*  Exported from  MasterCook  Buster  *
 
                          MARYLAND BEATEN BISCUITS
 
 Recipe By     : Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields
 Serving Size  : 18   Preparation Time :
 Categories    : Breads                           Regional Cooking
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    4      cups          all-purpose flour
    1      teaspoon      salt
    1 1/2  tablespoons   lard -- or vegetable
                         -- shortening
    1 3/4  cups          water -- up to 2
 
 (The oldest and most famous biscuit recipe of the Chesapeake Bay region
 originated on the plantations of southern Maryland.  The traditional
 preparation can be termed, at the very least, a culinary cardiovascular-
 aerobic exercise.
 
 Its execution is best described by Joanne Pritchett, whose great-great
 grandmother was a cook on a St.  Mary’s plantation: “Honey, every time I know
 I'm going to make these biscuits, I get myself good and mad.  Normally I think
 about my sister-in-law, Darlene, who ran off with my husband right after
 Granny Pritchett’s funeral.  That was years ago, but it still galls me into
 making some of the tenderest biscuits around.”)
 
 “It’s very simple.  I just sift the flour and salt together in a bowl.  Some
 people, nowadays, like to use Crisco or something like that.  But I believe in
 lard.  It gives it that certain taste.
 
 ”So then, I cut the lard into the flour with the tips of my fingers, working
 it real quick.  During this step I make believe I'm putting out Darlene’s
 eyes.
 
 “Then, little by little, I pour in the cold water, until I get a good stiff
 dough.  Put it on a real solid table with flour.  Now if your table is weak,
 honey, the legs'll fall right off.  I've seen it happen!
 
 ”Depending on my mood, I use an axe or a big old mallet.  I make a ball out of
 the dough to look like Darlene’s head and, baby, I let her have it.  Use the
 flat side of the axe or mallet, and beat the hell out of the dough till it
 blisters good.  Takes about half an hour, but honey, it makes them tender as
 butter.
 
 “Form the dough into balls, the size of little eggs, and flatten ‘em a bit on
 the board.  Put a few pokes in the center with a fork, then bake in a hot
 425øF oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.  Serve hot and put some liniment on
 your arm, or it'll be acting up the next day.”
 
 Makes about 3 dozen biscuits
 
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 Converted by MC_Buster.
 
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