Friday, July 2, 2010

The Rise of Southern Biscuits

I was watching PBS just a while ago and they are in their fund raising phase.
This past hour, the topic was "The Rise of Southern Biscuits".
One thing that made me laugh as it's, ahem, sorta true...they were talking about frozen biscuits being invented as it were and said "That was good news for our friends up North". There was a little laughter in the studio...and then they went on to a comparison between frozen and home made.
They said some frozen biscuits ARE good but people CAN tell the difference. Most Southern restaurants won't serve frozen.
Indeed that is true. I have tasted both. I can tell the difference. I am Southern born and bred and I did learn how to make biscuits. But as many people have done, I too have turned to frozen or refrigerated biscuits in the interests of time. However, as this wonderful program went on to illustrate through not only teaching you how to make the real thing, with cooks who are from the South, but also showed the restaurants (and homes) where biscuits are made from scratch each time; and customers being served the " real thing". Oh, their faces. Made my mouth water just watching. Some biscuits were swimming in home made pan gravy and some were dripping with butter and then thickly drizzled with honey. Others were plain in that they wore no adornment and were simply savored for their own rich buttery flavor.
Oh yes. I did learn something though. One older lady who was making a batch said not to keep flour in the refrigerator. She said self rising ( she uses baking power in her biscuits, not self rising flour... but recognizes that most folks do use self rising flour these days) flour loses its ability to rise due to being in the moisture of the refrigerator for a period of time.
I was dismayed as I have long ago taken the easy way out and refrigerated both types of flour, self rising and regular as a method to be sure of keeping pests such as weevils out of it. (they're already in there, let us not fool ourselves.. refrigerating keeps them from hatching). BUT long ago as a teen I read a hint from Heloise that stated putting a bay leaf into your flour cannister will keep weevils at bay. I lived in Florida at the time ( hot and humid and every day) and kept my flour in a tin canister. Weevils galore, and dumping the contents so frequently was costly to newly married kids. So, I tried the bay leaf thing and it worked!!!
I may have to just buy a canister and do it right. AND make some home made biscuits again for the boys.
I like mine with honey or a bit of meat in between. Oh, hey, I am about to talk myself into making a batch.
Let's see...I have the flour..the milk, the salt, rats! no lard! Lard is where it's at. Got to have that.
450 degrees guys...


  1. Why Carole, does this mean you're a biscuit elitist?!? Well, I'm not offended because as you know I was southern born northern raised...I get the best of all of it! If you want to enlighten me about biscuits I'd be glad to try them out and taste the difference!

  2. Yeah you won't find lard in my house anymore. I don't make the light fluffy ones. Mine are made with oil or sometimes sourcream. And they are drop biscuts like on a stew and cooked there. I am a sucker for the light fluffly good ones. I eat way too many if they are available. Have a great weekend. Hugs Carrie