Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Heat is (Almost) On

Believe it or not, the thing we bitch about the most and the most often around here is the heat. Because when it's hot in the deep South, it's merciless. You can't breathe, you can't move, and all you have to do to start sweating like a sinner in church is step outside. On a side note, I'm pretty sure our reputation in some circles as layabouts can be laid at the feet of the 13 months of immobilizing summer.

That and the fact that laying about is so intensely satisfying.

The phenomenon is that every year, without fail, we're all surprised at just how hot it can get. And we all swear it's hotter than it was last year. The astonishment is evidenced by the fact that the heat becomes the number one conversation topic. More important than whatever war, than unemployment, than what's for supper, is the heat. Have I mentioned it's hot?

But even having said all that, I still maintain that it's worth it. Maybe it's because I've been here forever and am part biased, part acclimatized, but I would MUCH rather sweat steadily for most of the year than hole up and turn into a freezer-burned steak. The summer here is a small price to pay for the mild winters and early, wisteria-smothered springs.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Biscuits, Fools!


Oh, god. How I love biscuits. The smell, the flake, the buttery-oft-salty warm deliciousness. How versatile they are. How domestic and unassuming. Perfect on their own, or with breakfast sausage, or sandwiching ripe strawberries and hand-whipped, lightly sweetened cream. Or whatever.

But for all that, for all their deceptively welcoming demeanor, they are unbearably hard to make. At least, for me.

My first ever, not under my Grandmama's careful eye, big girl batch of biscuits were roughly the size and consistency of river pebbles. I'm serious. “Rocks,” as in: they would not let you board a plane with those things.

Second batch, slightly better. No more broken teeth, at least...but you still wouldn't want to take more than one bite. Utterly flavorless and with the approximate consistency of 200 layers of tissue paper.

And third date, nonexistent. I got thrown twice and ain't gettin' back on that mustang.

Until now. Verily I say unto my fellow Southern (or otherwise) Ladies (or otherwise):

No more shall we fear the biscuit. We shall conquer the biscuit. And it shall submit.

I'm using Paula Deen's Mmm Biscuits Recipe. Say what you will about the woman, but there are times when ole Two Sticks of Butter has it right.