Confession: I am not southern. I am not even semi-southern. But I harbor deep fantasies about being whisked away and made to eat cheese grits, collard greens, and biscuits. In fact, last night I ate an entire bunch of collard greens. ON my own. I *might* have had to sleep in the attic due to my own stench.
I’ve been thinking about biscuits lately, as one does, in line at the post office or loading children into the minivan. My youngest son’s thighs are the consistency of dough – soft, supple, delicious. Last night, before my exodus to the attic, I brought Will in to cuddle with me. This was my great delight when he was younger. He’d stay asleep and I would read (my husband works very late on Tuesdays) with a delightful boy curled up next to me. But he’s older now, and I’ve been writing at night and staying up later with the older kids. I didn’t realize how much I missed the feeling of having Will near me, the his sighs feel on my shoulder, the way he clucks his tongue as he shifts around.
I carry that memory around with me today while I press coconut oil into the flour and polenta. The maple syrup is from our friend’s farm in Vermont, the color of an illuminated acorn.
Will asks if he can eat the dough raw. “It’ll be better cooked,” I tell him and we both wait in the warm kitchen.
Polenta-Maple Southern Biscuits
These are delicate with wonderful crumb and a hint of sweetness. Great any time of day.
2 cups self-rising flour, plus some to flour the board
1 cup polenta flour (just grind up your regular larger grit polenta)
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp butter (use all coconut for vegan)
1 cup milk (use almond milk or rice milk for vegan)
2 tbsp maple syrup
Oven to 425. Cut oil and butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and maple syrup and mix just until everything is combined. Put a bit of flour on your surface and pat (don’t roll) into approx 1/2 inch thick. Use biscuit-cutter or free-form into 2-inch circles. Place on parchment-coverec cookie sheet and bake for about 13 minutes or until browned. Serve hot with: jam or butter, melted cheese, turkey and swiss, coleslaw and baked beans, or eat it plain, savoring every last bit.