Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lilacs and Biscuits

 I was up at 3 AM this morning...again.  I think all the meds are affecting my sleep.  I will be glad when they are finished by the end of the week.  It was 59° this morning and is a lovely 81° now.


We had a ham dinner for DH's parents Sunday and that has been bearing on my mind ever since.  I believe we deserved a country breakfast and so at 6 AM we had one.  I try to limit us to only one of this kind once a week or less.

We had biscuits, ham and ham gravy, Willow's milk, homemade apple jelly, butter and fried eggs.
For several years now I have been making biscuits using a slightly different recipe from Mom's old standby.

I know it by heart:

s    preheat oven (I use a counter top one) to 450°
2 cups flour (I use unbleached)
1 Tablespoon aluminum free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening (I use my home-rendered lard)
3/4 to l cup  buttermilk (I use my, " " "" "")
Mix together dry ingredients, cut in shortening,
Add buttermilk and stir until all dry are moistened.

Now here is my next routine so I don't have to mess up a bread board.  I lay paper towel or two on a  cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with flour.  I knead the dough a couple of times  and press out to about a 1.5 inch thick round   Cut out with floured cutter (I like small biscuits so I use a tomato paste can). 
Note:  While the oven is preheating, I place the pan inside so it is hot too.  Place  biscuits in pan and bake until brown.  Times will vary but about 10  to 15 minutes is a good starting point.  With the little oven I have to place foil under the pan and over the top to keep from burning.  I do this after the tops and bottoms have browned.  I just hate to heat up that monster over for a little pan like this.

I never cook over 5 or 6.  Place cookie sheet with remaining biscuits  in freezer and freeze. When firm, put in baggie and seal.   When cooking the frozen ones, I put them in the oven before preheating and let them thaw as the oven warms up.  You can't tell them from fresh. 
I just bagged up these,
I noticed there were just five.........one was stuck to the top shelf of the freezer drawer!  I found it.

and here is how they looked this morning:


Most of my lilacs are just the old syringa vulgaris but I do love them!  I don't prune them or do much else for them.  They are almost tree size.  I can't even reach the top to cut off the old blooms.  I will try to do better with my new, named variety 'Annabel' lilac.  Here is how Martha Stewart describes her:

Lilac: Syringa x hyacinthiflora Annabel. 'Annabel' produces sweet-scented double, soft-pink flowers in densely-branched spikes in spring. 

I knew that bloom looked slightly different; she is extremely fragrant and has bloomed her second year in the ground.  I am very pleased.  I will try to get a better picture today.  She is so short I will have to get on my knees. I did and I think she is about 36 inches tall, I am 5 3.5" and on my knees.

and a closeup of the the bloom,

 I hope these pictures aren't too large.  I will go back to the medium size.  You all let me know if the size bothers you loading.

This is just the regular lilac.  I think it is darker because of the location,  it doesn't get as much sun.  The previous owners planted it between the well house and the garage, just a narrow little strip of ground.

and these are the two massive clumps in the shrub border by the road out front,
This first was supposed to have been a white; obviously it was not!

From Gardening 2010

and Miss Kim,  maybe ??? I thought she wasn't so large so who knows.  She is a lighter color than the other one,

1 comment:

  1. I am enjoying the new look of your blog, Glenda. And if the big pics take up too much space you can, as you say, make them medium. I use smaller then the viewers can just click on them to see larger if they need too.

    I learned that trick, too, about the toaster oven and biscuits. I crinkle up a piece of foil, smooth it out, lay it onto the pan, then bake the biscuits on it. Haven't found I need to cover the tops - I use the bake mode and only the bottom elements get hot. I also don't like to heat up the big oven for a couple of biscuits or some box mix cornbread.

    I envy you your lilac bounty. I have one old and unrepentant shrub that looks scrawny, doesn't take well to pruning and has only a few blooms every year. Still - it smells wonderful. :-D