Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Biscuits On Parade

Driving 5 hours for a biscuit says a lot about a person.

Really... It does. Right?

Taking a road-trip...even a mini-vacation for a biscuit 
might say:

'this person has set a high bar, 
some might even say very high bar for great biscuits'

or perhaps it says:

 'this person enjoys long car rides that offer beautiful scenery...
barns, green pastures and rolling foothills.
The biscuit is simply a perk of that scenic journey'

or maybe, just maybe...

'this person believes you have to risk it...for the biscuit' 
or some country-saying like that... 
you just have to go for it...
Sometimes, you have to go as 
far as five hours for "it".

I am that person.

The one who would travel long distances
for a really great biscuit.
I have MY reasons... 

First, this particular biscuit resides
in one of my favorite nearby 
destinations for a family road-trip... 
Nashville, Tennessee.

Beautiful state, friendly folks.  Done.

And yes, this culinary triumph
is also a 
really-great-wonderfully-delicious, biscuit.
I'm not over-stating it... I promise.
 I don't need any more incentive than that...
A Loveless Cafe biscuit.

Over the past weekend
we took a super-fun family road-trip.
In part, because we have a lot of baseball games
that need to be played in the coming weeks. 
We had a very soggy springtime, so our next few
weeks of June will be spilling over with make-up games...
We won't be traveling too far in any direction...
other than the direction of the baseball fields.

 July seemed like
a long, long way off, 
for kiddos itching to get summer started.
So, off we went...a mini get-away.
Smells like sweet tea and porch sittin'
Friends, try to contain your excitement...
(Yes, I am going to share some
 of our vacation/road-trip photos, 
Skip past them... if you must...I would
absolutely understand...
 and I will never know if you do...)

 Our trip included a stop at The Loveless Cafe,
 just outside of Nashville. 

 I first visited The Loveless Cafe
 last year, and I felt the right thing to do
 was to introduce the rest of the family to the biscuit...

They met...and they were smitten. 
 Just as I had imagined...
They were big fans.  

This time however... 
I poked around a little more (at the Loveless) 
 and you'll never guess what I found...

It was not a spare copy of their biscuit recipe 
lying on the ground... 
but, it was something almost as good...

They have a window... 
Yes, a window.
Not a drive-thru kind,
 but a "watch how we make biscuits" kind of window...
right inside the restaurant.
Peeping at the biscuits being made...

Surely it is intended for children to be able
to watch the biscuits being made...
(Children and baking enthusiasts)

A tiny glimpse into the perfect
world of biscuit making... just on
the other side of the flour-dusted window pane.

How ever did I miss this peek into
biscuit nirvana on my last trip??  

I stood at the window for a loooong time
and watched as this amazingly, silky-soft
biscuit dough was rolled... 
Notice how all the biscuits are cozy on the tray??...
Do that when baking at home for best biscuit results.

It was a hint about the technique...
and I LOVED it!

I took a few photos...
or maybe more than a few...
This sweet thing:  A pimento cheese and fried green tomato biscuit.  y.u.m.

Coffee at the Loveless is my friend... it pairs well with biscuits.

I don't have their recipe...
but I am going to share my very own recipe
 and my secret trick:

What's that??  
A trick?? 
and top-secret tip??


(that's the secret)

 When I make biscuits, I make butter snow first. 
 To make butter-snow...
Using a food processor, grater attachment,
Put a stick of frozen butter through.

This makes the loveliest tiny 
bits of flaked butter.
 Perfect for making pie dough AND fabulous
buttermilk biscuits!!

The extra tip** Freeze 
butter snow in individual zip top bags, and you can 
pull them out whenever you need them.
At the bottom of this post, just below
all our thrilling vacation photos you can get my 
buttermilk biscuit recipe...
(Again... you can skip the family  photos...
 There will not be a quiz)

The magnolia's were blooming.  Oh, the sweet smell of summertime... and sunny days.

Here is the rest of our gorgeous weekend
from Nashville, TN and the surrounding area...
If you have never been, I suggest you go.
It's a charming city with great restaurants, 
nightlife, music, museums and the 
southern hospitality is second to none.

In a nutshell...
We visited Franklin TN, 
gorgeous, historic and lovely, great shopping
and so picturesque.  I highly recommend.

Franklin TN.  Stunning. Historic. Fun.
I love that he still holds his dad's hand...  sigh... sniff, sniff.

Kilwin's...Best Caramel Apple.  Truly.

Shopping in Franklin, TN

If you are into stunning countrysides... 
like the cover of a magazine, so beautiful...
you might see this...

or this....

 We even SAW THIS:
(our kids had no idea what all our 1980's excitement was about)
You never know what you'll find on the side of the road...

