What’s for Supper?

By Ellen S. Gibson

Stuck at home? Kids driving you crazy? With a working stove and a few staples in the pantry, you can keep everyone busy and happy in the kitchen.

Over the years I’ve found, starting with my own children, that kids love to cook. It’s messy, they can use their hands, and they can see the magic of chemical and physical changes appear before their own eyes. Remember how fun it was to make a volcano with vinegar and baking soda? How about letting the kids mix up a simple dough that they can mold and mash and eventually eat?

Biscuits are easy and versatile, and they’re not much more than 30 minutes from idea to hot out of the oven. I’ve discovered cream biscuits as a way to use the cream on top of the local milk I buy. The cream works as a substitute for the butter and milk called for in many recipes. What is cream after all? It’s a combination of milk and butter.

To make cream biscuits

Start with 2 cups of flour. Use whatever flour you have on hand, there are lots of combinations. 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of unbleached white flour is good. Last night I used 1 cup of whole wheat and 1 cup of fine grind cornmeal. Mix in well ½ tsp of salt and 3 TBSP of baking powder. Add 1 cup of cream. Mix together until just combined. Turn out onto a floured counter and knead a few times to form into a ball. To keep the biscuits light, handle the dough as little as possible.

Okay, so what’s your plan? Are you going to make small round biscuits? If so, flatten the ball of dough with your hand to the thickness of about ½ inch. Cut out rounds with a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass. Reshape the left over pieces to form another ball and continue to cut out rounds until the dough is all used up. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until brown on the bottom.

These are great with soup and with cheese, or as a dessert, drizzled with new maple syrup or rhubarb sauce that you’ve made with the rhubarb from the freezer.

To make a pizza

Grease a baking sheet with butter or oil or use a sheet of parchment paper and place the ball of dough on top. Flatten the ball with your hand to a thickness of about ¼ inch. Cover the top with tomato sauce or pesto, cheese, and chopped or sliced vegetables. There are so many combinations! Your kids will have lots of ideas. Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. The crust should be brown on the bottom and the cheese melted. Eat hot, once it’s cooled a bit, or at room temperature.

There are so many good things that we can make at home. The kitchen is a source of endless, edible projects to engage your children and put supper on the table.

Do you have a favorite biscuit recipe? Share it! Creative ways to use biscuit dough? Send to me at gellen2010@gmail.com.