But in the back of my mind, I knew my biscuits could be better, because I had twice tasted biscuits made by southern cooks that were better than mine. I surfed the Internet looking for clues to what I was missing in my own biscuits, and finally learned most southern ladies use self-rising flour and buttermilk to make theirs. I took tips and tricks from several different cooks, and was finally satisfied I had reached "Biscuit Nirvana", because my biscuits couldn't possibly get much better... I thought.
Then came the pandemic, when crazy men and women, most of whom had never made a biscuit in their lives, hoarded all the flour, including the self-rising kind. At the start of this hullabaloo connected to the epidemic, I doubt any or them had tried making a biscuit in their lives, but now they're getting ready to have their own cooking show, apparently. My Russian friend sent me a recipe to make my own self-rising flour, but I superciliously told him, "It isn't the same."
(In my junior and senior years of high school, we had ten vocabulary words to learn every week; supercilious was one of those words. We were to find the word in the newspaper if possible, write the meaning of the word, spell it correctly, and use it in a sentence. I graduated in 1962, but I still recognize every Henry Hornet word when I'm reading, and sometime remember to use them.)
It's the truth to say home-made self-rising flour isn't the same; there is something in the commercially made stuff that turns out better biscuits than the old-fashioned baking powder biscuits made with regular flour. But this morning, after getting up at 3 AM and starving until seven, I needed a biscuit. So I scolded myself for being silly, and headed to the kitchen to make ordinary biscuits: they might not be the very best, but they're good. On the way to the kitchen, I realized there might be some fantastic recipe on line I haven't tried that is just as great as what I'm used to, and Allrecipes.com wins again! It turns out this was the day for a revolution, when I learned there's more that one path leading to Biscuit Nirvana. I halved the recipe because it's just me and Cliff, and used Crisco because I'm out of lard (because I can't do my own shopping). Make no mistake about it, lard makes better baked goods than Crisco. Yeah, it'll kill you. So will Crisco. And biscuits in general, for that matter
I believe the secret ingredient is cream of tartar. These biscuits are so light, they could almost float up and away to become clouds floating in the blue Missouri sky. Who needs self-rising flour? Not I!
SADIE'S BUTTERMILK BISCUITS