Grandma made biscuits – little tiny ones – she’d grab the flour from the flour bin, the lard and roll them up, pulling them off into tiny blobs. When she put them side by side on the tray, she’d tap each one with the knuckle of her forefinger, marking it with her print – that was the secret of the taste I think. I watched her do it for years, but every attempt I made at baking biscuits ended up with a bucketful of weapons-grade slingshot ammo. I guess I should have paid more attention to how much was ‘’a handful” of flour and how much buttermilk was a ‘little bit’.
Grandma used to spike my milk with coffee also – thick, nasty, boiled on the woodstove for hours stuff. I was going to have my coffee with Grandma though, so she added sugar – lots of it. She loved me – or hated my mother – not sure which one made her give a 6 year old solid caffeine and sugar cut slightly with fresh milk. Even today, when someone asks how I’d like my coffee, I say “like you’d fix it for a 6 year old”. It always comes back perfect.
I was real grateful to have been one of her favorites. I can’t imagine not watching those biscuits made, eating that caramel cake too – where the icing made a little ridge around the edge of the plate, even after the cake was cut and eaten – scraping that layer of icing off with a butter knife, I thought I was in heaven – I now know it was probably just a world class sugar/caffeine high, but it imprinted the memories pretty deeply.
My cousin Marsha ended up with the flour bin – maybe she’ll will it to me when she goes. She ended up with the cabinet that the cake plate sat upon. (Called a Hoosier cabinet by some, a Pie Safe by others).
When I mentioned that nobody knew the secret recipe for sausage that Grandma and my uncle Boykin made, Marsha sent me a picture – of the inside of the right cabinet door, where in my long dead Grandma’s handwriting, was this.
12 pounds of meat,
3 tbsps salt,
1 tbsp of sage
3 tbsp black pepper
1 red pepper.
Categories: Family Stories
I write. I fix computers. I feed cats.