Really Good Buttermilk Biscuits

Tomorrow millions of Americans will sit down and eat lush Thanksgiving dinners, I among them.  And I am so very thankful that I am able to do so – we will have more than enough food and a surfeit of family and friends with whom to enjoy it.  In a spirit of sincere joy and thankfulness, here is an easy and quick recipe for buttermilk biscuits, truly one of life’s great pleasures.  (These are dropped, not rolled, biscuits, which makes them even easier.)

Really Good Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 1 tsp granulated (not kosher or coarse) salt
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk (you can use low-fat but I do not recommend it)

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Pulse the first 6 ingredients in a food processor (or cut together using 2 knives or a pastry cutter) until everything is well mixed and the butter is evenly incorporated into the flour.  Remove mix to a large bowl.  Mix in 2 cups of the buttermilk until well-mixed but don’t beat.  Dough should be wet but not sloppy.  If it is dry add the extra quarter cup buttermilk.  Using a spoon drop the dough onto lined cookie sheets (use parchment paper – it is better in this case then buttering the pans) leaving plenty of room for spreading.  You can make little ones using teaspoon amounts or very large ones using 1/2 cup measures.  Bake until the biscuits get lightly browned on top and start to smell delicious, ~12-20 minutes depending on size.  Remove from pans, serve warm with butter, jam, nothing, as toppings for pot pie, etc.  If you have any left store them in an airtight container then sneak down in the middle of the night to finish them.

Happy Thanksgiving and give thanks for happiness.

Using my (very small) bully pulpit

The other day I was Whole Foods to get a baguette. Upon checking out I was offered the chance to round up to the nearest dollar with the money going to Community Food Share (, the local food bank. I strongly support this organization and especially feel that now more than ever it is important, given the cut to SNAP benefits, to support it financially. Donations of money go further than food donations – they allow the food bank to get large shipments of produce and food for just the cost of freight, etc. Back to Whole Foods. I asked if all the money collected goes to the food bank. The answer was, Yes, we use the donations to buy our own products that we then donate. I just called the store and confirmed this. When you round up your check to make a donation to the food bank Whole Foods uses the money you have donated to buy its own 365 brand products that they then donate to the food bank. While this is neither illegal nor unethical it does leave me with a very bad taste in my mouth. Skip the (financially benefiting) middleman and go straight to the source to make a donation. And please do – your $1 donation buys much more than $1 worth of grocery food.