I know it is fall. The thermometer may (rightly) insist the high temperatures are still in the 90s, but something has definitely shifted. Three indisputable proofs:
- My kitchen has suddenly been overrun by an invincible army of ants. I kill them, there’s already more coming. I clean my counters and sink 17 times a day, so they make their way into the cupboards. And the silverware drawer. And my (closed) food processor, too–how do they do that?!? Outdoor critters moving inside is a sure sign of approaching coldness.
- For three days, the sky was overcast, the wind blew and we had dust storms requiring multiple house cleanings. Yes, it was still hot, but it even rained once. There is a saying that, literally translated from Arabic, is, “September’s tail is wet.” Meaning: it rains at the end of September. After the first fall rain is when the olive harvest traditionally starts, although for the past several years much of the region has been suffering a drought causing the harvest to come later.
- I have an incurable desire to bake. I am so done with salads and fruit and tangy yoghurt dressings. I want things with wheat and butter. Preferably wheat, butter and chocolate, but I do manage to restrain myself. Occasionally. Still, my body is going into winter fat storage mode. This time of year I am less of a hummingbird and more like a bear preparing for a long hibernation.
So the aforementioned Roasted Pumpkin Soup was accompanied by my traditional Baking Powder Biscuits, which is one of those things everyone should know how to make. I attempted to jazz them up with some corn and caramelized onion, which turned out to be a good idea but was poorly executed. The sad result? Some serious burnage that rendered the entire batch inedible, although Hungry Husband gamely tried to rescue them with a spoonful of cinnamon syrup. It’s not a combination I would have though of, but he’s brave that way, and even more of a stickler than I am about the evils of wasting food. He said it was “better” with the syrup; however, in the end even he passed on seconds and they went into the trash.
BAKING POWDER BISCUITS
- 3/4 c. milk
- 2 c. flour
- 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
Sift the dry ingredients together. Cut in the shortening, and then add the milk slowly, stirring. It is a sticky batter but knead it lightly, to the best of your abilities. Drop the batter in spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes in a preheated 475F oven.