-Ecclesiastes 3: 1
Its May (some refer to it as "Mayhem") here in our cool, northern region, and we're just beginning to see warmer temperatures. We've planted early season seeds, and prepared the ground to receive nursery-grown vegetable starts. (Ideally, as microfarmers/homesteaders, we should start our own plants for greater self-sufficiency. We've tried. We're rotten at it. So we patronize local, family-owned nurseries for our plant stock- at least until we acquire the knack of seed starting).
About this time in the year, things get incredibly busy. My husband works for a major agricultural equipment dealer, so he's working 12 hour days trying to stay ahead of demand. I am a seasonal employee, so have most of my summer off. But as Chief Cook, Livestock Curator, and Weed Control Officer, I start my days at 6 am and literally run from task to task, manage projects, and douse the odd fire that pops up from time to time. (I mean that figuratively mostly, but I've nearly set the house on fire twice in the last 10 days).
All this happens every year, but this year we're expecting our second grandchild any minute now. So our level of activity is ramping up to maximum preparedness. Part of getting ready for the busy months of summer is using some of my quiet hours to prepare freezer meals- including baked goods, which freeze beautifully. My family loves my buttermilk biscuits, which frozen raw can be used individually for any number of gut-busting family favorites, including as a topping or crust for pot pies and stews. I simply form my biscuits (usually the traditional round cut, but also in useful squares), place them on a pan, and stash the pan in the freezer for an hour or two, then bag them in freezer zip-top bags.
The following recipe is a basic one. Feel free to add shredded cheese, herbs, spices- whatever you like. Even chopped deli cold cuts would make a complete hand-held meal for on-the-go homesteaders and busy families. Make it your own and have fun!!
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP + 1 tsp kosher salt
2 TBSP baking powder
2 sticks (8 ounces) salted butter, cut into slices
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter until the butter is roughly the size of green peas.
Add the liquid and stir to combine.
Dump this onto your floured surface. Using a bench scraper, fold the mass together over and over- until most of the buttermilk is incorporated. Many recipes call this "kneading", but I find that too much kneading leads to tough biscuits. 15 "kneads" is a good guideline.
Sprinkle the top of the resulting lump with some flour and pat down with your hands- there is no need to dirty a rolling pin for this step. You want to pat it down to about 2" thick. Cut the biscuits to your desired shape and place on a sheet pan lined with parchement paper or sprayed with pan spray. Bake at 400 degrees until the tops are golden brown, about 25 minutes.