easy Bake oven status. But I knew if I was good enough and if my letter was heart felt enough, I too would have an Easy Bake oven to call my own…boy was I wrong.
The Diva had a veterinarian appointment on Friday morning, which meant there was a kitty smackdown in Shaw. To say she doesn’t like getting into her carrier is an understatement, especially considering the scratches I now have on my calf. I just feel sorry for the ears of everyone in the waiting room this morning. After that harrowing ordeal, I dropped off the drugged little bundle of joy and went for a long run up P Street, leaving me very, very hungry. I had intended on making some cheddar dill scones since I had today off, but for some reason I couldn’t locate the dill I had gotten in my CSA box, so I had to improvise. And what better replacement for dill is there than garlic?
I woke up on Saturday morning feeling a bit homesick…possibly because I’m used to having family around on my birthday. Either way, I wanted to feel closer to home and nothing says the South like buttermilk biscuits. I happened to have some buttermilk left over from my adventures in Red Velvet Cupcakes, so I didn’t have to schlep out to the grocery store to fulfill my Southern fix.
The thing about buttermilk biscuits is they’re deceptively easy to make. A lot of people are afraid to try their hand at them because they’ve had dry or flavorless biscuits more times than Paris Hilton has been tested for an STD. But here’s a little secret: good buttermilk biscuits require only seven ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen.
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
4 Tablespoons Shortening (can substitute cold butter instead), cut into squares
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Grease a round 9 inch cake pan and set it aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. In a food processor, combine the sifted dry ingredients and the shortening, evenly distributing the cubes of shortening amongst the flour mixture. Pulse the ingredients repeatedly until they form a dry crumble consistency. Slowly pour the buttermilk into the food processor and resume pulsing until a soft, wet dough is formed. Gently scrape out the dough into a nonstick bowl.
This is where you get to have fun: flour your hands thoroughly, pinch off some dough and form it into a ball. Pat down the ball to form a biscuit shaped disc and place it in the cake pan. Repeat this for the rest of the dough, trying to keep each biscuit relatively the same size. Make sure to flour up your hands well before forming each one. Brush the tops of each biscuit with the melted butter carefully. Bake in the oven for 12-17 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and place a plate over it. Flip the pan upside down, holding the plate securely to the pan. The biscuits should come out and onto the plate easily. Gently rip each biscuit away from the others, slather it with butter or jam (or both!) and enjoy. Preferably with a breakfast meat of some kind: you can’t have a good Southern breakfast without a dead animal on the plate!