Time spent alone in the kitchen is some of my most cherished. I love creating, feeling my way through recipes, iterating, tweaking, experimenting. It’s a wonderful therapy, and one of my favorite ways to show love for family and friends. Baked goods are such a simple, delightful, warm expression of appreciation and care for loved ones.
The kitchen is also where I sense my grandmother’s presence most, reminiscing about my Saturdays spent drowning myself in her homemade biscuits and gravy, competing with my siblings for most biscuits consumed. God, they were the best indulgence this planet will ever know. How I miss watching her working hands, gently folding the flour, crisco, and buttermilk to form a soft and sticky dough which she would pat out onto a dusting of flour on the countertop, and subsequently form into biscuits with the aid of a cup. Quickly, she’d grasp them and flick them into an iron hot skillet that was preheating in the oven, occasionally burning a finger tip with a soft yelp. Into the oven they’d go with no use of a timer. She had a knack for turning back to them at the perfect moment, in the middle of assembling gravy and fried apples on the stove top. She’d switch on the broiler with the oven propped, and once again snatch them out of the oven at the ideal moment.
I salivated and jostled in my seat at the dining table, eyeing their golden hue and imagining biting through their crisp exterior and into their pillowy soft, moist center. I could never decide which method I preferred to relish them: cut in half with fried apples spilling out of the center or doused in sausage gravy. I ultimately alternated between both, occasionally incorporating a simple jelly version too. She’d never let us eat a cold one, insisting on whipping up a fresh batch any time we re-entered the kitchen for another round. Those Saturday mornings will never feel far away.