What on earth had I been waiting for?
Tonight, I laughed out loud as I put the biscuits in the oven. Somehow I thought there were supposed to be more steps. More preparation. Like days. I’ve been thinking about making biscuits forever. It’s probably on a list somewhere.
I watched my great-grandmother (Mamaw Wines) and my Mawmaw make biscuits. Mamaw Wines had an old metal biscuit cutter, her methods were very specific. Everything was from scratch.
My Mawmaw, she used a glass. She may have had a biscuit cutter, but she used a glass anyway. Mawmaw was sort of a fly by the seat of your pants type of person, and if the biscuit cutter was not right in front of her, she would just as soon use a glass. I never saw her measure anything. It was all impulse.
My mother is completely the opposite, I think because she grew up in a little too much chaos — my childhood was very orderly, except for under my bed. She is very orderly. Everything had and still has a place. A perfect place. My Mom never made biscuits that I can remember, probably too messy, but she did make spectacular chicken n’ dumplings. They were so good, I would eat the leftovers for breakfast, or in the middle of the night.
As for me, I am driven by an impulsive desire to be perfect — surrounded by lists on how to get there. Mawmaw’s house was full of paper plates with lists on them … that should have given me some sort of warning this list thing was genetic.
I left yoga tonight feeling not only grateful, but a lot lighter — grateful for all that is beginning to open in my life and lighter because I think sometimes we hang on too tight to our faults, our scars, our warts. All those things that make us simply human are the things we try to suppress. I’m convinced this causes more heart disease than butter, but I’m not letting Crisco off the hook — unfortunately for pie lovers, no decent pie crust was ever made without it.
As class started, Ellen had us draw a word. Mine was adventure. As I eased into my practice, I thought it was the perfect word for my life right now. Adventure. I feel like I’m on a pretty great one — even with all the mishegoss I am dealing with. We all have our own mishegoss. Wading through mishegoss is what makes life worth it. I love the word mishegoss.
After class I strolled into Whole Foods to pick up some things to make vegetable soup. My husband has decided he wants to eat lighter after Thanksgiving and his request was soup. Simple enough. Soup I can do, and I can shop for it without even making a list. My basket was overflowing with vegetables and as I was getting ready to leave my eye caught some Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Biscuit Mix. I stopped and looked – walked away – came back and stood there staring at it. My first thought was, “I don’t have a biscuit cutter.” My second thought was, “This is not light.” My third thought was, “Who cares?”
I bought the biscuit mix. I mixed it up, I rolled it out and I grabbed a juice glass out of the pantry and started cutting. The biscuits were perfectly round.
I had some leftover dough — and because I wanted to keep my husband’s soup pure and light — I poured my portion into another pan, tossed in some leftover Thanksgiving turkey, rolled up the leftover dough into loose balls and dropped it in. I made turkey n’ dumplings with a side of biscuits. My husband ate soup and biscuits. I ate turkey n’ dumplings. It was completely impulsive, and we both loved it.
It was in that moment when I served dinner that I felt four generations of women were standing there, each unique, each completely spectacular in her own right — and no one made biscuits exactly alike. And you know what? That is OK. I think it is important to remember where we came from, but it’s also important to blaze our own trail in the process.