Sunday, May 20, 2012

Biskit or Bisquee?

Biscuits, as far as the eye can see.

You've got your American BISKITS, and there are French BISQUEE, but they're spelled the same and it all tastes delicious!

Biscuit Cuilliere avec Mousse au Chocolat et Framboise
This weekend was the International Biscuit Festival, right here in downtown Knoxville.  Blackberry Farm is a sponsor, so we were very involved, from start to finish.  Thursday night was the Southern Food Writers' Symposium, with a biscuit-studded dinner at the Barn.  Krissy made over 600 biscuits, pictured above, for appetizers and for bread during dinner.  Krissy makes some of the best biscuits you will ever eat.  They are full of butter and buttermilk, made with White Lily Flour, which used to be made right here in Knoxville.  Now it's made in Minneapolis.  What can I say about that?  What do they know about biscuits?  Still, it's good stuff.
  For dessert, I wanted to play up the International side of things, and made the chocolate-raspberry dessert pictured above.  There are a lot of international substitutes for the concept of biscuit:  the French biscuit, which means baked; the Spanish bizcochito, a sugar cookie; Italians have biscotti, which literally means baked twice, and they are.  If I'd had time, I would have made biscotti for the guests' take away treat, but I needed to make Biscuit Ice Cream for their pre-dessert.  Liz made sheets of baked biscuit dough, soaked it in milk, then made the custard from that.  It didn't come out quite as biscuit flavored as we'd liked, but it was good.  We crumbled the crispest edges, laced  them across strawberry jam, scooped the ice cream atop that, and sent it out.  it was fun!
  Saturday was the festival proper, in downtown Knoxville.  There were booths for biscuit sampling, a Mr. & Mrs. Biscuit contest, biscuit art, biscuit making competitions and the Blackberry Farm Biscuit Brunch.  Krissy, Josh and I were there, along with some hard-working line cooks and servers.  We served savory cheesecake with beets and strawberries, pork cheeks with grits and ramps and vanilla bean pot de creme with strawberries and a sweet biscuit.
Eight rugs at once!
  Earlier this week, I finished my four days off by washing rugs at the laundromat.  Now, a few fellow bloggers have been forced to go to the laundromat lately, and have commented on how nice it is to not have to go there often.  I agree that having a washer and dryer at home is lovely, but I spent many years working around the country, living in apartments without one.  The laundromat is not just the provenance of the poor and outcast.  I always have managed to find nice ones, clean with bright lighting, well-managed and convenient.  What I like best is the ability to take one week's worth of dirty clothes and get it all cleaned, dried, folded and ready in less than two hours.
Laundry-enforced knitting
  And as my laundry tumbles and I choose not to watch Judge Judy on the t.v. hanging in the corner, I pull out my knitting and people watch.  I've knitted some great projects at laundromats!  My olive green sweater was made almost completely in one or another!  And here are my newest socks, being formed while all my handwoven rugs spin happily together in soapy confluence,
  I'm glad I don't have to do my laundry outside the home anymore, but I will always bring my knitting with me when I need to wash my rugs.