Next week will be the last week I have to haul my Kitchen Aid, 4 bags of groceries, a 50lb bag of flour, and my regular humongous bag of work to school, then the perishables up three flights of stairs to the fridge, and then everything back down and over to the kitchen.
Next week will be the last week that I’ll be yelling to kids to turn off their burners when no pots are even on the stove top or to hold knives down when they walk around. After that I won’t have to remind students to look at the recipe instead of just randomly assigning measurements or mixing steps. I won’t have to demonstrate cooking techniques and explanations which immediately become mocked by students as some kind of sexual innuendo (see butter recipe, below). I won’t be cleaning the kitchen for an hour after the students “cleaned up”.
Next week will be the last week that I’ll try to convince whining kids to taste kale salad, that macaroni and cheese from scratch is better than Kraft, and little teeny bits of garlic are not going to kill you when they’ve been simmered for almost an hour in a Moroccan tagine.
I can’t wait until next week so I can miss all of this.
We made biscuits, homemade butter, and jam. I gave out two different recipes to six groups and came out with six completely different products. Biscuits are most importantly about texture. If you’re like us about every third batch will turn out like crackery hockey pucks instead of fluffy flaky puffs. Here are the two Biscuit Commandments:
Thou Shalt Not Knead the Dough Too Much.
Thou Shalt Roll the Dough 1” Thick.
If you follow these two important details, you will do well. After observing my students’ work, I’d have to add a few more pieces of advice:
wet dough is better (and never add more flour than is called for)
do not grease the cookie sheet
pay close attention to teaspoon vs. tablespoon markings
the butter and milk should be cold, cold, cold and work quickly, quickly, quickly
biscuit cutters, if you remember to bring them to class, would be good. cut down, don’t twist.
The recipes we used:
- 1 Cup cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a lidded jar, shake the cream and salt about one revolution per second. You’ll have butter pretty soon. If you are doing this in a high school class, use the two handed back and forth method with the jar held horizontally instead of the “shake weight” method. Trust me.