Well it’s been a little while since I’ve posted. I started a new job and can you believe it, they want me there eight hours a day! But after a month, I think I’m finally catching my stride.
These biscuits helped.
If you’ve ever moved and love to cook you might understand how I’ve been feeling in my new kitchen. It’s great, cute from afar, but nothing is second nature yet. I hit my head on the cabinet doors. The drawers in the fridge get stuck. I think I forgot how to grocery shop. All of this makes for a lot of take out, pizza and wine. Which I ain’t knocking, especially when you live near Figs. But after weeks straight of spending far too much money, I was ready to get back in the kitchen.
Enter Scotty Amis’ Dinwiddie Biscuits, or Mu’s biscuits actually. A couple posts ago I talked about family recipes. After reading about my family’s favorite food, Randy, Bo’s dad sent along some of his. There were two cakes and these biscuits.
Randy got the recipe from his mother, Scotty Amis, who got it from her mother, Lillie a.k.a. Mu (Muh, not Moo). Mu lived in Virginia in a town called Dinwiddie, in a house that Randy’s family still calls home. Randy said his grandmother went to New York City once when she was in her 20’s, other than that she spent her life within 50 miles of the family farm. They grew tobacco, peanuts and eventually soy beans. She made these biscuits every day. When Scotty Amis was old enough, it became one of her daily chores.
This is what Randy had to say about his family biscuits:
These will not be as good as the originals – unless you find a little girl or boy to pat the dough. When I was little, Mu used to let me (and probably any handy grandchild) pat the biscuits out with my bare feet as I stood on the counter where she was working. My mother, her daughter, horrified at the thought of where those bare feet had been on the farm that day (barn, pig lot, chicken yard, cow pasture, garden, down the lane), protested, “Mother, don’t let him do that!” Mu responded calmly, “Oh, its alright, his sweet little feet won’t hurt anything.” Apocryphal perhaps, but a lasting tale in our family. And evidence that my grandmother, spoiled us through and through. The biscuits? Wonderful, flaky, light and, of course, sweet.
A good biscuit recipe is a great addition to any cook’s repertoire. It’s a quick bread (meaning it’s leavened without yeast) so you don’t have lengthy rising times. You can whip them up in 30 minutes, with ingredients most likely already in your cupboard.
Unfortunately the small child that lives under my cabinet is on vacation this week (damn unions!), so I whipped out my food processor. I hope Mu wouldn’t mind.
Mu/Scotty Amis’ Dinwiddie Biscuits
Reported by Randy Amis
Preheat oven to 425°
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoons Crisco
7/8 cup milk (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
- Mix dry ingredients, then add Crisco and butter and blend until flour looks flaky or like cornmeal or oatmeal.
- Slowly add milk (NOTE: you may not need it all). Lightly mix until dough forms a ball. Do not over work.
- Put ball of dough on floured board – roll or pat to ½” thick – with a glass or jar of the right size – 3 to 3 ½ inches wide – cut the biscuits out – put on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes until golden.