. I would like to take you back in time to Day 313, when the events of the day took a turn and I became somewhat unrecognizable to myself.
. But before I get to that, I need to know if you are of the opinion that Friday nights in are better than Friday nights out, or vice versa. I used to think that the sole purpose of a Friday night was to demolish the work week with greasy foods and alcoholic beverages that were poured by someone other than myself. But I’ve changed. I’ve grown. And I’m here to say that a Friday night spent at home alone, with nothing but a cat and a pile of books and Broad City episodes (if I’m a cliche right now, then let me be a cliche), is just about the greatest way to do it.
. But then I found a way to make it even better. (Spoiler alert, there is food involved.)
. I left work and stopped at Kroger, my hair having taken on a sort of mad genius disheveledness thanks to the bike helmet, and I manically filled my shopping basket with rice flour and European style sweet butter and buttermilk and cheese and bacon that you buy at the deli counter by the slice. I considered the bag of bread flour, too, but it’s size and weight was just too much for my already full backpack.
. Yes, I was about to bake.
. Also, I am not a baker.
. No, some people in this world are cooks, assembling sauces and salads and roasted things, and some people are bakers, carefully measuring and mixing and having to consider the effects of humidity. They are scientists, essentially, and I am not that.
. Except on this night, when all I wanted was biscuits and cookies and I even convinced myself that it would be fun thing to do.
. And it actually was, fun, save for the math I had to subject myself to due to halving a recipe. (Half of 3 1/2 cups of flour is 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons. Thank you, Google.)
. First up were these cheddar, bacon, and chive biscuits that you just dropped onto a parchment-lined baking sheet with your hands. Batter clung to everything but it did not matter. Into the oven went 6 biscuits the size of fists to bake for 18 minutes which was the perfect amount of time to pour a glass of wine, melt some butter in a small pan, and clean the kitchen.
. Upon taking the biscuits out of the oven and brushing them with melted butter (because the 1/2 cup of butter already in the biscuits could not be sufficient) I snuck a bite of a hot, salty, crispy edge and then ran around my tiny apartment with my arms up as if I had just scored a touchdown.
. I took two biscuits and half a cut up mango (not as weird a pairing as it sounds… the sweet, softly acidic mango was the perfect companion to the salty, buttery buns), and settled in with Ilana and Abbi and sighed often with gluten-filled contentment.
. Round two put me back in the kitchen trying to follow the very vague instructions for Classic Shortbread from Laurie Colwin’s book More Home Cooking. It was a risky move to attempt to make shortbreads, let alone from a recipe that didn’t even mention what method of mixing to follow (was I supposed to spoon mix, electric mix, mix gently, mix thoroughly?) I was lost, but I forged ahead, fueled by the success of the biscuits. I had low expectations.
. The recipe suggested I pat out the cookie dough into a round shape. Mine resembled an amoeba and that was good enough for me. Meticulous Baker, I am not.
. I failed by taking the shortbreads out of the oven a smidge too soon, but I am certain that Laurie’s recipe is one I will return to again (I mean, what else am I going to do with this bag of rice flour?). A few extra minutes was all these buttery disks needed to have just the right texture, and to be honest, I’ve already eaten two for breakfast today if that tells you anything.
** If you make the cheddar biscuits, which I highly encourage to do, you can use all-purpose flour in place of the bread flour in the same quantity.