Tag Archives: biscuits

Made With Love

Food is love.  In so many ways, whether we grow it, buy it, prepare it, or serve it, the act of sharing food is a way of showing that we care for another. Our holidays and rituals often have food associated with them, and they involve rituals of planning and shopping and preparing that invest the food with memory and meaning far beyond its nutritional value, flavor, and calorie count.

And I don’t cook.  It’s not that I can’t cook, in fact, like many women, I learned to cook at my mother’s elbow and even went through a period in high school where i prepared dinner each night for my family in exchange for not having to do the dishes.  It didn’t last for long.  If I were going to cook, I wanted to create.  But I’m not interested in eating as much as I am in creating.

Luckily, I married a man who enjoys cooking and has cooked for me and our family since the beginning of our relationship.  He cooks for holidays and occasions, he cooks for my friends and family, and he cooks each and every day, day in and day out, even when he doesn’t want to, even when he doesn’t feel like it.  And each and every meal is made with love.

This morning, Easter morning, he had already planned to make buttermilk biscuits from scratch.  Inspired by a meal last week outside of Nashville at the Loveless Cafe, he looked up a recipe, bought a quart of buttermilk, and decided to see if he could make biscuits as good as the ones we ate last week.

And when he got ready to cook this morning, I got out my camera to capture the steps in the process.  (I’m lucky that he is a good sport about my photography–even when it gets in his way!) So I snapped some shots of the biscuits in process.  As I was taking pictures I was also thinking about my friend Karen’s Make With Me invitation at the NWP ianthology this month–which is all about making food.  I knew I was unlikely to contribute a food make since i really don’t make food…but with my photos in hand and Geoff’s great food make, I was inspired to use the photos to build a movie about the biscuits.

The biscuits were amazing…and delicious!  And he even made lattes at home to go with them. Making the video was fun too…completed start to finish on my phone.  This is my first solo video…I’ve done bits and pieces before, but never the whole thing and never on my phone.  So it felt good to put this together.  And it’s funny, I’ve written about making biscuits before…here...and the memories entwined in that process of making food in my childhood. Even for someone who doesn’t cook, food is associated with memories and with love. My Easter, with an empty nest and no kids at home, was filled with food and love today as Geoff cooked for me this morning and reveled in his own creation and my creation based on his creation…and then later cooked for my parents, treating us all to an Easter dinner made with love, creating space for talk and memories and full bellies.

buttermild biscuits

In many ways the video I made today was a love letter back to my husband for the love he puts into the food he makes.  And the process of making with someone else in mind fills me, as the maker, with love and appreciation.  Food is love.  And today, making this movie (about food) was love too.

 

Making Biscuits

I’m a bit behind in my participation in the Learning Creative Learning MOOC, put on by the MIT Media Lab, P2PU and sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation.  So I am going back to last week’s activity, which involves reading Seymore Papert’s essay Gears of My Childhood and then using that essay as an invitation to reflect and write about my own childhood experience with object-based learning.

Unlike Papert, I don’t have an immediate memory of a particular object that influenced my view of the world from a very early age.  (It’s probably more of a memory problem than of a lack of interest in an object!)  But as I continued to think about influences on my outlook toward learning and curiosity, I found myself thinking of many different influences–most of them including important people in my life: my mom, my dad, and my Grandma Millie come immediately to mind.  And then I thought about my experiences making biscuits with my Uncle Bob.

Uncle Bob (actually my dad’s uncle–so my great uncle) lived in a trailer somewhere in the same county where we lived and we would visit on Sunday mornings (I think).  He would make biscuits and always invited me and my little sister to help him.  (He seemed old from the time I knew him and we were very little girls at the time)  We would climb up on a chair of the trailer table and watch closely as he kneaded and smoothed the floury dough.  Then he would roll it out and hand each of us a drinking glass, the same kind we would drink 7-up in a bit later, and we would carefully cut the biscuits using the glass.  He would then take the biscuits, place them on the pan, and put them in the oven.  I still love biscuits, especially when they are made from scratch like that!

And I think the important lesson I learned from that drinking glass/biscuit cutter is that the right tool for the job is often the tool you have access to.  Uncle Bob didn’t need fancy biscuit cutters that were just the right size, he just pulled a glass out of the cupboard.  And better yet, my sister and I each had one to work on cutting those tasty biscuits from the dough.  We all worked together and, in spite of our age, were trusted to do this important work.

And to this day, so many years later, I know that using what you have access to is an important truth to experimenting, to figuring things out, to designing, and to feeling like making is within your grasp.  I still don’t have to go out and buy the perfect kit or have the just right materials to get started with exploring…I just have to be interested, and it really helps to have someone like Uncle Bob (or my mom, dad, and Grandma Millie) around to support you as you’re getting started.

Uncle Bob