Sunday was a crazy day in the kitchen. I am tempted to say I would have been better off avoiding the kitchen all together, but I learned (and re-learned) a few things.
I was very excited to attempt to make biscuits with rendered lard. I found a couple recipes online. I find it annoying that I had to use the internet to find a recipe for a centuries-old concept. And I am still disappointed that my new book, Fat (as in cooking fats), doesn’t have a biscuit recipe. None of my cookbooks have recipes that call for lard. Where can I find recipes that use real, minimally processed fats? Or can I just substitute lard when recipes call for shortening?
I was optimistic as I made that morning batch (indeed, there was more than one batch). The dough was a pleasure to work with, not heavy or sticky like the previous—albeit few—biscuit recipes I’ve tried.
But, the biscuits didn’t rise. And it wasn’t until clean-up that I realized I forgot to add the salt. And…I wasn’t exactly sure that I stuck to one recipe. (I had two very similar recipes on the counter.) Apparently, baking should not commence until I’ve had a cup of coffee.
Some good news came out of breakfast, though. We opened a jar of the ground cherry jam and it was truly a jam, not a runny “topping.” (It was still runny when I put the jars away back in October.) It was very tasty on the hockey-puck biscuit.
Sunday flew by; I dried a batch of grapefruit rinds in the oven. It made the kitchen smell of sugar cookies. I decided to attempt biscuits again for supper with a ground beef, gravy, and vegetable mixture ladled on top. I cranked up the oven to 400˚ and proceeded to follow one recipe. All of sudden, the sugar cookie smell was polluted by the smell of acrid, smoking grapefruit rind. I had forgotten to remove the rinds from the oven!
In all that commotion, I turned off the oven. And then I put the biscuits in the oven without remembering to turn the oven back on. I was happy to see the biscuits rising, but was puzzled when the biscuits were taking far longer than the 15 minutes the recipe called for. Luckily, Matt noticed that the oven was off. Once it heated back up, the biscuits finished baking but the bottoms were burned. Overall, though, their texture showed promise. I’m betting the third time will be a charm. I’ll be sure to report back.