My dad and my grandma taught me how to cook, on winter Sunday mornings warmed by the heat of the oven; now, with my grandma resting in a cold grave with no warmth in sight, and my dad almost always away or busy with work, I am left to do the Sunday morning cooking. This isn't a point for pity; it's almost like a rite of passage, a passing of the torch, a...
What the hell, they're just biscuits. They don't need me to write an ode to their wonderfulness. You'll just have to cook them and see for yourself. Here's the recipe:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Sprinkle of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) (margarine, fat substitute, whatever)
1 cup milk
Assemble all of the ingredients and measuring cups on a smooth, clean surface. Get out a big bowl. Now, ignore the measuring cups. I mean it, push them into a corner and refuse to look at them. Make fairly accurate guesses as to how much of the ingredients you should be using. Cooking isn't a science; it's an art. Forget accuracy in favor of flavor. If you cook these more than once, you'll get better at judging the measurements, but if you don't start now you'll never get the hang of it. Remember, when you cook you should be aspiring to be like those guys on Iron Chef. Do you ever see them using measuring cups? Absolutely not. (For the true cook, a knowledge of Japanese-- or at least the ability to speak like you've been badly dubbed-- is a must.) Now, put all of the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix them around thoroughly. Next, cut the butter into the mix, and then grind it in with a large fork. There should not be chunks of butter in the dough. Now, add the milk. Isn't this easy? I know that the fork part was a little hard, but you're over it. Now, take off rings, watches, other removable hand adornments etc., and start mixing the dough with your hands. This is the fun part! Squish the dough between your fingers. Make squishing noises if you're really into it. I find that the biscuits come out very nicely if you chant, "Squish, squish, squish says the dough!" over and over.
Now, get out a cooking pan. This is fairly essential to the cooking process. Place balls of dough about 1 inch in diameter approximately 1 inch apart on the pan (before doing this, ascertain that the pan is right side up. Check twice if you have to). Optionally, you can roll the dough in a cinnamon-sugar mix before before you cook it; this makes a very nice cold snack, whereas the non-sugared biscuits are best heated. Now, cook them at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8-10 minutes. The most important thing here is to not burn them. The doughier they are, the fresher they'll stay. When removing them from the oven, use proper safety precautions, such as one of those mitt things, and goggles if necessary. Wait a few minutes, then put butter, jam, apple butter, whatever, on them, and eat them. This final step is crucial. We do not cook biscuits to decorate counters. Trust me, they eventually get moldy, and while it makes an interesting science experiment, it's fairly gross.