Livin', Lovin', and Laughin' on the Seaboard Side.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Biscuit Quest

It practically became my own, personal, maddening Quest For The Grail.

I had a better chance of finding The Lost Ark Of The Covenant.

Indiana Jones couldn't find this.

I wasn't trying to rule The World, hold The Damned in my sway, or get a direct line to The Almighty.

Just wanted a little Taste Of Heaven: my grandmother's buttermilk biscuits.   Or at least somethin' close.

Just for the record, I understand that a lot of people cannot abide the taste of buttermilk.    No way can I down a glass of it, but I like it in biscuits, or gravy.    Or dumplings.   And I had a buttermilk candy recipe---think Divinity---that I got from my ex-mother-in-law.    That I have managed to lose.   I'll have to hunt it down on the net.    It would take a Ouiga Board to get it from Myrtice now, and she didn't like me when she died anyhoo.    I lost recipes in the divorce.

But my Grandma Estelle made the best buttermilk biscuits, hands down.   Roughly the size and shape of a cat's head (my father always called them "cat-heads").  Golden brown on top, soft and moist inside, with a crispy brown crust on the bottom.    And a flavor that was out-of-this-world.    You could taste the buttermilk................

You could slice one and put meat, eggs, cheese, whatever in it for a breakfast sandwich, sop syrup or honey, or dip them in gravy and they would hold together without being tough.    You can't use a wussie biscuit for all that.

She would heat up the oven and pour oil in a heavy castiron skillet.    She kept a worn, wooden bread bowl full of flour in her pantry, wrapped in a clean pillow case.    She would dig out a little "well" in the center of the flour and mix in cooking oil and buttermilk, mixing it with her fingers.    She mixed it slowly until she had a soft dough, and then she'd pinch off the biscuits, shape them with her hands, and place them in the skillet.   She pressed her floured knuckles on top of each biscuit, and the indentions were still there when the biscuit was done. Pop them in the oven for a bit, and let the smell of biscuits fill the air................

Add the smell of coffee brewing and bacon frying for a small step backward to my childhood.    Nice........and comforting.

When I was grown with a family of my own I gave it a try.   And what a colossal failure it was.    I called my mother, who informed me that she never could make the things.

When I got a by-golly bread bowl, I tried again.    And failed again.    I guess it doesn't matter what you mix it in; I would have used a hog trough if I had thought it would help.

I tried a recipe that called for shortening and had slightly better results, but by then I had more kids and abandoned The Quest in favor of canned biscuits.     I am almost an authority on "whop" biscuits after having tried them all.     My apologies to Lewis Grizzard..........Moment Of Silence, Please..............but Lewis didn't have three kids to get to school or a husband who worked on the clock.    I didn't have the time for homemade biscuits even if I had the Know-How.

I dabbled with a biscuit recipe here and there.    I tried Bisquick.    My Ex could care less when it comes to Bisquick, my current husband doesn't want it in the house.     And it STILL isn't like Grandma's.    Hell, I even tried the powdered milk biscuits and flopped those, too.   Easy my ass.

I have a butter biscuit recipe that you can turn out in a flash with a food processer.    It's a decent biscuit.    At one time, I babysat three little boys who went home one day and told their mother that I made biscuits better than she did.     Made points with the boys, lost 'em with their mama; she made better biscuits than I did as far as I was concerned.    I didn't ask her how she did it because I didn't want to be laughed at.    I did steal her chicken and dressing recipe, though, and copped her hamburger technique.

When frozen biscuits hit the stores, I tried all of them.   I couldn't find what I was lookin' for, but T-Bird liked them and I settled on frozen.    To Hell with The Quest.    Grandma's secrets are in The Grave and gone.

Frozen Biscuit Pergatory.     Close, but no grandma-biscuit.    I became resigned to the fact that I cannot make the danged things.   Until the fateful morning when T-Bird went to a local diner and came back with breakfast biscuits.

There was Grandma's Buttermilk Biscuit!!!!!    Packed with sausage, scrambled eggs, and cheese!!!    And a little mustard.    Knuckle prints on the top, crispy crust on the bottom, and the taste and smell of buttermilk.     I actually went back in Time!

