Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit.
TODAY THE WORDS are Y’ALL COME. In the south where we live, born and raised, it is common to hear the expression “Y’all come” and southern hospitality is known to be the best. Today, I had a thought, even though we say that, we are actually hoping, “Y’all come but not all at one time“. Our Mother loved attention and for people to come to see her, but she liked it when they spaced the visits out and crowds seem to make her a little nervous. I think back to all of us going out to my Grandparents on Daddy’s side. Most of his siblings and their children went there for Sunday dinner. I never see tables as long as the one we ate, and they had two of them side by side.
One thing I remember is the adults ate first and the children last, which is the exact opposite from today. I have not figured out which way is the best way due to a couple of thoughts. 1) if the children are fed first, they don’t seem as restless but 2) it was looked as a form of respect and lesson that sometimes in life you have to wait to get what you want. I see both sides of this coin so I don’t make a call on how I feel about this change of tradition.
I reflect back on how much work it was for Granny Lott who cooked and served it all. It had to be so tiring for her but I remember her hugs. She didn’t say “I love you” but somehow I always felt love from her. I was telling the story yesterday of how she made “cat head” biscuits and made her own white sugar syrup. She would poke a hole in one of those biscuits and fill it with syrup and give it to me. She would tell me to go in the yard and eat it. That was her way of spoiling me, I think. That memory stays with me for all time. We were so busy having such a good time of playing with our cousins, and the adults were so busy telling their tales, and no one seemed to notice how much Granny worked. I now wonder when I have a lot of company and I know fully well how much work it is, did Granny ever think, “Y’all come but not all at one time”. Reminiscing those times has helped me be more considerate of others’ times and energy. If we do unto others as we would like for others to do unto us, this world would be a little easier for everyone. God wants us to practice The Golden Rule as it takes into a lot of His Teachings. Be kind, not blind to the needs of others.
I thought some of you might enjoy the recipe for Cat Head Biscuits and the link to a great story about another lady who remembers her Grandmother making them:
By Susan M. Thigpen © 1999 Old Fashioned Cat Head Biscuits
Now, how do you reproduce those biscuits today? I will give you a recipe and some pointers.
2 cups self rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
a lump of solid shortening the size of a walnut. This can be real butter, margarine, lard or solid vegetable shortening. This has to be at room temperature to blend smoothly into the dough. Do not, and I repeat, do not use a soft dairy spread – they contain so much water that they won’t work for any baking purposes.
In a large mixing bowl, put the flour. Most flours today do not need to be sifted. Push the flour to the sides of the bowl to form a depression in the center. Place the shortening and a little of the milk in the center and start stirring with a big spoon. When the shortening is blended, add the rest of the milk, mixing just until blended and the dough forms a ball. The dough will be a little on the moist side.
Place wax paper on a flat surface like your kitchen table and sprinkle flour on it. Roll the dough out on the wax paper. Do not handle the dough any more than you have to – it makes the biscuits tough. The less you handle it and the more moist the dough, the better your biscuits will be. Just pat the dough gently until it’s about an inch and a half thick.
Then cut out the biscuits. Do you know what I use for a biscuit cutter? I use a tin can that I cut both the bottom and top out of and removed the label. A one pound vegetable can is a good size. Cut out your biscuits and place in a greased pan. The pan can be either glass or metal, but be sure it is small enough so that the biscuits are all close together, touching – Remember, you want the biscuits to rise up, not out to the side. Another reason for this is that when the biscuits bake with their sides touching, you can pull them apart easily, but those sides will be very soft and tender, not hard and brown. This is a very important part of making good biscuits.
Bake in a hot oven 400 degrees just until the biscuits are light brown, but you are sure the dough is done through and through. No one likes a biscuit that is still doughy, but neither does anyone like a hard crust either!
You can brush melted butter on the tops of the biscuits when they are done, or before you place them in the oven. This is also a hint to keep the biscuits soft and moist. This recipe will make around 8 to 10 biscuits, depending on the size of your tin can. A variation of this recipe is to use tomato juice instead of milk. the biscuits will be red and you will love the flavor if you eat them with a slice of country ham in them! They do not rise as much as buttermilk biscuits.
At this point, all you will need is to eat the biscuits – hot right out of the oven with butter, honey, home made strawberry jam or molasses. Gourmets – Eat your heart out, country cooking rules!
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