Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cowboy Biscuits from Heaven

I finally found a biscuit recipe that reminds me of the huge, fluffy, bumpy biscuits that my Grandma used to make when I was a kid. I had tried several biscuit recipes, all of which were of the "roll out and cut" variety, to no avail.

They never seemed to rise much, and while tasty, they lacked the fluff and loft of the biscuits of my youth.

Here's the first batch that I made.

cowboy biscuits

Cooked 'em in my wonderful old cast iron skillet. Recipe is below. Oven times/temps will vary, so check them before the time is up the first time around. You can always bake longer - but it's damned hard to "unbake" something.

Dough

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold) cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups buttermilk cold

To Form and Finish Biscuits:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour in rimmed baking sheet, or pan.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.

Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, or use a well seasoned cast iron skillet; set aside. Generously spray inside and outside of 1/4 cup dry measure with nonstick cooking spray. For the dough: Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda to combine. Scatter butter cubes evenly over dry ingredients; pinch in the shortening until mixture resembles pebbly, coarse cornmeal. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.

Add buttermilk to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until just incorporated (dough will be very wet and slightly lumpy).To form and bake biscuits: Using 1/4 cup dry measure and working quickly, scoop level amount of dough; drop dough from measuring cup into flour on baking sheet (if dough sticks to cup, use small spoon to pull it free). Repeat with remaining dough, forming 12 evenly sized mounds. Dust tops of each piece of dough with flour from baking sheet. With floured hands, gently pick up piece of dough and coat with flour; gently shape dough into rough ball, shake off excess flour, and place in prepared cake pan.

Repeat with remaining dough, arranging 9 rounds around perimeter of cake pan and 3 in center. Brush rounds with hot melted butter, taking care not to flatten them. Bake 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees; continue to bake until biscuits are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert biscuits from pan onto clean kitchen towel; turn biscuits right-side up and break apart. Cool 5 minutes longer and serve.

A Nation of Cowards?

Recently, our Attorney General, Eric Holder, made a comment that makes my blood boil more and more the longer I think about it. He stated that America is a "Nation of Cowards", because we don't approach race relations in the way that he feels is most beneficial, and correct.

You know, I'm getting really fed up with the whole race issue in general. I'm sick to death of being made to feel guilty, and receiving absolutely no credit for the incredible advances our nation has made in race relations in the past 150 years. To hear civil rights activists today talk, you'd think things were as bad as they've ever been - in regards to black/white relations.

That's complete and utter bullshit.

My parents wouldn't have tolerated my sister's bringing home a "black boy" when we were young. My daughter dated a black kid in high school for a while and it didn't bother me one bit, 'cuz he was a good kid.

Look at this picture:

1925 kkk

Its a picture of a Klan rally in Washington DC in 1925. Police estimated there to be 30,000 or more participants - and that doesn't count the throngs of people lining the sidewalks, many of whom supported the marchers. If you click the picture, you'll go to my flickr page where you can select "show all sizes" and see a larger version. It's amazing how many people you can see fading off into the distance.

That's only 84 years ago, folks. In the same city where even more people turned out to welcome the first Black President into office just a couple of months ago.

Is there still rascism? Yes, of course there is. The deeply ingrained rascism and the hidden, subconsious racism will take generations more before they are weeded out entirely.

What bigots like Holder, Al Sharpton, and Jessie Jackson don't understand is that each time they belittle the progress that has been made in race relations - the more irritated some of us become. So much so, that I start not giving a shit if relations improve or not.

Eric Holder, and all the other poor-mouthing guilt spreaders, can kiss my white ass. Not because he's black, but because he's an idiot - and because we all (black and white alike) have a TON to be proud of.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stimulus Money

As you've probably heard, due to President Obama's fabulous stimulus package we are all going to get a whopping $13 extra per week on our paychecks, on average, starting in June. I'm surprised they even thought to include any tax credits for us at all, what with all the sex education funding and sneaky nationalized healthcare add-ons they had to squeeze in.

Anyway, what the hell are we supposed to do with the approximately $50 a month go-crazy cash?

I propose putting the money into something that will both inject cash into the economy - while simutaneously pissing in the Liberal Nanny State-er's eyes:

Starting in June, I will be going online and buying a minumum of $50 of ammunition. I will continue each an every month until the extra cash stops coming in. :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nationalized Healthcare? No thank you....

Long time – no post.

I’ve been busy with work, home projects, and family stuff lately. I’ve only had time to read a few of the blogs and news-sites that I like to follow, and absolutely no time to post anything relevant here.

I read
this story today, though, and had to take a second and post a link. The story takes place in Japan. The jist:

“After getting struck by a motorcycle, an elderly Japanese man with head injuries waited in an ambulance as paramedics phoned 14 hospitals, each refusing to treat him. He died 90 minutes later at one facility that finally relented — one of thousands of victims repeatedly turned away in recent years by understaffed and overcrowded hospitals.”

We’ve heard a lot recently, are are sure to hear more in the coming months/years, about everything bad someone can say about the Healthcare System in the US. We are told over and over how unfair it is, and how we should be like Europe, Canada, and other “modern” countries and allow the government to step in and run the Healthcare system.

The World Health Organization used to go as far as
ranking the healthcare systems of major countries, emphasizing their “facts” to show the US as ranking 37th, well behind Japan at 10th.

It's easy to see problems in the US healthcare system. Its also easy to grab onto the pretty promises made by some politicians that everything would be so much better if we just followed the lead of England, Japan, and other "forward thinking modern countries".


Before you allow yourself to be swept up into the frenzy to pattern ourselves after everyone else, take a minute, read the AP article referenced above, and do a little more research into just how happy the every day citizens who have to try and seek medical help under state administered healthcare systems really are.

There’s literally tons of reports that this type of system, while sounding good at the outset, are completely unsustainable and fatally flawed.