Nothing Warms a Person Like Cooking Up a Good Meal

Archived | April 28, 2010 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Had the windows open a bit too long during the day so I was a little bit chilled while listening to the show. I figured nothing warms a person like cooking up a good meal so I went to work in the kitchen making just about everything I could think of that sounded good. Seems that chill wind brought back a remnant of longing for comfort food, so there I was Saturday evening with a batch of oatmeal cookie dough, some banana bread in the oven, a pan of lasagna ready to bake on Sunday, a pan of garlic bread dough rising on the counter, and a pan of brownies cooling on top of the fridge.
The kids came and went, sitting and watching and licking spoons, helping here and there and asking questions like, “If you had a choice between being shot out of a cannon or walking the plank, which would you pick?” and “What is it that you really DO for a living?” and “What would happen if a person never farted?” I don’t mind all the questions, to be honest, and usually I can come up with a pretty decent answer. Someone way back when told me how fast it all goes and to enjoy every waking moment with the kids, and I have, and do, though I’ll admit I enjoy their sleeping moments as well.
The question I’ll have to think about awhile came while Mr. Keillor and Sara Watkins were singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” — one of my favorites — and I sang along, and got a bit tearful. The kids happened to be there, all three of their big ol’ adolescent selves dipping into the cookie dough and staring at me. “Are you crying?” one of them asked. Not crying, I replied. I’m just feeling. I love this song. “What other songs do you like?” “Jimmy Crack Corn,” I replied, which I began to sing. They kept staring at me. I want that one at my funeral, I told them, and they laughed. I’m serious, I said. “What song do you really want at your funeral?” one of them asked. Just then the buzzer went off on the stove. Banana bread was done, and yes, they all wanted some.
It’s not so much the question itself that has me thinking; it’s the luxury of being asked and the implication of it all. The way it’s going, my kids plan on burying me, and they want me to come up with a song for it. I like that. The way it’s supposed to be. I think I’ll think on it some more, and make it worth the asking. Maybe tell ’em “Send in the Clowns” for starters, and then, no, I think “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” That one. For real.
Buttermilk Biscuits
No words on the planet can do justice to the glory of these biscuits. Make them and share them with people you love. That’s about all I can say.
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup or more flour, for rolling
1 T melted butter
Preheat oven to 425. Butter an 8 or 9 inch cake pan.
Mix dry ingredients into pea-sized pieces. With a wooden spoon, stir in cream, milk, buttermilk and let sit 2 minutes. The dough will be wet and look like cottage cheese.
Place 1 cup of flour on a sheet pan with a wall and place scoops of batter (an ice cream scoop works well) onto the flour until the pan is full. Gently lift the blobs of batter out and place around the edge of the buttered pan, and then fill in the center, packing ’em in tightly.
Bake in the center of the oven for 15–20 minutes. Just after you remove them from the oven, brush with melted butter. Serve hot with butter and jam.