B I S C U I T S made from scratch WRITTEN BY MEL ANIE CROWNOVER
CALHOUN COUNTY BISCUITS ¼ cup shortening 2 cups self-rising flour ½ to 2/3 cup buttermilk Heat oven to 475°F. Cut shortening into flour with a fork, or mix by hand until shortening is well distributed throughout the flour. Mixing lightly and quickly, add enough milk to make a soft dough. Mix until the dough forms a soft ball. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 10 to 12 times. Roll out dough to about ½-inch (or desired) thickness. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter, and place biscuits on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
S AUS AG E G R AV Y For 15 years, the women of Calhoun County’s Happy Homemakers Club have worked to preserve an ancient Southern art: biscuit making. The nine longtime members share their baking wisdom on two evenings each summer at the Calhoun County Fair. Each year, their cooking demonstrations tempt a very willing crowd away from the thrill of the neon rides and the more traditional fair foods. “We do give them away when we’re done, so they really line up,” club secretary Millie Goforth said. “Most of the people stand around and say, ‘That’s the way my grandma made them, but I can’t’ or ‘I haven’t done that in years’ because it’s so much easier just to buy frozen or canned biscuits from the store. Homemade just tastes better.” The club works from a simple recipe they agreed on years ago. Their biscuits call
INVITATION | SEPTEMBER 2018
for three traditional pantry staples and a hands-on approach to baking. “You have to have Crisco and good buttermilk to make a good biscuit, and just know you’re going to get messy,” Goforth said. “You have to get your hands in the dough to mix it all up and put plenty of flour all over the counter to keep it from sticking when you’re rolling it out and cutting.” The Happy Homemakers use metal biscuit cutters, but a drinking glass or Mason jar lid works just as well. How thick the rolled dough should be is a matter of taste. For a crispier texture, roll the dough thin. Lovers of thick and fluffy biscuits can try folding over rolled dough to double it before cutting. Goforth suggests serving the warm biscuits with a selection of toppings, such as butter, jelly, jam, and sausage gravy or chocolate gravy (recipes at right).
1 pound ground sausage ½ cup flour 2½ cups milk Salt and pepper to taste In a large skillet, brown sausage. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, and cook until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot with biscuits.
CH O CO L ATE G R AV Y 1½ cups sugar 2 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons cocoa 1½ cups water ½ stick butter In a medium-sized pot, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, and simmer until slightly thick. Serve hot over buttered biscuits.