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Monday, September 20, 2010

humility in a bowl

   Yeah sure it looks like an innocent,bright yellow,simple vegetable peeler...and sure it seems pretty harmless. It it is pretty harmless if you only need a little zest for say this handy homemade lemon handscrub . (And let me tell you that homemade scrub is a two-for-one special,not only is amazing on your hands after you've worked in the yard all day,it's even better on your feet. See what a deal.)
   I know a little zest goes a long way. The oils in citrus zest are potent and the smell is lemony-bright and all that, but when you commit yourself to making marmalade,oh lawdy put on your big girl boots it's gettin' serious.I found this fantastic little website called and talk about some canning. I think this lady knows her canning and she makes some pretty good-lookin food too!
( I know,I know it's gotten back to canning again,well not so fast. Good,fresh-baked things are yet to come.)
  So I've been making all kinds of jam and preserves and jellies and figured it was time to try my hand at marmalade.(Go ahead,sing the song. I mentioned my next canning adventure to my close friends and they broke out into song,I know you know the song...) I have tried marmalade before and well when you taste it it's not immediately sweet,you are immediately wrapped up in citrus and if you're not prepared it can catch you off guard. I was caught off guard,but! in the interest of future Christmas-present recipients I forged ahead. I took a brief phone survey of a few family and friends and most folks can handle the intensity that marmalade brings. Enough said I was going to make two different kinds. Talk about forging ahead,geez. (more on the second kind later,we'll stick to the traditional for now)   I found a delightful recipe on my new favorite canning blog, and was off to buy the citrus. I gathered my jars,set up the canner and I was off.
 This friends is humility in a bowl. If you have ever wondered what humility in a bowl looked like,well there it is. I had gotten so wrapped up in my canning shenanigans that I had no idea what was about to hit,or shall I say scuff up my poor knuckle on my left thumb. Good gracious,I tell ya. It doesn't look like much in that bowl.,but folks big-girl boots and all, I worked for that pile of zest. The marmalade turned out pretty darn fine and it really does wrap you in citrus. It's just sweet enough to be marmalade and bursts with citrus,it's like a sunrise... see the jam is that good folks.I think it will be even better on this breakfast classic. I make these biscuits all the time and really they are fine all by themselves,BUT add a little sunrise,I mean three-citrus marmalade on there and I'm talkin heaven on a biscuit.I think a biscuit that taste that good might even make my left thumb feel better.ENJOY!
Best Drop Biscuits
America's Test Kitchen 2009 tv show companion cookbook
page 195
makes 12 biscuits
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold buttermilk
(if buttermilk is not available,mix 1 cup milk with
1 TBL lemon juice and let stand for 10 minutes)
8 TBL (one whole stick) unsalted butter,melted and cooled slightly
(about 5 minutes),plus 2 TBL melted butter for brushing the tops
of the biscuits
1.Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (cold butter makes great glue to hold
the paper down).Whisk together the flour,baking powder,baking soda,sugar and salt in a large bowl.Combine the buttermilk and 8 TBL of the metled butter in a medium bowl ,stirring until the butter forms small clumps.
2.Add the buttermilk to the flourmixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated and the batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Using a greased 1/4 cup dry measure scoop,greased lightly with cooking spray,scoop out level amount of batter drop on to prepared baking sheer.Repeat with the rest of the batter.Bake until the tops are golden brown and crisp,12-14 minutes.Brush with remaiming 2 TBL of melted butter. Dang these are good.

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