Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Globulous Mess in the Kitchen

I made biscuits, sort of.

We spend Thanksgiving with in-laws in another state, so I don't usually contribute much by way of bringing food. We either have an eight-hour drive or a drive-fly trip that makes hauling pie and green-bean bake a problem. This year, I thought about taking biscuits, a dinner variety like rolls but slightly different, which might travel well.

I found a recipe for sweet potato biscuits in a Martha Stewart Holiday magazine and decided to give them a practice shot before committing to anything later. Boy, was that ever a good idea.

This recipe calls for 1 3/4 pounds of or 3 large sweet potatoes. I didn't weigh the potatoes at the store, but I chose 3 large ones. I think this is where I went wrong. "Large" may be a relative term when it comes to things like potatoes, and it's possible I chose extra-large or even XXL.

I boiled them and mashed them as instructed and mixed them with the usual frothy yeast, a little sugar, melted butter, eggs, and a mountain of flour. The Kitchen Aid bowl was filled with glop that might have seemed right, I'm not sure, because it still had to rise for two hours. I let the stuff rise and came back to find an amoeba on my stove, the Creature from the Sweet Potato Mash.

I probably should have started over at that point, but I charged ahead and dumped the mess on the heavily floured counter top. I added enough flour to keep from wearing the dough up to my elbows and rolled it out. I managed to use the biscuit cutter to chop out a bunch of biscuits, but instead of nicely formed ones, what I got instead was something the consistency of really thick pudding. Again, I should have given up, but I kept going and baked the things anyway.

Biscuits they are not. And I will not be taking a batch of these things to the Thanksgiving gathering. I found that by slathering a layer of pumpkin butter on them, they are somewhat edible, but I still threw the finished product in the trash.

The lessons learned here are 1) a practice run-through is a good idea, and 2) weigh your produce and don't rely on your sense of "large."


dive said...

Those Martha Stewart Jailhouse Holiday recipes never work, Robyn.

Those don't look like biscuits but if you could think up a name for whatever it is they are I'm sure you could market them. They look … er … interesting.

Alifan said...

Oh dear Robyn, but cheer up after all my years of baking I still have mistakes..... and you are a great cook, try a different recipe xxx

lynn said...

Oh. I always rely on my sense of large and no, that's not a euphemism. I never measure in cooking. Ever. Seems to work. These look tasty. Your recipes are always terribly complicated! Seems a lot of work. Why not take some simple cakes or buns? Or, sweets. Wrapped nicely, people always love those. There are some recipes over at mine if you search but I know you're more than capable to know your own!
I had a disaster recently with biscuits, which turned out so hard they would have been tooth breaking. They went in the bin too. It happens.

Shan said...

Bahaha. Well, it SOUNDED like a good idea anyway. I'm not really one to make a test batch ahead but like Lynn said, you do seem to make a lot of complicated things that could go wrong anywhere along the way. I haven't found Martha's stuff to be terribly simple considering she feels the need to make even marshmallows from scratch. (And I do love Dives Jailhouse comment-hardy har har!)

That being said, this story reminds me of the time when I made homemade biscuits one morning and switched baking soda for the baking powder called for or something.

Oh my word those things were nasty! They actually gave your mouth a little electrical jolt every time you bit into one. And it was hard not to be tricked by them because they looked so good! Boy that taste of eating pure baking soda was just so wrong!!! I can still remember it-shudder.

Maybe you should take some peanut butter bon bons (buckeyes?) or a pumpkin roll you can freeze and travel with ? I never get turned away when I bring one of those good ole standbys to the table.