Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Art of a Buttered Biscuit

The Art of a Buttered Biscuit

by gina below


The warm soft scents tickled me awake and I woke up smiling as my eyes slowly fluttered opened and closed. I had just been dreaming about warm buttered biscuits and I smiled to myself as I slid out from under the covers and made my way groggily down the hall. The early morning sun was coming through the kitchen window making it bright and cheery. She stood at the stove like she did every morning and I sidled up next to her and leaned my sleepy head against her free arm. She automatically put her arm around my shoulder and hugged me close. “Good morning” she said as she smiled down at me. “Did you sleep well” she asked? I nodded my head as it leaned against her but no spoken words formed in my dreamy head. A big yawn escaped as I watched her scramble a cast iron skillet full of fluffy eggs.

The bacon warmed on the back of the oven and I stood on my tippy toes and snuck a long crispy piece, or so I thought. I sneaked a peek up at her and knew I had been caught as she smiled down at me. “Will you butter the biscuits for me,” she asked? I eagerly nodded as I shoved the last bit of bacon into my mouth very unladylike and I smile up at her. “Go wash your hands and face” she insisted. I walked over to the kitchen sink and stretched as far as I could to turn the faucet on; proud of myself I was that I no longer needed the little step stool to reach it.

She took advantage of the fact that I was busy and reached into the hot oven to pull out her well used round cast iron griddle full of hot golden perfect piping hot buttermilk biscuits. I heard her settle the heavy pan on the old wooden trivet on the large wooden kitchen table and as I turned around wiping my wet hands on the front of my night shirt she handed me an old clean dish towel to dry them on instead. She pulled a butter knife out of the drawer and picked the butter up off the counter and set it next to the hot biscuits for me. As I took the knife she handed me she covered the still hot handle of the griddle with a folded dish towel and then reminded me again how hot it was. I nodded as I concentrated on slicing chunks of butter off to slid between the flaky halves and after about the second or third one I began to giggle as the butter began sliding off the hot knife before I got it to the waiting biscuit. “I think I am using too much butter” I complained, as once again my feeble attempts were foiled as the chunk of butter slid off the hot knife again. This time it landed on the still hot griddle and quickly melted around the biscuit bottoms. She laughed and said, “I don’t think you can use too much butter” as she set the kitchen table. She set a plate in front of me with scrambled eggs and bacon on it, and then she broke open a steaming biscuit and swiftly buttered it adding her homemade strawberry jelly to it to create a heavenly confection like no other.

I quickly abandoned my attempts to help with the biscuits in favor of the perfect hot buttered biscuit with her jelly on it that called to me from my plate. She quickly buttered a few more and left some unaltered as not everyone like buttered biscuits she had told me once. I remember that I had looked at her so startled that she had laughed. We sat there just the two of us in the early morning light of an ordinary day and enjoyed the art of the perfect buttered biscuit together.