I’m still not sure I get the South. True, I’ve begun to regularly follow up my thank you’s with ma’ams and sirs, and we’re starting to get used to the fact that here, in Mississippi, Lily is pronounced Lee Lee. We eat pimento cheese sandwiches occassionally and red velvet cake whenever it’s offered, try not to scoff when the locals dig out their winter coats because the temperature dips below 65, and no longer look around, confused, when a stranger in a passing car waves hello.
After a few years here, this region seems less foreign and more familiar, certainly. Most of the people that we’ve encountered have been incredibly kind, and the landscape– though definitely lacking in the mountain department–is gorgeous. I like the South, and I even like our tiny Mississippi town. But what I love about living here– what I really, really, really love– is that Southern cooks are so very generous with bacon grease. And sugar. And butter.
I definitely get butter.
The truth is, despite growing up in a healthy, active Colorado family and working in natural food stores for many years, I love to eat rich, decadent, decidedly unhealthy foods in decidedly unhealthy quantities. But, because I also love to run, I know that eating this way all of the time makes me feel slow and lethargic and generally awful. And although the foods closest (and, I suppose, most detrimental) to my heart feature plenty of white flour, brown sugar, and fat, I rely heavily upon my collection of whole grain, minimally processed, refined sugar free recipes to feed my family. Most of the time.
Sometimes, however, I just want butter. So when the craving hits, I pull out my trusty cast iron skillet and make these, inspired by my friend Lynne, a native Mississippian who’s also a wicked good cook.
Make them, and you’ll thank me– I promise.
But don’t call me ma’am.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter, divided
2-3 tbsp. butter (in addition to the 1/2 cup listed above)
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 475.
Place 1/4 cup of butter in cast iron skillet, and place skillet in a warm oven. Remove once butter has melted.
Meanwhile, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
With a fork, work 2-3 tbsp. butter into the flour mixture.
Add milk slowly, forming a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto floured wax paper.
Gently flatten dough into a (roughly) round disk that is about 1/2 inch thick.
Using a round glass or cookie cutter, cut dough into circles.
Place dough circles in buttered skillet and bake for 5-7 minutes.
Pour remaining 1/4 cup butter over biscuits, and continue baking for 13-15 more minutes.