We stopped in Leipers Fork,
Antique Archaeology, 
The Pharmacy, for wonderful burgers and a 
quick meet-up with a dear college friend and her sweet girls.
The Country Music Hall of Fame, 
The Loveless Cafe, The Gaylord Oplyland Hotel, 
Opry Mills and the Rainforest Cafe,
Big Machine Records--we did a drive-by for our Taylor Swift fan,
and finally on our way home...Louisville Mega Cavern to go biking.
Gold and Platinum records line the walls at the County Music Hall of Fame

Dolly Parton's recent movie and the "Coat of Many Colors"...

Who remembers this TV show???  I was so tickled to see a HeeHaw display at the
County Music Hall of Fame... The true throwback!!

On a different trip we saw a concert at the Grand Ole Opry... 
Now-- THAT was amazing. 
 I would recommend visiting the Opry too.
(We saw The Band Perry (no relation) and
 Carrie Underwood....among other fantastic artists)
We ran out of time on this particular adventure...
but I would jump at the chance to go back to the Grand Ole Opry... 
Here we are in Louisville, KY, at the Mega Cavern.  

We wrapped up or Memorial Day weekend, with a parade.
Can I just say how much I love parades...
I do.

We had the the honor of riding in 
our local community's parade.

Here we are, all snug and cozy in the big blue truck...
Cozy like biscuits on a tray... 

Parades make me sentimental... they do.
I can't help it...I don't know exactly why... 
Seeing the veterans in uniform, and the 
firetrucks and first-responders...
... Parades showcase everything I love about the sweetness
 of our community...all together... celebrating, 
remembering...honoring itself, our country and each other.

I love the bands marching 
and the cheerful crowds lining the streets...

To hear the patriotic music,
 the flag-waving and the little ones all dressed up in
their cutest red, white and blue attire... 

It's Americana at it's best.

So, thanks for looking at my vacation photos... 
I'm sure they were every bit as (ahem) exciting to you 
as they are to me...   ;)  

In all seriousness... 
Nashville and the surrounding communities in Tennessee are
a great destination...we only stopped a handful of the amazing
places that are available in that region.

Friends,  as promised... below is the biscuit recipe.  


xo, Karri

P.S.  Today was spent in the county... collecting strawberries out of the farmer's field...
and tomorrow... I will be making the perfect accompaniment for biscuits...

You'll be happy to know I did not
 drive five whole hours for the strawberries...

only two hours...   :)

tomorrow's project....

Blue Ribbon Kitchen: First Place Buttermilk Biscuits

8 Tablespoons cold grated butter (1 stick butter)
butter snow-finely grated frozen butter put through the grater
attachment of the food processor. Keep it cold.

2 Cups White Lily Self Rising Flour -no substitutions
1/4 Cup cake flour-no substitutions
¼  tsp granulated sugar
¼  tsp salt
Whisk together with fork

1 Cup cold buttermilk

Melted butter for biscuit tops- 2 TBS
2 TBS flour if needed for sticky dough

Preheat Oven: 450 degrees. Use center oven racks

Make butter snow with the food processor or grate butter
(see above) 
 Keep butter snow chilled or frozen until ready to mix into flour.

Whisk together self-rising flour, cake flour sugar and salt.
Add the butter snow.
Using a pastry blender or fork,
lightly incorporate the butter into the flour mixture.

Make a well in the center of flour mixture.

Pour in cold buttermilk.

Mix, just until combined using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Chill the dough for five-seven minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface (I like parchment)
Roll the dough out, and then fold the dough in half and roll again.
If dough is sticky add a little extra flour until dough is not sticky.
Fold and roll about 4 times...until the dough is silky and smooth.
(Rolling and folding, helps to create layers)
Always be gentle...
Roll out dough using a rolling pin to 1/2 inch thickness.

Using a lightly floured cutter, cut out biscuits 
and lay them touching one another on a greased and 
parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet.
(When they touch one another, they help each other to rise taller)
Just as in life...our close friends help us to stand taller-A country wisdom and biscuit truth.
(Also...they did this at the Loveless too!!)

Re-roll any leftover dough, 
cut out and add remaining biscuits to tray.  
Be sure to get cold biscuits right into the oven... if necessary,
chill tray of biscuits for five minutes before placing into the hot oven.

Bake on middle rack, in a hot-preheated 450 oven for
12 minutes or until the tops are golden.

Brush tops with melted butter.  Serve

2020 Recipe Updates:

For salt and sugar- use 1/2 teaspoon each (this is a small increase to the original recipe)

If you want, a fun addition is cream cheese, cut 3 Tablespoons  
of cream cheese into the flour mixture while you are cutting in the butter for a creamy decadent version.

In a pinch:  Use 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 Tablespoon baking powder

No buttermilk?? No problem,  Use one cup of cold 2% or whole milk and 2 teaspoons lemon juice OR white vinegar...this will sour the milk --it will be similar to buttermilk, at least enough to stand in during a biscuit cemergency.   Enjoy!

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