Saturday, November 5, 2011

Southern Biscuits

The South sure loves it's biscuits and it used to be that you weren't much of a Southern cook if you couldn't make biscuits. There were all shapes and sizes, rolled, patted, cut or shaped by hand, cooked brown with maybe thickened gravy poured over it, or filled with Mama's blackberry jam. Nothing better anywhere around.
                                                     photo from
I am Southern... deep South, I'll thank you... Alabama born and bred and I should have known how to bake a biscuit when I got married. But, I grew up in a household full of women (my Grandma, an 'old maid' aunt and an aunt who was 'looking'). Daddy had died and Mama worked so this group of women took care of me. However, they never taught me how to do a blasted thing. No bed making, no dusting, not even how to bake a biscuit.

Well, I up and married young and my brand new husband moved me clear across the country and I was supposed to become a 'housewife' over night. Huh, what's with that? One day as he headed off to the base he asked me if we could have biscuits for dinner that night. This was way before the internet where you can look up anything or Paula Deen on television. I didn't even own a cookbook and I didn't know anyone to ask. So, I just pulled up what memories I had from watching my Mama make biscuits and set to work.

I dumped some flour in a bowl. Let's see.... Mama would then put lard into the flour mixture. Lard?  I had shortening so I spooned some of that in. I then poured in some milk. Mama would mix all that up with her fingers but I was sort of a prissy gal and didn't want to get all that gooey mess on my hands so I stirred it with a spoon. Mama had never measured anything so I just guessed. What was good for Mama was good enough for me.

I dropped the sticky dough by the spoonful onto a pan and stuck it in the oven. Wow, I was so proud of myself.  But, not having a recipe to follow proved disastrous.
We sat down to eat and Elbert picks a biscuit up, gently 'weighing' it up and down in his hand and then, as a joke, he flung it against the wall. I'll tell you, I did not see one ounce of humor in that!!  He was not a mean man and didn't mean to hurt my feelings, but I cried and told him he'd not get another biscuit from me until he got back from his overseas tour of duty. That would give me enough time to learn how to make some good ole Southern biscuits. He hugged me and said he was sorry.

I've made my share of biscuits in the years since. I do a much better job of it now. If any Southern woman is reading this (or Northern, I am not particular) and you have a young daughter. For goodness sakes teach her how to make biscuits. Or better yet, show her the way to the nearest Hardees.


  1. my Mom never taught me to make biscuits (and when SHE made biscuits she'd never cut them with a biscuit cutter...she'd just cut the dough with a knife into nice little rectangles, squares and odd shapes). I was well into my 1st marriage when I learned to make biscuits from my North Carolinian aunt-in-law...she mixed them with her hands too, then she'd roll this big long roll and squeeze off enough dough for each biscuits...those were some GOOOOD biscuits! By the time I married Don I could make a fairly decent biscuit...but he only wanted them the first day they were made...which meant I had a whole pile of biscuits to eat :-)

  2. Funny Post! I've made a few biscuits in my life, some good, some like the one Elbert threw against the wall! Now I don't have to make hand-squeezes biscuits, I buy those frozen, ready to bake Pillsbury ones. They are delish! A funny thing, my daughter-in-law, who doesn't cook much of anything, can make the best biscuit you ever put in your mouth!! I asked her to show me how, and she did, but mine never measure up to hers! She used lots of Crisco and bakes them in an iron skillet, like any good Southerner would do:-)

  3. Loved your post and love your fall blog background. Glad to know I wasn't the only one who didn't cook. I can make biscuits now but I really like the ones that come frozen and bake up looking homemade.

  4. Boy oh boy, does your post sound like real life! I had to smile as I read it, even as I thought how hurt my feelings would have been too.

  5. Hi Latane....Mom did teach me the art of making biscuits but when she wasn't around....they never were as good! This was another great post, as usual!


  6. I've also made my share of biscuits...but now a days, it's the Grandes Buttermilk frozen biscuits in the package which gets served here!Hahaa...My friends hubby Also did the biscuit throw thinking he was making a great joke, at their Thanksgiving dinner one year...My friend got up, retrieved the rock hard biscuit from the floor and in front of about 10 guest, threw a perfect spike off the offending hubby's head...sat back down and continued eating! She said you could hear a pin drop...Hahaaaa

  7. Funny! Loved your post. A box of Bisquick and I'm good to go.

  8. I make my own from scratch and my daughter has been shown how to do it, but still hasn't mastered it just yet.

  9. Oh, Mom< this was SOOO funny! My sweet little Grandmother making the world's perfect biscuits (and just about everything else) without a recipe! It's so hard to follow her class act! My biscuits are never very good, and I've made my share of Bisquick ones (but they are somewhat dry) so getting those ready to bake frozen ones is always the best bet! I wish I had Grandmother's talent, though!!!!

  10. This was a treat to read!! It made me think of the way my Mama made her biscuits: she had a pan of flour where she made a little well. Then she would put in the other ingredients and mix them with her hands. She always made big biscuits for us to eat with our home-grown sorghum molasses and her home-made butter.


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