I woke up this morning thinking of my grandmother’s made-from-scratch biscuits.
I could imagine that oven opening and the aroma wafting into my bedroom. When I was a young boy, she would place that hot biscuit before me, slice it open and place a generous slab of butter on the lower slice and cover it with the top, letting that butter melt. Sometimes, after the butter had turned the insides of the biscuit yellow, she would scoop out a spoonful of blackberry jelly. Satisfied that the biscuit had cooled sufficiently, she would say, “Do you want me to make you another one?”
Intelligent child that I was, I would reply, “Yes, ma’am.”
Fifteen years later, the scenario had changed very little. The only difference was that the “another one,” she offered would be the third or fourth. And, intelligent nine-teen-year old man that I was, I was perfectly willing to let her make them. My own hands were quite capable enough of buttering a biscuit. But for some reason, Mammie’s always tasted better.
“She always spoiled you,” was the family complaint, still echoed decades later.
My response has always been to smugly smile and say, “I know.” I knew it at the time, and still know it now, and thank God for such blessings.
Yes, this morning, I thought of those biscuits. I’ve been thinking of them often lately, of biscuits, and Mammie’s paper-thin pancakes loaded down with butter and Log Cabin syrup. People didn’t understand when I, as a fifteen-year-old, told them I ate fourteen pancakes this morning. Stack them up, though they really didn’t stack, they just sort of leaned, glued together by the butter and syrup, and they would have been no taller than three or four more conventionally made pancakes on another cook’s plate. But Mammie’s pancakes tasted so much better.
It’s a good thing that my impulses to rush out for a big breakfast are curtailed by knowing that nobody has ever made biscuits or pancakes quite the same. So when my wife this morning cooked breakfast (please don’t send me mail telling me how spoiled I still am; my response will be to smugly smile and say, “I know,”) I looked down at the one fried egg and the two pieces of bacon, still thinking of biscuits and pancakes.
Candise cooks biscuits and pancakes as good as anyone, but this is the fare for the next few months --low-carb meals which I’m eating for several good reasons. One, of course, is to lose some weight and lower my high levels of cholesterol. Another reason – right now, a much more motivating reason, is to play my role as the King of Siam in an upcoming play. I decided to audition for the play, at least partly because it gave me reason to lose the weight. I knew that I was no Yul Bryner, but that people were not going to accept a King of Siam who was shaped much more like Buddha. So far, I’ve dropped fifteen pounds, and hope to trim down some more before the opening in mid-November.
It’s a good thing, though, that this play finishes up the week before Thanksgiving. I suspect the king is going to have something of a relapse for at least two days. The second day, of course, will be Thanksgiving Day, when, spoiled person that I am, I will celebrate our bounty by overeating right along with the other millions of spoiled people in our country.
The first day, however, will be the morning after the final showing of the play. On that Monday morning, I plan on taking Candise out for breakfast. I’m not quite sure where we will go, yet. But I’m leaning toward a place that knows how to make a biscuit. One that comes hot from the oven. A big slab of butter. Blackberry jelly.
I can imagine the scenario now, my subtle suggestion to my wife, that my grandmother used to butter my biscuits, and my wife telling me, “I’m not your grandmother.”
So, no, the biscuit won’t be quite as good as I imagined, but it will be plenty good, even if I have to butter it myself. One thing probably will be the same, though. If I am offered another one, I’ll smile and say, “Yes. Yes, I think I will.”
Only another month and a half away.