Sunday Morning: Mama’s Biscuits

Mom regularly told the story of her matrilineal grandmother’s biscuit recipe and writing it down and wrestling with the non-standard measuring units. I asked mom to give me the recipe knowing that I’d share it and she cheerfully did.

Biscuits this good should be shared.

Here’s the original ingredients list:

One large handful of self-rising flour
One dollop of sugar
One small nickel-sized amount of baking soda
The yellow bowl filled with buttermilk to the first line
Two little metal scoops of clean bacon grease

Luckily, my mom was able to capture each of these and translate them to imperial units for those who don’t have the yellow bowl or who happen to have differently-sized hands.

One heaping cup of self-rising flour
One scant Tablespoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of buttermilk
Two Tablespoons of clean bacon grease

The instructions were somewhat similar. They made reference to a “hot” oven. How hot is a hot oven? As it turns out, a hot oven is 450 degrees. Here are the translated instructions:

Mix ingredients together. Dough will be thick.
Roll on floured board to width of first knuckle of little finger. Cut into rounds with biscuit cutter or floured small glass.
Place into lightly greased cast iron skillet.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden brown
Yield: One skillet full

Mom told me that, even capturing the imperial measurements, her biscuits were never quite as good as Mama’s and warned that mine wouldn’t be either and so I pass the warning on to you as well. You won’t make these as good as Mama did. But they’re pretty good.

Sunday Morning: Mama's Biscuits

So… what’s cooking?

(Featured image is “Cast Iron Pan” from Wikimedia Image Commons, used under creative commons licence. Above picture is “Mama and Jay”, picture taken by author’s mother and used with author’s mother’s permission.)

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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5 thoughts on “Sunday Morning: Mama’s Biscuits

  1. I cooked my last deer roast last night. I sliced it into 1/4 inch fillets and then seasoned those on both sides. It went into a medium-hot pan with some olive oil for a nice sear. After flipping a few minutes later, I added a half-stick of butter to the pan and when it was melted I began to spoon it onto the fillets. When they were finished ( I like mine medium-rare) I transferred those to the plate and then splashed a little Worcestershire sauce into the butter. When this was well mixed I added some diced onions I had sauteed earlier. This was then poured over the deer fillets. I served it alongside some tater tots because it was the only potato product I could find in the house. Not too bad for a Saturday night.

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  2. One additional recipe I have been making lately and falling in love with for it’s simplicity:

    – Sautee some diced onions and spinach (or an other vegetables you like) in a pan with some olive oil
    – Add diced or shredded meat of your choice (I have been using Polish sausage recently)
    – When vegetables and meat are cooked to your liking, add about half-cup of chicken stock
    – Add in about 3/4 cup stuffing cubes (I use Peppridge Farms but even StoveTop will work
    – Begin mixing everything together until the stuffing is fairly moist and almost doughy (you can add more broth if needed or a little more bread cubes if it is too soupy)
    – When stuffing has dough-like consistency spread the entire mixture out evenly across the bottom of the pan and then leave it alone for about 3 minutes
    – Place a plate on top of pan and (carefully) flip the pan over
    – You should have a sort of ‘loaded’ stuffing pancake – crispy on one side and still a bit soft on the other.
    – Enjoy

    *Note: This works best in a good non-stick skillet and it’s also good to add a little extra oil and swish it around before the broth goes in.

    ** Note: You can also substitute 3 beaten eggs instead of broth for a different take on this. I usually choose crumbled bacon as my meat when I do it this way

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  3. We did some prep cooking this weekend. Homemade chicken soup–take a whole chicken from the supermarket, 4 or 5 celery stalks, 4 or 5 carrots, a couple of onions and simmer until the chicken is cooked -standard method, I guess. Today was posole and meat sauce for pasta. Posole is simple but delicious–ground pork, an onion, enchilada sauce, chicken stock and hominy.

    We’ll have about nine large containers for three different types of meals–it should cover us for the next week and a half.

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