Friday, June 27, 2008

Lovin' from the Oven by Angie Ledbetter

Yeah, I ripped off the Doughboy's saying, but it fits perfectly, so let's just say I'm borrowing it for today. We southern cooks (men and women) really enjoy showing our love by making wonderful meals, preparing delicious baked goodies, and especially by using our tried and true family recipes. I don't know a single person who enjoys cooking who doesn't have dog eared old yellowed recipe cards full of mouth-watering concoctions. The best ones are spattered, splattered, torn and maybe even scribbled on.

My most precious of this type of recipe is in my grandmother's own handwriting, and although I wish she was still around to help me finally learn to make her famous biscuits, my continued failure doesn't keep me from trying it every now and then.


Use a medium large bowl that will become your biscuit bowl forever. Fill it ¾ full with sifted Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour.

“Doodle out a ‘waller hole’ in the middle of your bowl,” as Bigmama used to say. Make this well by gently swishing your fist in the flour. It will hold the other ingredients.

Pour in ½ tablespoon of cooking oil. In a standard drinking glass, stir together ½ cup buttermilk and ½ cup water. Add to your well.

Work the mixture gently with your fingers, pulling in as little extra flour as possible. Try not to handle or knead the dough very much.

Prepare your heavy iron skillet by pouring in a thin layer of oil. Roll the skillet around to spread the oil evenly. Pinch off biscuits and place into skillet. (Dusting your hands lightly with flour helps.)

When the pan is full and biscuits rest gently against one another, sprinkle on a small amount of oil to the raw biscuit tops. Put skillet into a cold oven, and set at 400 degrees. Put your pan in the middle of the rack so biscuits cook evenly. When they are light golden brown, move skillet to top rack until darker brown. If your oven is true to temperature, the whole process, including preparation time, will take about 25 minutes. The first few times, watch the biscuits' progress in the oven closely to be sure.

Butter immediately...or cover with gravy...or drown in maple or cane syrup. Any way you like your biscuit, you'll love these!


Kathryn Magendie said...

Okay, can i use "doodle out a waller" in a story *laugh*! Love that!

Barbara Quinn said...

Love your description of biscuit baking!(doodle out a waller, and Bigmama are such perfectly rich Angie terms). And the biscuits sound yummy. I have 4 looseleaf binders that are so old that even the taped together parts are falling apart.But I can't bring myself to fix them. Too many memories.

Paper Whisperer said...

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!!!! Ang, Ang, Ang...oh how I love your writing. As I am sitting here drinking my first cup of java I have a complete visual of you and Bigmama in the kitchen (you lightly dusted with flour..haha)and that "lovin' from the oven" feeling that ONLY a grandmother can impart. My mouth is salivating for a Bigmama biscuit and my heart longs for the days of me and my own grandmother in her kitchen with one of her fancy aprons draped over me....thanks for the memories and the biscuits. I am going to get my grandmothers recipes together today and put them in a safer place. Love you Kiddo (she says as she pokes a virtual finger in your belly waiting for you to imitate the doughboy giggle..hahahaha) Have a beautiful Sunday "LilMama"

jan said...

My Grandmother gave me a cast iron skillet and a cookbook when I turned 18....she told me those were two things I would need when I got married. I use the cookbook (every year) at Thanksgiving , much to Anthony's amuse/amazement, to make cornbread dressing from, wait for it.....
She also told me to "bend over backward to help people but never bend forward to kiss a behind"
She was a hoot and I miss her.

Michele said...

Loved this!! I come from a very large extended family. My mother is one of 14- 8 girls, 6 boys. Yes, 14 children who all love to cook! Believe it or not our HUGE family gets together at least twice a year - Easter & Christmas and even 4th of July. Counting my grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and more cousins, that's about 100+ people all together. :) You can just imagine all of the great recipes we have. Just last year my sister organized a collection of over 200 recipes to put together a cookbook, and all of my mother's sisters and brothers and nearly all of my adult & teen cousins contributed. The book was completed in time for Christmas. Needless to say, it is the most treasured book in my home. Each member of the family was able to purchase a book online. I bought one for each of my own 3 children so that our wonderful recipes are passed on to the next generation and so on. The recipe book also includes pictures of memorable family get togethers, and it was dedicated to my loving grandmother Stella who will be 90 in August. If anyone is interested in putting together a wonderful recipe book for your family go to
FYI....I still have all of handwritten recipes together in a giant zip-loc bag for safe keeping.
Thanks, Angie for your wonderful writine.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Yes, you may all use "doodle out a waller hole" in future writings. And if in need of more Redneck sayings, feel free to ask. They roam in my head often. LOL.

Robin/P.W.: "Hooo-hoo," says the Dough Girl. "Now just try extracting your finger from that roll!" granny you had. She'd have been a great friend of mine with that sort of advice. (And I'm pretty sure she meant you to use that cast iron skillet for multiple whapping people upside the head.) ;)

And, Michele, what an AWESOME project and family gift!

Hugs and hot biscuits to all!

Anonymous said...

Angie! I can't wait to make "BigMama's" biscuits!
I doubt they will taste like BigMomma's, but I will do my best!

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