So it has been one heck of a week! I know I haven’t published in a bit, but goood Lordy we’ve had some problems around here! It all started last Friday evening with a huge, and rather unexpected storm. It has been very hot and humid around here recently, we’re talking around 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). But that is par for the course in Virginia, in the summer time, much to my dismay. With those sultry temperatures, we will often get thunderstorms springing up in the evening hours. Usually our good weather folks give us a heads up that one may be brewing. Well last Friday night, Mother Nature had quite a surprize in store for us. An incredibly powerful and stealthy storm snuck right up on us and….KAPOW! I’m talking 80 mile per hour winds and a wall of water which just descended instantly on us unsuspecting folks who were simply minding our own business around 11 pm in the evening. Well, Falls Church was devastated, trees down everywhere, trees which took the power wires down along with them. It was bad timing, as if there were ever a good time for mass power outages, but this power outage happened in the midst of a heat wave when the mercury was expected to stay hovering around that 100 degree mark for oh, a week or so. Our power was out from Friday evening through Monday. And we are the lucky ones, as many of my less fortunate neighbours still don’t have power today. Whenever you step outside, which isn’t often if you can help it – remember, 100 degrees of scorching heat envelopes you the moment you cross the door frame – instead of hearing the peaceful chirping hum of the crickets, you are greeted by the rattling buzz of hundreds of generators, like some sort of swarm of angry hornets is about to descend. (Hey, after that storm, anything could happen…)
Now I had cooked up some delicious, mouth-watering food last friday that I couldn’t wait to share with ya’ll. Specifically I made crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside Buttermilk Brined Southern Fried Chicken, flaky and fluffy Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits and oh so decadent home-made Bourbon ice cream. It was really yummy. Little did we know at the time, but it turned out to be a last meal of sorts before the onslaught. I was going to get pictures of everything the next day as the light wasn’t so good when I actually finished cooking the meal. Well, you know what they say about those best laid plans of mice and men…The next day, this little mouse found herself sweltering in an electricity, cell phone, internet free zone watching all that lovely bourbon ice cream melt and pool in the bottom of her ever warming “freezer”. I saved my hard-earned southern fried chicken though, icing it down in coolers which I hid away in our basement. You see, the basement temperature was much cooler. It only got up to about 86 degrees F down there… (I have mentioned that thing about how I hate to live in Virginia in the summer…right?) Now mind you getting the ice for the cooler was no easy tasks. Every store, gas station, etc. had not had electricity all night. What with our lovely Virginia temperatures which don’t really dip significantly in the overnight hours, that ice was looong gone. So we drove about 30 miles to our friend’s neighbourhood which did not lose their power because they have under ground power lines. Nothing for the trees to pull along with them on their descent. However, all the other folks without power had this same bright idea. We managed to nab the last six bags of ice at one grocery store and thought we were going to have to fight our way out of the parking lot when the other hot, tired and angry ice seeking folks realized the last ice had left the building.
Whew! I hope you can see I’ve had my hands full! I just didn’t have the energy to fry up another mess of chicken again after this ordeal, but it was so yummy I promise I will do so again soon and share with everyone. I did manage to recreate the Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits post power outage and got some pics as well. These are truly phenomenal biscuits and were so easy to make. I have made buttermilk biscuits before, but they were always the kind you rolled out and cut. These are drop biscuits. Much simpler. And they rose up like champs! Mile High is a good description. Light, fluffy, buttery goodness! They were definitely a comfort to us during our recent tribulations. Give them a try today, while you have power. If there is one thing I have learned, you should always be prepared. You never know when Mother Nature will throw her next hissy!
Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits
recipe from: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
yield: 12 biscuits
For the Dough:
- 2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups cold low-fat buttermilk
- 1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour, distributed on a rimmed baking sheet
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 500° F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Also, spray the inside and outside of a 1/4-cup measure with nonstick cooking spray. * I used an ice cream scoop*
To make the dough: Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter evenly over the dry ingredients then pulse 8-10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Dump the contents of the food processor into a large bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir with a rubber spatula just until everything is incorporated (the dough will be quite wet and sticky and somewhat lumpy).
To form the biscuits: Using the 1/4 cup measure you sprayed earlier and working quickly, scoop level 1/4 cup mounds of dough and drop them into the flour on the baking sheet. Continue until you’ve scooped all of the dough – you should have 12 mounds of dough. Use some of the flour from the baking sheet to dust the top of each mound. Flour your hands, then, one at a time, pick up each piece of dough (coating with extra flour if necessary so you can work with it) and gently shape it into a rough ball. Shake off the excess flour and place in the prepared cake pan. Repeat with the remaining mounds of dough, fitting 9 biscuits around the outer edge of the pan and 3 in the middle.
Gently brush the top of each biscuit with some of the melted butter (don’t press down and flatten them). Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 450° F and continue baking for another 13-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are deep golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let the biscuits cool for 2 minutes, then invert them onto a clean kitchen towel. Flip the biscuits over and break them apart. Allow to cool 5 minutes longer before serving.
(Note: Store leftovers in a resealable plastic bag and reheat at 475° F for 5-7 minutes.)