Mindy here, feeling the need to apologize for being AWOL from the café. You ever have one of those weeks? Well, that was me this past week. First, I was trying to catch up after Thanksgiving, then BAM! North Texas is hit with a major ice storm. Stuff like that just totally messes with my head. Not in a bad way, mind you, just has me shifting gears.
So this was the scene when we awoke Friday morning. Nothing compared to Jan's blizzard, I know. Looks kind of peaceful, doesn't it? Like a nice dusting of snow. Except this is layers and layers of sleet and freezing rain. It wasn't fluffy. It was crunchy. And the driveway (note that it's sloped)? Two-three inches of solid ice. Nobody was going anywhere.
Now you folks who live up north may think this is nothing, but Texas is not equipped to handled stuff like this. They have sanding trucks (which finally made it down our street Sunday morning), but that's about it. Schools were closed. Highways were shut down. Over 270,000 people lost electricity. DFW Airport was at a standstill, trapping thousands of weary travelers. In a word, it was a MESS.
But a pretty mess. One that had me opting to stay inside.
A cold winter's day deserves a nice hot breakfast. Something besides the usual oatmeal. So I decided to make eggs, biscuits, and bacon. Now my biscuits aren't the gorgeous fluffy variety that Jan shared with us here, but they're easy and very yummy. My daughters' great-grandmother taught me how to make these when I was but a young bride.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
You'll need only 3 ingredients:
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2-3 cups self rising flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil, plus more for pan
Yep, that's it. Like I said, easy. :)
Now, I like to dirty as few dishes as possible, so I measure my buttermilk into a large measuring cup that will double as my mixing bowl.
Add the oil and two cups of flour.
Stir to mix. If it's too sticky, add more flour a spoonful at a time. You want it to hold together without being sticky.
Dump onto floured surface and knead gently. Fold and push. Fold and push until elastic, but not sticky.
Prepare your pan (whatever pan you like. I usually use a round cake pan, but sometimes I'll use a cast iron skillet) by coating the bottom with a couple tablespoons of oil or butter. I usually use oil, but butter works just as well.
At this point, you can roll it to about a half-inch thickness and cut your biscuits, however, Greatmom taught me to "pinch" off the biscuits like she did.
Simply grab a biscuit-sized blob between your thumb and forefinger and "pinch" it off.
Now shape it a bit with your hands. I usually roll it in my palms a time or two, then flatten it a bit.
Coat each side of the biscuit with the oil in the pan and settle in pan.
Repeat the process until your dough is gone and your pan is full.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
Clean up mess and stare at the beauty outside the kitchen window. That is until one of the dogs barks, ordering you to let her outside. Just because she has a fur coat... Sheesh! And she would much rather drink her water al fresco than out of the bowl inside.
Imagine her reaction when she saw her water bucket.
After pacing for a while, she gave up and decided to eat the sleet.
The warmth from the oven, not to mention the timer, draws me back inside.
Now that's my kind of breakfast. One that's usually reserved for the ranch. But hey, it's not like we're ice-bound every day. This is an event, right? And an event like this calls for a hearty breakfast.
Church was cancelled Sunday, so we attacked our icy driveway as temps struggled to creep above the 32 degree mark. Not long enough to melt the ice-covered roads, though, so school was called off again for Monday. Now I'm sore from chiseling at the ice with a shovel. We got the job done, though. Even if I was spent for the rest of the day. Hot tea, a comfortable recliner, and some football were all the consolation I needed. Along with the knowledge that I had an ice-free driveway. :)
The ice has melted just in time, though. Tonight is my friend, Drenda's, annual cookie swap party. You can read about last year's party here. Now I just need to decide what to take. But that's a blog post for next week! :)