The Quest was back on!!     T-Bird said that the woman who made them would probably let me watch her while she cooked, but I had to be there at 4:00 a.m..    I decided I'd try that as the last resort.    I don't want to get up BEFORE 4:00 a.m., and I am sure that this poor cook didn't want to have to trip over my stupid self on her job first thing in the morning.

I scoured the internet and finally found one that was close as far as ingredients go.    I tweaked it just a tad, slid it into the oven in an oiled cast iron skillet and Great Gloriosky..............TRIUMPH!!!!


I don't use a bread bowl, and, unlike Grandma, I do have to use a measuring cup.    I also mix the dough with a fork and she would laugh at that.

It really doesn't matter that I cannot do it just like my beloved grandmother.

When the smell of buttermilk biscuits fill the air with the smell of coffee brewing I start to slide backwards to another time and another place.    When I taste them, I go home.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Wikipedia says:

A Kaleidoscope operates on the principle of multiple reflection, where several mirrors are together. Typically there are three rectangular lengthwise mirrors. Setting the mirrors at a 60-degrees so that it forms a triangle. 60 degree angle apart from each other creates eight duplicate images of the objects, six at 60°, and four at 90°. As the tube is rotated, the tumbling of the colored objects presents varying colours and patterns. Arbitrary patterns show up as a beautiful symmetrical pattern created by the reflections. A two-mirror kaleidoscope yields a pattern or patterns isolated against a solid black background, while the three-mirror (closed triangle) type yields a pattern that fills the entire field.

Three years ago, for reasons all her own, my mother gave me a kaleidoscope.

I hadn't had a kaleidoscope in my hands since, oh, say, 40 years ago.

It's a silly lookin' thing.   Designed with a child in mind, it has yellow and blue stripes, and circus figures on it.   And stars.

I thought it was pretty odd, but I wouldn't hurt my mothers' feelings For All The Tea In China, so I took it home with me.

Whilst lyin' a-bed one afternoon I picked it up and peered through it.

The goodies in my kaleidoscope are just cheap beads and crap left over no doubt from some other endeavor that this toy company had layin' around.

But all that cheap stuff does make pretty patterns when held up to the light.

Turn the end and all the pieces fall around and make other patterns.    The view is never the same.

Life is like that.

All of  the pieces of our lives are in there.       Our loved ones, our homes, jobs, likes and dislikes, everything you ARE----all in the object cell and colliding against each other.    Changing the pattern of your life.

The events of our lives change the view.    Add the birth of a child, it changes.   Lose an old friend, it changes again.   Change a point of view or an attitude and see the difference in the view.

Hold the kaleidoscope to the light and the colors are so bright...........

Lower it away from the light source and the pieces are dark, and it's hard to make out the pattern.

Shake it and the pattern changes yet again.

The pieces in my kaleidoscope are elderly parents, my husband, my kids, my job, yadda-yadda.    And they have been rotating and colliding with one another for a long time.   The patterns weren't always pretty or pleasing, but dammit, they were all together.     Just turn the thing or shake it up a bit and life goes on.

On February 26, 2012 I lost my mother and my own personal COLLIDE-a-scope went dark.    One of my best and brightest pieces disappeared from my life.

I put the thing down, and checked out.

I'll spare you AND me the details.    You don't want to read 'em, and I don't want to write 'em.

(I may do a post on how to pitch a funeral and piss off everyone you know---that's what happened---and maybe Momma forgives us for that viewing.......maybe not.)

I found out that even if I put the collide-a-scope down, the object cell still turns, the pieces still fall against one another, whether it's bright as the noon-day sun or black as pitch.    With or without all of the pieces.    And with or without me.

Time to shake it up, and see what pattern will fall next.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Help Find Scott

Here is a link, hopefully, to the Facebook page for Scott's disappearance:

If this doesn't work,  entirely possible when you consider my skill level here,    just type Help Find Scott Scarborough into the search bar thingy on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Message To Those from Blogstream

I just found this on Facebook, and wanted to pass this on to everyone who knew Scott, or Randy 420, on Blogstream.     Please hold him and his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

Police asking for help in locating missing Auburn man

Submitted by JoBeth Davis, Community Web Producer
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011, 2:05pm
Topics: News, People

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - The Auburn Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating a man missing since Thursday.

