A Cookbook from the 70s! Plus, Crazy Good Biscuits

Do any of you remember me saying something about cleaning out my cookbook collection?
Really? You do?

Huh. I kinda forgot about it. The only reason I’m remembering it now is that I recently swept my kitchen floor… and now you know the usual condition of my kitchen floor.

There in the corner of the room sat two grocery bags from Trader Joe’s, filled with old Cookbookcookbooks. Let’s pull one out, shall we?

Oh look! It’s Betty Crocker’s Bisquick Cookbook.

What the hell?

Click to Jump to Recipe

I swear to you people, I have no idea why I have this or where it came from. I can’t find a publication date on it anywhere, but it looks like it’s from the 70s. Now, the 70s were a fine era for many things, but food was not one of them.

Some of the delectable goodies from this cookbook:

  • Crusty Curried Chicken: Get this – the recipe calls for two cut up chickens but only 1/8 teaspoon curry powder. Wow.
  • Hobo Dinners-In-Cans: you smash raw beef into an empty can, top it with tomato Hobo Dinner recipeslices and canned corn, then top with a mixture of Bisquick and milk and cook it on your grill. Let me know how that turns out for you, m’kay?
  • Tuna in Tulip Cups: the name alone makes the mouth water, eh?
  • Mexican Fiesta Casserole: made with ground beef, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, onion, canned tomatoes & Bisquick. I’ve no idea what makes this Mexican. Must have been a 70s thing.

The whole book is like this! There isn’t a single recipe that looked the slightest bit interesting. Was there a time I picked this up and thought, Golly gee, I gotta try this Salmon Rarebit Pie!

There’s only one explanation for it: Someone broke into my home and sneakily added this cookbook to my shelf. It’s the case of the Great Cookbook Giver Caper. Drat that fiendish lout!

I wasn’t aware they still sold Bisquick, were you? You see, I stay mostly on the perimeter aisles of grocery stores, and when you think about it, that’s all you really need.

For instance, at the store I frequent: make a hard left and there’s produce, turn right and you find bacon, cheese and Claussen pickles, make another right and it’s the bakery, meat and dairy departments, final turn is the liquor department.

So you see? It’s everything you need!

Now granted, you may need to take an inside aisle occasionally to pick up flour, sugar, At Costcochocolate and ice cream, but other than that, stick to the outer path.

It was on a recent excursion to buy flour that I discovered, yes indeed, they still sell Bisquick. And look, they even have it at Costco, so apparently a lot of people use it. I had no idea.

The reason I don’t buy Bisquick… well, you know the reason, right? If you’ve followed this blog for any reasonable amount of time, you know I do things by scratch as much as possible. With that in mind, here’s my recipe for crazy good biscuits. No $5 box of Bisquick required.

Crazy Good Buttermilk Biscuits

  • Servings: makes 8 to 10 biscuits
  • Time: hard to say
  • Difficulty: it's a matter of perspective
  • Print

These biscuits can be made in a snap, but if you’re in the mood for nice, flaky, buttery biscuits, I’ll show you how to make them. I’m nice that way. Also crazy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (King Arthur is best)
  • Biscuits1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk, or scant 1 cup whole milk and 1 Tablespoon vinegar

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda & salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles a fine meal. Stir in buttermilk.

Easy & Quick: Drop large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 425º for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Lengthy but Flaky: Turn dough out onto a floury surface, knead a few times, adding flour as necessary, just to make it less sticky. At this point, roll out and fold in thirds, roll out again and fold in thirds, then roll again and fold in thirds.

Now stick in the fridge and let it set for at least an hour. Return to floury surface, roll out and fold in thirds, roll out and fold in thirds, and yes, roll out and fold in thirds.

Biscuit rolled outGuess what? You stick it back in the fridge. Leave it there until you’re about ready to bake (the first two steps can be done early in the day – the longer you leave it in the fridge, the more buttery the flavor). Return dough to floury surface and, YES, roll out and fold in thirds, roll out and fold in third, roll out and — okay, you’re getting the hang of this, right? Three times you roll it out and fold in thirds, times three. Every time. Three times three times three.

NOW you can cut them out. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake at 425º for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

I fully realize you now think I’m nuts, however these are some crazy good, flaky biscuits.

And I’d like to point out that I never claimed to be sane.

Author: C. J. Hartwell

Christi lives in Phoenix with Husband, Son, Daughter, and Dog. She enjoys moonlit walks on the beach, but as she doesn't live anywhere near a beach, she's usually in bed by 9:30.

7 thoughts on “A Cookbook from the 70s! Plus, Crazy Good Biscuits”

    1. Ha! It does sound like that. I actually picked up this technique from a book called “Ratio.” It was a fascinating book, explaining how once you learn the ratios needed, you can basically cook anything and not need a recipe. So maybe I’m not too far from croissants – skip the baking powder, add yeast and more butter – I’ve got it down!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Confession 1: We still buy Bisquick. It’s part of a recipe for sausage balls that are so good you can easily turn to a life of crime if you don’t get a regular fix. I’m sure we could make our own substitute, but it’s a recipe from my partner’s family, and I have learned to never question the ingredients or offer suggestions. Otherwise, things get tense. Confession 2: I am the one who slipped this errant BC volume into your Trader Joe’s sack, in the midst of a lark, as I also include the liquor section on my trajectory through the grocery store. And yes, I noticed the condition of the kitchen floor. Honey, get you a Roomba, stat. Said with love… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNEW IT!
      It also explains how you got past Dog, as you seem the kind of guy she’d trust and follow happily, probably showing you where we keep the good stuff too. Sorry for the white fur she got on your corduroys. Did you see the lint roller on the kitchen counter? Works like a charm.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dog and I are besties now, and we’re friends on Goodreads. (She has an admirable collection of first editions, although I’m sure you’re aware of this as SOMEBODY had to pay for them.) And yes, the lint roller was a thoughtful door prize. With just a bit of whisking the corduroys were back to top-notch status and I slipped into the night, allergen-free…

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s