It was the biscuit disaster of 2012.
A sticky, lumpy orange mass had attached itself to my cutting board. Flour was smeared on my fingertips and was causing everything I touched to stick to them, including the bag of flour I was desperately trying to pour more of onto my board. The scene from Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswold fought with tree sap and lost flashed in my mind, and I began to feel the panic rise in my chest.
“Please Lord,” I prayed. “Please salvage these biscuits.”
Truthfully, the reason why these biscuits meant so much to me was because I was born, raised, and still live in the South. Around here there in an expectation- no, unwritten rule- that if you are Southern, then you can make biscuits. They are on the same table as staples like black-eyed peas and fried okra. They are what you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I had them with the ham station at my wedding reception. And I felt like NOT being able to make them somehow disqualified me from my heritage, and how I was raised.
Real heavy, real fast. Hope returns!
Anyway, and while we are being brutally honest, this recipe I attempted was not for drop biscuits. It was for fluffy sweet potato biscuits. What resulted was what happens when you can’t make fluffy biscuits. (Side note: I added too much liquid to the dough. My brilliant sister helped me solve this one. If you choose to make regular biscuits instead of drop biscuits, just make sure you are light-handed with the milk. You should have a sturdy, sugar cookie-like dough, not a wet one.) But for me, this is what the dough became. And you know what? They were delicious.
What I uncovered with this recipe is that actually, I don’t think it mattered that I made a mess. They were light, rich, and slightly sweet with a buttery crumb. And with a bit of powdered sugar on top, I would be proud to serve them at any Southern luncheon-or table.
So join me in what might be the first recipe I have posted that you really can’t mess up. If you are like me, then you might make lots of mistakes in your kitchen. But sometimes mistakes can be our greatest cooking triumphs. That is the beauty of cooking- it turns lemons into lemonade, plain milk and eggs into ice cream, and biscuit dough into, well, drop biscuits.