It’s harvest time. These are Concord grapes from Bellamy -Ferriday House and Garden in Bethlehem, CT. A wonderful place if you haven’t been. Quiet, beautifully tended gardens -a snapshot of history dating back to the late 1700’s. The property originally was an 18th century working farm, providing everything needed for good eating- including grapes for table and wine. It’s so hard to imagine living like that- another world. And yet, so appetizing.
The tagline for Paola Prints is “Take Comfort in Nature.” This means that we’re posting anything at all that makes a body comfortable- and kin to the world outside.Good food is an obvious choice. As summer winds down and cooler weather rolls in, the dahlias are thriving and I’m starting to imagine making hot bread again. Baking powder biscuits are a favorite. And guess what? This recipe uses butternut-one of my favorite squashes.
Flaky Squash Biscuits– Makes 20-24 biscuits
Delicate, sweet and vibrant in color, these tender biscuits pair well with stews and soups. (For dairy-free substitute margarine and soy milk for the butter and cow’s milk).
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Baking Time: 18 minutes
2 c unbleached white flour, or 1 c unbleached and 1 c whole-wheat flour
3 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c cold butter
1 c purèed squash (delicata, pumpkin or butternut)
2 tsp. honey, 1-4tbl tablespoons low-fat milk
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and work into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until it’s the size of small peas.
- Mix honey into purèed squash, then stir into flour mixture. Add enough milk to make soft dough.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. With your hands, flatten it out to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Fold the dough in half, as you would close a book. Rotate dough 90 degrees, pat it out, and fold it again. Repeat this twice, dusting with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. Work quickly to prevent the butter from becoming overly soft.
- After the last folding, roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 1 1/2-inch rounds. To shape the biscuits, form your thumb and first finger into a crescent shape. Hold the biscuit upright in this crescent with your fingers curled around the cut edges. Rotate and gently squeeze the biscuit to give it more height.
- Place the biscuits closely together in a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake until puffed and very lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve piping hot. Shaping makes a marked difference in the lightness of the biscuits. If you simply cut them and place them on a baking sheet, they’ll still work, but they won’t be as good. *
After dinner, when you’re chillin’ hopefully you’ll have some Paola Pillows close by to snuggle with-always soft, naturally. And, how about some music? Late summer brings nostalgia. This should do it.
* Thanks to newmorn.com for this recipe- the great (original) independent natural & organic retailer in Woodbury, Connecticut.