I have, for the past several years, not been able to make a biscuit worth a damn.

Now, I used to make quite excellent biscuits. Won a blue ribbon on ’em a time or two in 4-H competitions and at the county fair. But for the last several years, my biscuits have turned out flat, tough and tasteless. I tried softer dough; I tried drier dough. I tried using butter; I tried using shortening. I even tried using lard.

Today, I aced biscuits. And I did it purely and simply by going back to the way I did it years ago — with self-rising flour.

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2017 odds and ends

January 7, 2017

Bacon. Sous vide bacon. Because, bacon.

Bacon. Sous vide bacon. Because, bacon.

Still attempting to get back into the swing of cooking in this new year. One thing I HAVE managed to do is cook two or three good breakfasts, even though I haven’t done much in the way of dinner. Well, I did cook dinner last night, albeit it took twice as long as I thought it would and I don’t have any pictures.

But I have pictures of breakfast, yes, I do. Above would be a basic breakfast I cooked one day this past week, when I knew I’d be busy as the dickens all week and this might be the major meal of the day. And it contains one of the cooking revelations I’ve discovered recently, namely, sous vide bacon.

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On a ‘meh’ streak

February 8, 2014

Mediocrity, chapter 1.

Mediocrity, chapter 1.

I’m losing my touch.

I have in the past three days cooked two new recipes which ought to have been killer, and one standby that is a tried and true, and none of them were worth seconds.


I won’t get my contract renewed, at this rate. I’ll throw a gopher ball every once in a while, but I’m not used to a string of less-than-damn-good meals. I will have to redouble efforts this weekend.

You will recall that Thursday, I had thawed pork chops. I was browsing Epicurious to determine what I might want to do with them, I had picked up several packages of assorted dried fruit. So when I saw a recipe for pork chops in balsamic cherry glaze, I figured that’d work.

You brown the salted and peppered pork chops in a skillet, deglaze by sauteeing an onion and adding some balsamic vinegar and chicken stock. Put the pork back in the skillet, and add dried cherries. Let the chops simmer until they’re tender. Simple enough, right?

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Sigh. If blogging were a romantic relationship, I guess this thing and I would be headed for the rocks. But as my tens of readers are more faithful than most significant others — probably because we don’t have to pick up each other’s dirty clothes or dishes, or fight over the remote control — I’m hoping you’ll still be there with me. I do love you, and, if it helps, I feel guilty when I abandon you for two weeks at a time.

It’s just been…busy. And when I haven’t been busy, I haven’t been motivated. However, I do have the makings of a few different posts here, and I will attempt to put several of them together this weekend and dole them out to you over the next several days.

White beans and ham. Pure goodness.

White beans and ham. Pure goodness.

Let us begin with ham, one of the several reasons why we dearly love our friend, the pig. Specifically, let us begin with Broadbent Country Ham, one of the few good things, other than bourbon whiskey and my good friend Martha Boltz, to ever come out of Kentucky. These Broadbent people, they know how to cure some good country ham. Details here.

No less a personage than James Beard said of the Broadbent ham, “It was only lately, while in Kentucky, that I became acquainted with these superb hams. There’s a company called Broadbent-Bingham that sells cured and aged country hams. If you visit them, you can also buy extraordinarily good ham hocks, thick ham steaks and hams, all cured the same way. I carried back a cooked ham for Thanksgiving which was much admired by all who tasted it.”

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Not worth my salt today

February 14, 2011

UPDATE: I wrote this post yesterday. For whatever reason, I forgot to download and edit the photos and add them. So I’ll do it tonight, with an addendum at the end.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just haven’t had my mind on cooking today, though I’ve done a fair amount of it. But I have had a mental block, I guess, against salt.

The proper way to eat sorghum molasses -- blended with butter, on the plate, with a knife blade.

This morning, per the plan on the PJF breakfast; I made my cheese biscuits, making extra so I could fry up the whole pound of sausage and make up some sausage-and-biscuits for breakfasts next week. Started to turn the dough out to knead, and thought, “Damn! I didn’t put in baking powder!” So I mixed some baking powder up with some water, stirred it into the dough, kneaded it a bit by hand, and then turned the dough out to knead a couple of times, flatten and cut out.

And put no salt in it.

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