Sunday, June 12, 2011

pumpkin homicide

So the title of this is, I admit, a little deceptive.  I neither cooked something with pumpkin nor killed anything/anyone.  For a while this afternoon, I did, however, look like I had committed a felony against a poor, innocent pumpkin.

Tonight is the first Sunday girls dinner in over a month, and Alicia volunteered to host.  She's taking on an ambitious menu of southern favorites, so I volunteered to bring an appetizer. I don't really know what constitutes an appetizer in the southern genre (don't bother saying "duh, fried green tomatoes" because I will just tell you right here and now that I hate tomatoes.  Yes, I've tried them.) 

I did, however, remember these delicious sweet potato biscuits that once preceded  a meal of fried chicken and mac and cheese at one of my favorite restaurants at home.  It has since closed, and a tiny part of me died inside.  To compensate, I successfully replicated their mac and cheese (although they would never divulge their recipe), but I never tried to make those biscuits myself. Only since the Lent adventure started did I even try to make regular biscuits.  

But I figured if there ever were an opportune time for experimenting, it was Sunday girls dinner.  Alicia is already serving enough food for a small army, so if the biscuits are a flop, I won't have starving women angrily eying me over their wine glasses.  I say "if the biscuits are a flop" because they are currently still in the oven, and I'm hastily typing this out before I have to dash to her house.  I'm ignoring a giant pile of intimidatingly dirty dishes to bring you this update.  You're welcome. 

This was also a perfect time to experiment because all I needed for the biscuits were the sweet potatoes themselves, but the thought of going to Giant just for sweet potatoes didn't incite my usual irrational distaste for grocery store trips because I also needed a few things to sustain me.  You can only eat Snackwells for breakfast so many times before you just give in and get in the car and point it towards the grocery. 

In keeping with a handful of the comments on the the recipe, I decided to bake the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them to try and mitigate the "super sticky dough" issue (boiling infuses the potatoes with more water than baking).  I'm really glad I did, because the dough was still ridiculously sticky.  

Case in point, I thought I was at a point where it was safe to knead the dough per the instructions. I came away with hands covered in orange potato-flour-y goo.  It, in all seriousness, looked as though I attacked a pumpkin with serious force.  I am a self-admitted stress baker, but I have never intentionally destroyed an ingredient before.  After peeling the dough off my hands, I threw more flour in there, and managed to create a ball of dough that I then patted into a circle and cut in to biscuit shapes.  We'll find out in about 10 mintues if it was a successful experiment or not...

In the mean time, here's the photographic proof that I finally baked something other than cookies:

Can you tell that I'm a Giant-brand devotee?

The LKTC has no microwave, so this is how I melted the butter (the stovetop gets really hot when the oven is on.  So hot that I burned my fingers on that stupid bowl 5 minutes into the adventure)

Nothing with this much butter can turn out poorly, right?

Yes, it looks harmless, but soon this sweet potato will coat my hands like gloves

This recipe claims it makes 25 biscuits.  Do you believe them? Because I sure don't

The recipe also says to only re-use the scraps once. It doesn't say what happens if you don't heed that advice.  Obviously I believed it was something awful and scary.  So this is what went to waste. 

The seven dinner biscuits and my little test biscuit

I failed at Dad's "clean as you go" mantra this time around

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