Monday, July 13, 2009

A Hanker'in for Biscuits!

I got a desperate call from a good friend last night. Catherine, who happens to be pregnant, got a hanker'in for Scott's homemade buttermilk biscuits and asked for the recipe. Unfortunately, Scott doesn't use a recipe so we attempted to come up with one this morning. This one's for you Catherine!


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 6 cups Daily Bread self rising flour
  • 2 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • Tools

  • baking sheet (we use an cushionaire insulated)
  • biscuit cutter (we use special glass for cutting biscuits)
  • sifter
  • bowl
  • NOTE: All ovens and flours are different. Mix your ingredients slowly and focus on the consistencies we mention. If amounts need to be altered, please do so.

    • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

    • Sift the flour

    • Cut 1 stick of butter into cubes

    • Hand mix flour and butter in bowl until the flour will stick together when squeezed, but will also break apart easily if crumbled

    • Make a well in the flour (which should now have a cornmeal consistency) and pour in approximately 1/2 of the buttermilk

    • Mix buttermilk in by hand by slowly swirling the hand around the center of the bowl and working out the the edge. Mix in more buttermilk as needed to form a wet, sticky mass.

    • Mix until you have a nice sticky mass that clings to the fingers

    • Sprinkle flour on your kneading surface, roll sticky mass out of bowl onto work surface and knead the dough lightly (no more than necessary to make a ball)

    • Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and mash the ball flat (about 1 inch thick). Dough should still have a soft, malleable consistency.

    • Cut out the biscuits and place them touching on an ungreased baking sheet

    • Bake the biscuits at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then check and turn them 180 degrees. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until the tops are golden brown

    • Wrap biscuits in a towel on a plate and allow to cool for a few minutes
    • Eat and enjoy!

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter

    Radiator Charlie lived in West Virginia during the 1930's. He was a radiator repairman by trade, but a tomato breeder extraordinaire by right. He only developed one tomato in his life, but the plants sold so well he used the proceeds to pay off his home mortgage during the tough economic times of The Great Depression. With a story like that, Scott and I had to try these heirloom tomatoes in our garden, and we must say...they lived up to the hype.
    I don't think I've ever had a better sandwich tomato in my life! And I say that having eaten about 10 excellent tomato sandwiches in the past week. Mortgage Lifters are huge, spicy, beefy tomatoes that are low in acidity and high on flavor. We grew several other varieties, including Cherokee Purples (which were beautiful), but nothing of ours could compare to the Mortgage Lifter on taste. In the picture below, The Cherokee Purples are on the left with the bright red Mortgage Lifters stacked underneath. The purples were good, but a bit mild by comparison.

    The tomato crop is almost done for this year, but we're still looking forward to winter squash, okra, peas, feed corn and planting the fall garden. Our last tomato harvest is shown below. Most of it ended up in a wonderful spaghetti sauce that we ate tonight. The peas in the picture are complements of our neighbor as ours aren't quite ready yet - thanks to the rabbits. He lives only a hundred yards away, yet hasn't suffered the rabbit issues we've experienced...and he doesn't have a fence like we do!!!! Silly rabbits, you may be next on our list of delicacies!

    Pumpkin Pie in July?

    It appears we planted our pumpkins a bit early as they are coming ready in July. We planted the pumpkins and the squash in April. Several squash and zucchini varieties came due around the same time (about two weeks ago) and Scott was forced to can much of it in a mad rush to avoid losing the crop. The pumpkins will last a while, but certainly won't last until the appropriate season. Next Spring we'll plant a few squash varieties every couple of weeks to spread out our harvest. And we'll plant the pumpkins in June. For now, we'll suffer the consequences.....
    Pumpkin Pie

    Pumpkin Pancakes

    Pumpkin Ice Cream

    Life is hard.