Monday, July 28, 2014

Better late than never - Broom Handle Biscuits

Once again, I can't keep myself disciplined enough to do a blog post a week. Life is just too much fun and too hectic sometimes to sit down and write a blog post each week. But at least I take photos so that I can write the posts out later. Perhaps that's a secret I shouldn't reveal - but oh well. 

I already miss the mountains, but whenever I leave a place, I take pieces of it with me. This time I've got a couple recipes up my sleeve. This one is not so much a recipe but a trick. It's a way to make a fantastic pastry using the hot coals leftover from a S'mores fire. (I blogged before about how going camping is really just an excuse to eat marshmallows at every meal. Now it's an excuse to eat marshmallows and to buy canned biscuits.) 

Up till this point I had never bought (or popped open!) a can of ready-made biscuits. If I eat biscuits, they're either in fast food (like the Popeye's I had for the first time, or at KFC) or they're homemade (Evelyn's angel biscuits, mmm). So broom handle biscuits were totally new to me. 

You take ready-made biscuits and pop them out of the can, then separate them. 

This is another guest-chef blog post with my friend Wilson demonstrating how to stretch out the biscuits so you can wrap them around a broom handle.

Stretch them out real good and then mold one end over a greased broom handle, like below. 

Start to wrap the biscuit around the broom handle in a spiral. The pastry should be between 4 and 5 inches when you're done.

Hold the biscuit over hot coals until it starts getting puffy.

 When it's brown, it's baked.

Let it cool for a few seconds and then slide it off the broom handle. If it slides off, you know you used enough grease (Crockpot butter, in this instance).

Then fill and eat. Butter and jam are the typical fillings, but you can also use chocolate sauce, peanut butter, Nutella... pretty much anything you'd put on bread.

They're delicious! (Obviously.) 

Nutritious? Of course not. 

Now it's definitely lunch time... 

Happy munching! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Oh go back to your double-wide and fry something!"

Any other "Sweet Home Alabama" fans? That has to be one of my favorite rom-com's and it's lucky that they play it on TV like every other day so if you're flipping channels looking for something to watch, chances are good that you'll stumble upon it. How could you go wrong? Reese Witherspoon, McDreamy, Josh Lucas (who doesn't have a Mc-hot something nickname but is no less deserving) and Candice Bergen (who is one of my favorite actresses whose name I do not know) make a great cast with lots of awesome soundbites: 

- the title of this blog
- "Why'd you wanna marry a guy like me?" 
"So I can kiss you whenever I want." 

The center has it on VHS so I might just be watching it later... 

Anyways, I named this blog after that quote because for the first time I really fried something. I've done stir-fries but this was the first time I poured a half-inch of oil into a pan and set things to bubbling in it. It was lots of fun. 

I had to do it because a friend, Kay, the woman who taught me the quilt stitch, gave me four squash from her garden last Wednesday. She gave me two summer squash and two yellow crookneck squash (which I had to Google under "bubbly yellow squash") and said, "You have to fry 'em, like this..." and told me how to do it but I forgot. Thank goodness for the internet. I used someone else's Grandmother's recipe and made some adaptations.  

I don't peel my squash. The skin tastes just like the rest of the vegetable and I figure it's more healthful to keep it on. Instead of using six pounds of squash like the recipe says I just used two squash (don't know how many pounds but nowhere near to six). I wasn't sure how much Ryan would eat because he said he wasn't that big a squash fan - we still have leftovers.

I scooped out the seeds of the crookneck squash by inserting a knife into the squash in a circle, then scooping with a spoon. I composted the seeds and cut the squash into rings. (A good way to eat "onion rings" if you don't like onions!) 

I left the seeds in the yellow squash because they didn't seem as easy to cut out. So I just made slices. (Interestingly, these ones were much more flavorful. Perhaps that was the seeds? Perhaps they were more moist because they weren't in rings?) 

Once the squashes were sliced I prepared the frying ingredients. The recipe called for a milk and egg mixture instead of buttermilk, which I didn't have. Then I was reminded that buttermilk is really just curdled milk, so if you have white vinegar and milk and a little time, you have buttermilk.

The dry mixture included cornmeal, flour, salt, and garlic and herb spice.

I tried to use as little oil as possible and was happy with the results. I also used olive oil, though I think vegetable oil is what most people use for frying. 

The summer squash made up the second batch and I used even less oil than the first batch. I didn't change the oil in between batches, though I considered it. The cornmeal added an extra crunch, as did the half white, half wheat flour that I use. 

Ryan's contribution stole the show, really. He said, "Shouldn't we dip these in something?" He mixed together mayonnaise, olive oil and Frank's Redhot Sauce. It was out of this world delicious.

These are the leftovers. Unfortunately fried things like this never taste as good as they did right out of the frying pan, so I recommend making these for more than two people. I think at least four would be ideal. Also, be careful to prepare less dry ingredients if you're using less squash. I only used about half the wet mixture and still have about half the dry mixture. Hopefully I can use the dry mixture to fry some chicken tonight but I don't know if it'll still be good. I hate when things go to waste. 

(Unfortunately I didn't have any Oreos... I could have tried frying marshmallows but I feel like that would just make a mess. I wonder what would happen if you froze them and then fried them? HMMM... that just might be my next blog post! Oh look - 'fried marshmallows' is a thing. Thanks Google!)

Do you like to fry? What do you fry?