Friday, November 21, 2008

For Those Who Presently Don't Want to Cook

Biscuits

Not those out of a can or box
but those that come together
from raw materials you have
around the house, things
waiting patiently for you to touch them.

You will make them from flour,
butter, and thin air, these biscuits,
from an anchemy of sadness
and desire, this bread.

Maybe somebody told you once
you are not capable of making
biscuits the old-fashioned way,
probably due to some genetic
deficiency on your part. Do not listen.
Do not listen to them.
The way is ancient:
you can do it. You already know how.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt
into a clear glass bowl: sugar, too.
Put in more sugar than it says to.
There is not enough sweetness
in the world.

It is important that the butter is cold.
The butter is like your heart, maybe,
icy with rage. After all, there is a wind blowing
across some vast emptiness inside you.
Or the butter is like your hands, maybe,
which are also cold, which are also numb
from loss and grief.

Take something you usually chop with.
Cut the butter into fragments.
They will cover themselves in flour,
which is the staff of life.
Adding milk is the final step,
a cup or so of that white magic
that comes from a mother's warm body.

You must knead, now. This is the best part.
Press the dough; fold it into itself.
It will become resilient and
alive beneath your hands.

Roll the dough out.
Cut from it the most perfect circles.
The circle is the shape of infinity;
it is the shape of a snake biting
its own tail, of the moon before
it begins to lose itself to darkness again.
The fire in your oven will make them
rise like Lazarus!
They will be delicious.
Just wait, oh just wait and see.

--------------------------------------------


My biscuit recipe:
Make them for yourself and
for someone you love...

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter
2/3- 1 cup milk

Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center; add milk. Stir just till dough clings together.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter. Transfer biscuits to baking sheet. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 or 12 minutes or till golden
.

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