Owen S. Scarborough, age 44 of Auburn, last made contact with family and friends on Thursday, November 17. He is described as approximately 5'10" in height, 185 pounds, with brown hair (balding), and blue eyes.

Scarborough's nose shows signs of a previous break and he may have a beard or goatee (salt and pepper in color).

Scarborough is originally from Dallas, Texas, but has resided in Alabama (Jacksonville and Oxford) for the past five years to include the last six months in Auburn.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Scarborough is asked to contact the Auburn Police Division at (334) 501-3140 or anonymously by voice or text on the tip line at (334) 246-1391.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Just Onions.........

I thought T-Bird had snapped a cog when he decided a few years ago to start gardening.     He had grown his
own tomatoes because he couldn't find any in the stores that he really liked, and the boy did good.

I raised an eyebrow, however, at the suggestion four years ago that we "grow our own" EVERYTHING.   But I try to be a supportive wife, and only roll my eyes when his back is turned.

It was hard to imagine my scotch-drinkin', guitar-playin', bar fightin', party-til-you-puke biker bad-boy plowing The Good Earth for Sustenance.  

He borrowed a tiller from his cousin, and I kissed the backyard good-bye.

Now, we grow some of everything.

Cousin Dave has a garden too.   We planted onions at the same time that Dave did.    My husband will tell
you that I am inept at planting onions and he's right.    He has a one-handed technique that involves three
simple motions.     I cannot master it.

He tended his onions with tender loving care and was so proud when they started growing.    We thought we would get a fairly good crop.    

Cuz e-mailed us pics of his onion crop, and THAT started it all.   You could hear the swearing from blocks away.

Very impressive crop of onions.     Especially if you compared them to ours.    Ours looked good, but not
THAT good.

It turned into a pissin' contest between cousins.  

They work at the same plant together, and each brought a sample of their onions to compare when they got
close to being ready for harvest.

They "whipped 'em out" at work, apparently.    Competitive much??

Later that afternoon T-Bird came bursting through the back door:

"His tops may be prettier and longer,  BUT MY BULBS ARE BIGGER!!!!"

Ya know......I just had to let that one go.........

Where in the world do you get Onion Enhancers?  

If  your tops droop, will Viagra help?  

Bulbs do not make the man.    Nor do the tops.    It's not the size of the onions that matters, but how you cook with 'em.

We need to stop Produce Envy in our lifetime.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Head-Bangin' Good Time

With the roar of a Ford engine, a spray of gravel, and an ear-splitting Rebel Yell,  I finally started my vacation today.

And not one damned minute too soon.

The stress and strain of the last few months has been all that I can stand.

I guess that everybody handles it differently.

Primarily, I am a head-banger.

The first time, I was stuck in traffic at my son's school with a headache.    Oldest was long gone to his class, but I was stuck in the drop-off line, and nobody would let me pull my car out.    I mean, c'mon, a little consideration here??   I sat there for an eternity, while a hundred other mothers were dropping off their kids.    I would think I had a chance to pull out, and here would come another car.     Or a bus.    Or kids.

Aggravated and in pain, I began to bang my head on the PADDED steering wheel.    No, it didn't help the headache any, but it was better than throwing myself under a school bus.    THAT was my second choice.  
It looked like the only way I was getting out was by ambulance.

I heard a horn blowing behind me.   What kind of sadistic ass was blowing that infernal horn, with me in pain and now totally infuriated?

When I turned around I saw a city cop car, Police Chief AND Mayor in the front seat.     They were frantically motioning for me to go on.    Expressions of shock and bewilderment on their faces.

Yes, I have used it to get sympathy from other drivers, and it works about 90% of the time.    If they think you are stone-cold crazy they will motion for you to go ahead.     Sometimes they do it out of pity, or they feel like doing it themselves.

