Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Battle of the Biscuits

There are certain things my mother-in-law does not take lightly, food being one - more specifically home baked goods.

I picked her up from the nursing home the other day where she was visiting her husband who has split "the friendship" with his girlfriend. I saw the girlfriend all neatly coiffed fresh from the home's beauty parlor napping right across from his room. They'll be back together, I mean how far can you go to get away from each other when you're a resident on the same floor? I recently shared with Tali why Grandpa was in the home to begin with which included in no small part his nocturnal wandering of the streets of the city, leaving the door wide open at home all because he insisted he needed to get to his job as manager of the nearby 7-11. Never mind that he was not in their employ, he spent hours there anyway. Once I shared this with her, I said "why did I tell you that?" to which Tali replied with a bemused smile on her face "I don't know. I mean it's sad and funny all at the same time". "I think that's why I shared it" I said. Please understand we are very sad that Grandpa is in a nursing home, but I recognize that Tali has inherited her ability to look at the humorous side of life, in all its absurdity from her Mama.

Back to the baked goods. My mother-in-law had asked me to stop at KeyFood on the way home for her to buy flour which is on sale. More reverse price gouging as technically Jews cannot buy flour during Passover as our homes should be free of such items or a ritual sale of said should have occurred. Sales trump all religious law and my MIL marches in to claim her savings.

You see this is all brought about because Tali has mentioned to my MIL that she likes her sister's biscuits better. "Maybe because she makes them with that special cookie shooter and they come out thinner" I offer. "No, no - the last time I made them, I ran out of vanilla and used vanilla pudding instead. And instead of butter, I had to add a little oil. Miss America notices everything. Julian will eat them anyway, not Tali. " She is right about that.

Miss America is the name she teasingly but lovingly calls Tali, sometimes to Tali's chagrin but that's lost on Grandma as she calls her it anyway. I laugh inside because I know the reason she favors her great-Aunt's biscuits is as I've stated but I figure let Grandma give it her best shot with the finest ingredients lined up. Not like they won't get eaten.

Passover ends Tuesday night - expect the call by Wednesday noon that the biscuits are ready.

End Note: I realize by the comments, biscuits are construed as the normal association of a biscuit. In our world of things not really being what they're called, i.e., chocolate cake which is neither chocolate nor cake; biscuits are actually a little hard lady finger sort of cookie - quite delicious, substitute ingredients notwithstanding.


Weirsdo said...

Biscuit making is quite the art--a long tradition of it around here. Definitely a competition that should be encouraged by the judges.
My personal favorite biscuits are dropped and have plenty of cheese, garlic, and olive oil--an M. F. K. Fisher recipe.

pia said...

Your post combined so many different elements in one very funny story
Love it

Though I have to admit I never knew that Jews made biscuits

They were on the permanent list of banned or never heard of foods when I was growing up

There were many--as in anything with calories, cholesterol etc
I could really go for Weirdso's MK Fisher recipe

Minka said...

It must be hard for anybody to hear, that the thing you pride yourself in, is outdone by someone else...even worse: within the same family tree!

I love Tali´s attitude to life...focus on the funny parts...they are there for a reason and even God enjoys a joke. He put us here, after all!

G said...

Weirsdo: Those sound delicious indeed. I have clarified, based on the comments that our biscuits are not in fact the doughy biscuit that normally comes to mind, but a cookie of sorts (worthy of a competition of their own).

Pia: Thanks and don't worry not to disillusion you - as mentioned above and clarified, they're more of a cookie. I don't think I've ever had a biscuit (well, actually once I recall) in my MIL's home.

Okay, now I'm getting hungry.

G said...

Minka: I just missed you! Nothing like a little friendly bake-off, I say :) And somehow I know you can appreciate finding the humor in life (after all, it usually doesn't take too much digging). I am certain G-d must have a wicked sense of humor (or at the very least he appreciates ours).

neva said...

"Sales trump all religious law"? somehow i knew that would be the case where your MIL was concerned. hilarious. lovelovelove this story -- and can absolutely imagine the phone ringing long before noon on Wednesday. that little Tali is not only insightful, she's freaking brilliant! i adore the way she's able to "manipulate" her grandmother into baking a favorite/yummy treat the verysecond the holiday is over...

oh, i'd say G-d most definitely appreciates your sense of humor, dear NBFF! what am i saying here -- He's the one who gave it to you, in the first place! xox

Doug said...

Sales aren't religious law? Are you reform or conservative?

Claire said...

Oh my goodness, what a sweet family story. I actually made biscuits (the goy kind) from an old family recipe for our Easter dinner. I love baking. Your daughter sounds like she sure knows how to handle grandma!

chikken said...

I really love when you give these looks through the window into your life...and the personalities of everyone. Thanks for that. Tali is a lucky are you. XOXOXO

~Mo'a~ said...

It is perfectly natural to me that your chocolate cake is not chocolate...after I had the pleasure of having some of that cake :)
The English call cookies this all seems very natural to me.
Can't wait to meet Tali :)

G said...

Neva: Haha, yes indeed my MIL is nothing if not practical over all else. Yes Tali has a way of being honest and tossing off these comments. The biscuits will actually be ready by about 7:00 a.m. I am pretty sure :) xox

Doug: We're new traditionalists, so sales are indeed religious law :)

Claire: You're cracking me up - hope your goyscuits came out delicious. If anyone knows how to handle Grandma, it is indeed Miss, oops - Tali :)

chikken: We are lucky ladies indeed. Thanks for taking a peek, it's always fun to share with you. xox

mo'a: I forgot to mention it tastes better slightly warmed, but I hope you enjoyed. I knew you'd feel right at home with the vernacular. Oh and she can't wait to meet you. Spring is settling in - fine days for travels :)

actonbell said...

I've never met a biscuit I didn't lik.
That's a nice story:)

G said...

Actonbell: Me neither! Thanks.

weirsdo said...

O. k., I get the clarification, but here's the recipe for my biscuits anyway:
1/2 cup mixed butter and olive oil
1 egg
1 cup rich milk or light cream
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup grated Parmesan or any other light cheese
Melt butter in olive oil in cookie pan. Add egg and cream to flour mixture, stir lightly, add cheese and mix again lightly. Drop like cookies onto pan, in what should be "more than ample" [it is!] oil and butter. Bake at 425 degrees about 15 minutes or until golden and done. Serve at once without more butter. [MORE butter indeed!] Can be large or small.

G said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'll store it for a rainy day.