In September, the Alabama Chanin email newsletter featured a book called "A Colander, Cake Stand, and My Grandfather's Iron Skillet." Alabama Chanin's founder, Natalie Chanin, was in the book (see their Journal post here). I thought my best friend would like this book, so I put it on my Amazon Wish List, and last week I ordered it for her (she's not big on surprises, so she opened it right away). She loved it, and knew many of the chefs in the book.
She asked me if I had anything of my Mom's. And at first I couldn't think of anything, at least not heirloom-worthy. I still have a few Blue Willow dishes, but I gave the rest of them to one of my nephews (and I don't think he has them anymore). My Mom gave me pots and pans and other kitchen utensils when I moved away from home, many of which needed replacing after many years. I had her old metal cookie press, repaired many times by my Dad, until the metal began turning the cookie dough black. I still have some metal measuring cups. Then I remembered: HER BISCUIT CUTTER.
I have no idea how old this is, but it was probably purchased in the 1960s, maybe the 1950s. And it's still the best Biscuit Cutter. One of my sisters bought me a set of Biscuit Cutters that were crimped metal with plastic handles, but they quickly broke and fell apart. Mom's trusty old metal cutter is still going strong. And I still make biscuits quite often, although I use a modified recipe.
Mom taught me to cook and bake. Mostly to bake.
I have done a lot of baking in my time. I used to be famous for my frosted sugar cookies. Recently I determined that my best baking was done when we had a gas oven. Electric ovens are crap for baking. Which is why I can't seem to make good cookies and cakes here in Bloomington (all electric).
Here are some recent biscuits, made of course with my mother's Biscuit Cutter:
I was thinking about how often I make Biscuits. They are a cheap food. I always have the ingredients.
Simple and yummy.