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Ol' Blue Eyes, British Blades and biscuits

Ol' Blue Eyes...
This video is for my grandmother (who is back in ICU, but stable for now). I remember as a little girl, she'd tell us how she and her friends would swoon over Frank Sinatra (naturally my sister and I would giggle at the very thought of our Grammie swooning!) And the song is one that she played often on her organ (when she could pry us away from playing "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" and other such tunes from the songbook. At the time we found "Moon River" a tad tedious and clamoured for her to play a tune called "Squid Jiggin' Ground" on her accordian instead!

British Blades...
Isn't funny how often paths cross unexpectedly? Dave is an avid participant in the forum on British Blades. He's in the relatively early stages of perfecting his knife-making craft, and gets tips, tricks and inspiration from the boards. One day he mentioned a poster from New Brunswick who was a swordmaker and whose mother was an author...I said hey, what a coincidence, just recently while watching a show on Book TV (or whatever it's called), I saw an interview with a woman author from New Brunswick whose son was a swordmaker.

But the more relevant coincidence is that one of the posters on British Blades was talking about this great travel forum he/she belongs to called Slow Travel! Maddeningly though, Dave can't find that thread again so I do not know the poster's username...grrr!

Kim, this one's for you - straight out of my Betty Crocker's Cookbook (1983 printing):

Baking Powder Biscuits
For tender, flaky biscuits, cut in the shortening with two knives, a fork or a pastry blender. Knead the dough gently, but do knead it - this improves the texture of the biscuits.

1/3 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 450. Cut shortening into flour, baking powder and salt with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in just enough milk so dough leaves side of bowl and rounds up into a ball. (Too much milk makes dough sticky, not enough makes biscuits dry.)

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.
About 1 dozen biscuits.

(I followed the recipe...except that I abandoning my pastry blender and finished "cutting" in the shortening with my fingers. And I also stirred in the milk with my fingers (that would be the twirling manoever mentioned in my other post.)

Comments (6)

Sorry to hear that your grandmother is back in the ICU. Glad that she is stable though.

I grew up hearing a lot of Frank Sinatra tunes in my house. My dad had all of his records. I used to complain when he would play them as Frank Sinatra really wasn't the "in" singer in the 60's and 70's, but now I love his music and so somehow I must have acquired an appreciation of his talent even while complaining. Great video clip!

Gosh, I love the biscuit recipe!

Anne - I guess the internet is smaller than we ever thought. Either that or slowtravel is larger than we thought! I am amazed at the number of folk I meet who are on or have been on slowtravel.


Thanks for the recipe - so, shortening - is that like Crisco?

How's Grandma doing? My mom is a huge Sinatra fan. On Saturday nights, a local radio station used to play his music from 7:00 - 10. I hated it. Now I have an appreciation - I guess it's not much different though than us listening to Saturday night at the 80s. :)

It is funny that you talk about giggling at the thought of your grandmother swooning. I was saying to a friend the other day that when we look at elderly people we never imagine that they had love lifes; How would we be here otherwise?


Kim - yes, Crisco.

Grammie has been stepped back down to intermediate care again (from intensive care). And her attending doc is "cautiously optimistic" of a full recovery, so we are hopeful. My sister and I took in photos of our daughters the other day and Grammie's face lit right up when she looked at them. It was indescribably wonderful to see her have a moment of joy after all she's been through.

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