7/21/10

Cat's head biscuits and quilt pictures

Cat's head biscuits are so named because they are the size of a cat's head.

So, I'm going to make your mouth water. Imagine a biscuit that is as big as a fist, taller than it is wide. Perfectly light brown on the outside and when you break it open, it just steams with moist goodness. My Mama's biscuits were always like that. Light and fluffy and big. Perfect to split open and put in a half slice of ham or a sausage patty and turn into an impromptu sandwich. Perfect slathered in butter and jelly.

I can remember my Mom making these biscuits in an 8 inch cake pan. I have those pans. They're beat up and creased and banged up, just like they were when she made biscuits in them. And, I have the same recipe she used. I use the same ingredients in the same proportion and bake them in the same pan. But somehow, my biscuits are not as big, not as fluffy as hers. Don't get me wrong; I am known for making a good biscuit. But, they're not Mama's.

There was no rolling and cutting on those biscuits. She formed each one by hand. She'd melt a little shortening in the pan and roll the formed biscuits in it and then slide them in next to one another so they fit tight. When I make the recipe, it just barely fills the pan and there's no need to pack them in tight.

She'd take the pan out of the oven, after the perfect amount of time, and turn the biscuits out on a plate. Then, my Dad would start his part of the breakfast process and he'd break each one open and slide in a pat of Imperial Margarine, close the biscuit and turn it upside down on the plate. That Margarine would melt and soak into the biscuit top. Yum.

Then, we'd slather them with home made jelly and eat every one she made. Each one as big as a cat's head. If there were more than we could eat for breakfast, we'd find them at the lunch table. If there were extras when she made Turkey and Dressing, they'd find their way into the dressing. Never waste something as good as the perfect biscuit.

My sister and I would argue over the center biscuit because it was the one with the most rough surface. The ones around the edges had the flat surface where they rose against the sides of the pan, but the ones in the center didn't have that smoothness. I guess the center biscuit was the most desirable because they were the scarcest. At some point, I can remember that my Mom started putting two biscuits in the center. That worked that problem out.

2 homemade biscuits; 2 eggs, scrambled in bacon fat; bacon (you remember bacon when it was more lean than fat?) or sausage patties; grits (ground up white corn, boiled in water until it was like polenta, for those of you not from the south) that had been made yellow with melted Margarine and liberally speckled with black pepper; and orange juice. That was breakfast when I was growing up. It makes my mouth water just to think of it. And, it makes this morning's breakfast of 2 eggs scrambled in olive oil; 2 slices of Turkey bacon, cooked in the microwave; one slice of whole wheat toast with a half teaspoon of storebought jam spread thinly over it pale in comparison. But, my parents and grandparents were more active than my family is. They worked all day, every day. Plaque had no time to settle in their arteries.

Times change and so does food. And, that makes this memory part of Way Back Wednesday.

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Now for the quilt pics. This is my fancy quilt. I haven't shown pics of the finished product yet because I was so disappointed that it didn't turn out the way I wanted. Don't get me wrong, it is beautiful, but it is not a reflection of what I thought it would be. After all, it's hard to acknowledge that the back of my quilt is prettier than the front.

This is a shot of the front of the quilt. You can barely see the quilting in it. Key lesson learned is still thread color choice. I used an olive green fabric and a yellow thread. Everyone says to use a shade lighter than you think you should. I started at olive and went lighter to yellow. I should have either started at yellow and gone lighter or gone darker than the olive fabric.

Now, here is the finished back. In the border, I used the print on the fabric from the front and quilted around every flower petal and leaf and used echo filler in the brown blank space. None of it shows from the front, but all that detail is in the back.
These next two pics are just sections of the back. The lower right corner...

and the upper left.

I don't know when I'll spend another 6 weeks quilting a quilt like I did this little one. It is very time intensive and took about 2200 yards of thread for a quilt that measures 40"x40". But, I will make another one. Something close to whole cloth like this one is. But, I'll be more careful selecting thread.

Well, that's all that's going on with us right now. Take care and we'll see ya' round the www. Lane

13 comments:

Piece by Piece said...

Your Mama's biscuits sound as if they were yummie, the grits, I don't know, can't seem to like them.
Your quilting is fantastic, what more can I say.
Patricia

Becky said...

Oh. My. Goodness. That is sooooo beautiful! I'm sorry it didn't look like you wanted it to, but it sure is a stunner in my book! I'll rank it right up there...but not ahead,lol...of the Orange Peel!!

Rhoda said...

I think memories are one of God's biggest blessings. I have them of my growing up years, and I treasure them because my parents are both gone now. Your quilt is just wonderful!

vivian said...

I love that green and your quilting is gorgeous! And I want a big biscuit!!

Barb H said...

I just finished dinner, yet I'm hungry for a biscuit! Lane, your quilting is amazing! So much planning in making up the design and so much time spent executing it. It's beautiful!

Patricia said...

Boy did your post bring back memories. Our mothers must have learned to cook biscuits at the same "school", although I must say, her's were not the size of a cats head, but they were so very good! She made them hot for my Daddy when he went to work and when my brother and I got up, we would find a buttered one left for us. It was so very nice to eat that biscuit knowing that it was prepared just for us by him. Boy I sure could use some of that nuturing about now! Your quilt is beautiful!!! Wish I could see it up close and personal!

lw said...

Great way back Wednesday! It's funny how two people can make the same recipe and it always comes out different.

I have to agree about your quilt. The front is pretty, but the back is amazing!! I will take to heart your thoughts on selecting thread color.

Has Leah Day seen it yet? She'll be proud.

Shirleymac said...

Unfortunately no biscuits can ever taste like the ones we had as kids, even if we use the same recipe. But I bet yours are just as good even if they don't seem the same to you. They sound delicious. My grandmother used to keep a can of bacon grease under her kitchen sink. I don't know why we didn't all get ptomaine poisoning. But she sure could cook. Your quilt is gorgeous! I can see the quilting easily enough. Maybe the border on the front takes away from it? Good work.

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

I'm starting with the quilt - which is really beautiful. You should be so proud of it.

And we dont get "biscuits" here(biscuits are what you call cokkies ) ...so I'm going to google a recipe and see if my backwards country has the ingredients to make them. Since I never had them in childhood I wont know if the ones I make stink.

oldbatt said...

My wonderful MIL (now gone) would say it was the "sweat of her brow" that made your Mom's biscuits so good!

The quilt is beautiful! Sorry you were so disappointed with it. But the quilting is stunning. Oh - I also meant to tell you that someone had an Indian Orange Peel quilt at the Sister's Oregon show (I only saw pictures I wasn't there) and it was really pretty but not as nice as yours. I have the pic saved if you want to check it out. Best, Lisa

Elizabeth said...

Oh, Lane that quilt is just so gorgeous! I'm simply amazed by it. I know it wasn't what you planned, but it is amazing! I hope you find a place of honor to hang it in your home.

Also, I'd love the Cat's Head Biscuit recipe. Mmmm. I love biscuits.

Thanks for sharing today.

xo -E

Vesuviusmama said...

Wow! I have to comment on the quilt first because your quilting is phenomenal! And so what if you like the back more than the front - you get to decide what is the front and what is the back. So your back has a border on it, strange, but I've heard of stranger things...

And then, I'm so jealous of the biscuits. I love them, but somehow mine always come out like paperweights, so it is storebought for me.

Sunshine said...

Stunning quilt!