I finally did it

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

was at The Manor, beside the hospital, visiting with Donna Sue’s mother. One of the nurses was making the other bed in the room and we were having a very pleasant conversation.

It doesn’t take long for food to come up in my conversations and I made a comment about growing up eating that great southern cooking of my mother’s. I don’t know about these days with all the fast food around, but in my growing years, we did not “eat out,” as the saying goes

First of all, we lived in the country. The country of which I speak is not the United States of America. Using country as I did simply meant that I did not grow up in town. There were town folks and there were country folks. I’ll offer no judgment of either but I’m glad I grew up in the country.

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We were not near town considering miles, and, even if we had been, there weren’t fast food places at every intersection as there seems to be now. “Eating out” just wasn’t a part of our lives back then.

So we ate every meal at home. Around a table as a family. Sounds like ancient history.

All of you who remember those days probably think, as I do, that the food tasted better. I don’t know whether that was because the vegetables and meats were better or because it was momma’s cooking. Probably the latter.

To make a long story short, I told the nice lady at The Manor that I had learned how to cook from my momma and had made a point to learn to cook all the foods that I liked. In other words, I did not want what I had enjoyed so much as a blessing, her good cooking, to go by the way. I could learn how to “make it.”

So, I know how to cook the vegetables and how to season them. If I can find the greens, I know how to cook them. Same with peas and rutabagas and mashed potatoes and all that good stuff! Except, I never learned how to make biscuits.

Biscuits. Momma could take a little side-meat and fry it. Then, using the drippings that were left, she would put a little flour in there, plus some cut-up tomatoes and make tomato gravy. But biscuits were needed for sopping up the gravy. Add a simple side dish of white, fluffy rice and the family would eat like royalty!

I can do all of that. I don’t, but I could. All except the biscuits. I never made and baked biscuits.

My friend at The Manor said biscuits were easily made. “All it takes is flour, shortening, and buttermilk. I decided to wade into those waters and make some biscuits.

As I shopped at the store, I asked other ladies I encountered, “What kind of flour?” Self-rising,” they told me. “And, don’t forget the buttermilk.”

I bought some Crisco, buttermilk, and Martha White. I couldn’t help but sing the Flatt and Scruggs Martha White jingle on the way home. “Well you bake right with Martha White, goodness gracious good and light, Martha White. For the finest biscuits ever wuz!”

I made biscuits from the recipe on the package. They tasted okay. I was proud, but there is a little tweaking to do. They weren’t smooth and were a little dry. Ladies at church told me, “Use a little more buttermilk.” Will do next time.

And there’ll be a next time soon. I don’t think I’ll ever reach the heights of momma’s, but that won’t keep me from trying.