Sunday, June 22, 2008
I only remembered it was Gallery night when someone from the gallery next door came over to see what I was serving as refreshments. Oops! So I came upstairs and checked the cupboard. No brownie or lemon bar box mixes, no stashes of chocolate left over from Christmas, no chips, no grapes or cherries in the fridge, nothing. There was a box of Bisquick that caught my eye on my second more desperate scan of the meager supplies. I thought maybe one could flavor them and add sugar somehow to make them sweet. Making them bite size is good because gallery guests don't need plates or napkins, and what with the environmental theme of the gallery, that is a good thing. Hmmm, I had lemons in a vase, my fallback when I don't have time to stop at the florist or keep flower water changed. So I measured out the amount of one batch of Bisquick for standard biscuits (2 2/3 cups), and zested the rind of a whole lemon into it. I added a half cup sugar and mixed that dried stuff together. Then I added the usual amount of milk, afraid the lemon zest would curdle it and make a mess. But it mixed in as usual. I put some sugar into a bowl, dropped tiny blobs of the dough into the sugar, and put them on the cookie sheet, sugar side up. I baked them at 450 degrees until the tips were just brown. Hmm - they tasted kinda bland, but interesting, so the next batch, I squeezed in the juice from half the lemon after everything was mixed, and added a bit more dry Bisquick to get it back to the right consistency. That batch tasted more lemony, though both batches tasted stronger after they cooled. I sliced the remaining half of the lemon wafer thin and used it to garnish the plate when I served them in the gallery. One visitor asked about them and where I got the recipe and I said I made it up this afternoon and she said you can't just make up a baking recipe and that is when I got the idea that maybe I should be a little proud of my accomplishment. That made me wonder how I could do such an thing, and I remembered 4-H with Mrs. Palensky where we learned how cooking works. We even made biscuit mix from scratch. That is how I knew what order to add things in order not to ruin it all, and where I learned about what proportions should be used. We didn't just make things from recipes but we learned why the recipes worked and what purpose each ingredient has, and when you know that sort of thing, yes, you CAN just make up a baking recipe! Thanks, 4-H and Mrs. Palensky!