Monday, November 12, 2007

There has to be an easier way to make biscuits....

My parents are a source of on air material for me. They are very funny people and some of their experiences are amusing to relate here as well.

About 13 or so years ago, my father, an electrical engineer for all his working life, decided he needed to learn how to cook. And bake. And generally be able to look after himself when my mother was away. At the beginning of this new phase in his life he asked my mother to teach him how to make biscuits.
He had a pen and paper and wrote down the ingredients as she was making the biscuits.
A few weeks later he was ready to try them on his own. Mom was out, so he asked if I wanted to help. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say, and maybe I should have helped, but my father is also like a bull in a china shop, so I declined. After much banging around, Dad came out to the family room with a wide band of flour across the waist of his pants. He asked me what he was supposed to do with the waxed paper.
"The what?"
"The waxed paper. Your mother said something about waxed paper."
Dead silence, then, "I really don't know, Dad."
So off he went into the kitchen again....more banging around...until finally he came back and said, "The biscuits are in the oven, but I couldn't get the waxed paper out of them".
This truly intrigued me so I had to go check them out. Sure enough he had a pan of great looking biscuits baking in the oven with bits and pieces of waxed paper sticking out of them.
My father is of a rational and scientific mind. He is a very logical and linear thinker. My mother and I are both a little bit like that, but with a more creative way of thinking, so when Dad told us that "There has to be an easier way of making biscuits", she and I were truly confused. I mean, really, how difficult is it to make biscuits?
"Dad, where's your recipe?"
"On the fridge."
I take it down and try to read his chicken scratch. I want to go through the steps with him from the very beginning. "Dad, you read to me what you did."
"Well, I got three cups of flour, then I added-"
"Wait. you got a bowl, right? For the flour?"
"How did you mix everything?"
"I had the waxed paper on the counter, put the flour on it, made a well- what are you laughing at?"
My mother and I are in hysterics at this point. You should probably know that my mother values easy clean up above almost anything else, so when she's baking or making pies she uses sheets of waxed paper , FLOURED first, to roll the dough. When she's done, the paper is rolled up and tossed. Easy.
My mother and I are both crying from laughing so hard, imagining my father mixing ingredients on a sheet of waxed paper without the benefit of a bowl. A hat tip to Dad for managing this feat, but it also explains that, as the ingredients mixed, the dough stuck to the waxed paper and it started to tear off in little pieces.
We had the biscuits with dinner that night, and while tasty, we did have to take little bits of waxed paper out of them.
"There has to be a better way to make biscuits" has become a catchphrase for our family ever since.

Last week I came across a website called Cooking for Engineers. It has easy to follow recipes with pictures to demonstrate the process. Curious, I looked up biscuits. And sure enough, in their recipe pictures for basic biscuits, a BOWL is front and centre.


1 comment:

Dijon said...

Hi Shauna

Thank you so much for your wonderful comment on my page...your page is hugely makes me think of how much we should think of the positives in our life and focus on the important things that we so often take for granted. I'm loving where i am in my life right now and looking forward what tommrow brings my way. I'm in the process of taking a leave of abscence from my job at the gallery.. time to focus on my passion and paint full time. Thanks again and do keep in touch.

all the best
Dijon Curley