Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Potato Biscuits

Potato biscuits are like potato bread, meant to use up a surfeit of mashed potatoes. Now, I have had a surfeit (isn't that a great word?) of mashed potatoes before, but not in late July. Not mashed potato weather. All of which explains why I arrived in Mrs. Curtiss's kitchen at 8:00 last Saturday morning with two potatoes, a can of dogfood and the dog, ready to make potato biscuits for my son and daughter-in-law who had driven up for the weekend.
By now, Mrs. Curtiss treats my random arrivals with her usual French sangfroid. "Oh, you're making biscuits? Oh." The day before, when they arrived, daughter-in-law and Mrs. C. had had a long conversation about how D.L. loved biscuits and how Mrs. Curtiss, in the high and far off times of the youth of her children had had a cook who made wonderful biscuits that no one could reproduce.

The biscuit making provided much entertainment, especially for my son, and for Mrs. Curtiss, who used the opportunity to get off lines like "Annie, we have order in this kitchen!" (This was when I looked in the pot cupboard for a bowl.) She also disputed my use of a former plum pudding bowl as a suitable vessel to beat eggs in. The dog, meanwhile, refused to eat his breakfast out of the aluminum bread pan Mrs. Curtiss had provided for him to drink out of, and scooted about on the floor under my feet and whined piteously.
The biscuits were pretty quick to make, and would have been faster if I had had leftover mashed potatoes. They were well received and gobbled down by us all, including the dog, prior to us going on a hike to Ice Glen in Stockbridge. (Just a note: if you don't have a biscuit cutter, you can use a small glass, such as a juice glass. Works great. Also, Mrs. Curtiss thinks that it's important not to knead the biscuit dough too much. It makes them tough, she says,)

Potato Biscuits

1/3 cup shortening, melted
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Stir the shortening into the potatoes. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar and add to the potato mixture. Mix well.
3. Add the milk all at once and mix just enough the moisten.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead twenty times.
5. Flatten dough into one-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into rounds. Bake on a greased baking sheet about twently minutes, or until done. Makes ten to twelve.

1 comment:

  1. I find that in most such recipes, one can substitute potato flakes for real potatoes. It does mean keeping a box of instant potatoes on the shelf, but that's easier than making mashed potatoes from scratch just to have leftovers.