My father has tried it, but says it doesn't work for him too often.

The second time, it got me booted out of the Elk's Lodge Bingo Night.    The Elk's didn't do it---my mother did.    I was one little number away from a win......and didn't.    Some lady hollered "BINGO!" and I started banging my head on the table.  

Quietly, softly.  

I wasn't TOO obvious with it, but it was too much for Momma.    She had overlooked the tee-shirt with The Grim Reaper on it that I had picked out to wear.    Maybe not a good choice in a room full of senior citizens, come to think about it...............  

But she  couldn't get past me banging my head on the table in front of her friends.    I understand that.   My children embarrass me, too.    Just for fun.

The third time, I had my arms full of grocery bags and my purse, fumbling with my keys trying to unlock my
front door.    I dropped 'em.    They fell thru the crack between the porch and the trailer into the dirt underneath the porch.     I just sighed, and started rocking back and forth on my heels, lightly banging my head on the door.    A trailer door isn't made out of sturdy materials, so no real damage was done to my noggin.    Of course, it was during that time of day when every one of my neighbors was coming home, so several of them no doubt saw this.

You know, not a single neighbor has come by to borrow  so much as a cup of sugar..........

I am not the only one who does it, either.  

 One of my daughters had a teacher who borrowed her Stress Kit.    It's just a piece of paper with a circle on
it, and inside the circle are the words Bang Head Here.    He made a copy and taped it to his filing cabinet that sat by his desk.
    One day shortly after he hung it up, my daughter had to go back to his class for something, and there he was:  sitting in his chair, quietly banging his head on the circle taped to the filing cabinet.    She let him have his moment.

Before you start thinking I am The Queen of The Bangers, let me tell ya:

I have been de-throned!!

Yesterday, our friend Willie saw a car accident, and stopped to render assistance.    A man driving a PT Cruiser had smacked into a utility pole, and half of the pole had broken off.    The man came running to Willie, and all the poor thing could do was bang the hood of Willie's truck with his fists.    Willie figured this was beyond his abilities, and didn't want his hood pounded, so he left the scene.
 A few minutes later, one of my co-workers drove by.   The front of the Cruiser was still wrapped around the bottom half of the pole.    The other half of the pole is on the ground.  

An officer is directing traffic.    Officers are studying the scene, writing notes, and, no doubt, tickets.

There, huddled on the sidewalk, is the driver.    

On his knees, banging his head on the concrete.

I hereby abdicate the throne, and place my crown on his head.

It was all dented and scuffed up anyway.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Little Helper

Youngest was a HUGE help fixin' up the blog for me, and it feels much better.   One minor glitch with my comments section, but I ain't complainin'.

I wouldn't dare complain after The Facebook Debacle of 2010.    She helped me with that, and let me tell ya, it wasn't pretty.

Call it a wild hair, a whim, curiosity, or whatever, but I am now on Facebook.

I knew right off the bat that I could in no way set up my own account, and I would NEVER figure out how to navigate it.

I called on my Ms. Fixit, Youngest, to help poor ol' me out.    She jumped right on this little project, and wishes now she had never heard of Facebook.

She set up my account on The Stream, and she's the one who changed my background.   She went into The
Facebook Debacle with her eyes open.


I asked her a slew of questions about it before we started.    That should have tipped her off that this was going to be as aggravating as the aforementioned projects.

If I said "I don't understand one word of what you just said" once, I said it a dozen times.

Likewise "huh?"

And "what?"

All interspersed with puzzled looks and blank stares.

One or two "you gotta be shittin' me"s.

Several "explain that to me one more time"s.

Fortunately for her, my grandbaby ran out of patience and put in to go home and go to bed.    She showed me how to post pics and hauled Tater (literally) to her house, thanking her lucky stars for a cranky baby.

We did a repeat last night on this blog, complete with stupid questions and confusing answers.    

She says this is my Mother's Day present and I can accept it as such.

One more problem this year with my social networking and I probably won't get a birthday present.    Unless I hold out until the end of August.     After I unwrap my gift I'll casually mention that I have a small problem with my blog......................