Honey, it has been a week! But lately, when hasn't it been a crazy upside-down week? The week began recovering from baking, no, scratch that - reveling in the joy of baking (seriously) 90 mini buttermilk biscuits for a weekend event. Anyone who knows me understands my passion for biscuits. They seem to me, the perfect food. A warm slightly tangy bit of fluffy heaven capable of soothing any soul, good to hover over during friendly conversation or a pillow upon which tears can land. No topping is unwelcome - from honey to ham, fried chicken to jam. You simply cannot go wrong. They are freezable, portable, and make delightful vehicles for sausage gravy.
The biscuit high only lasted so long. Unfortunately, we discovered on Monday that had been the lucky winners of attempted bank fraud. A week spent taking long strolls on the beach would have been preferred, but instead, we made short strolls to the bank and enjoyed lengthy phone calls with fraud specialists. C'est la vie!
Gratefully, although annoying, no real damage was done (fingers crossed). And no less than three different enormous banks with unnervingly sophisticated fraud detection capabilities are on the tail of the unconscionable perpetrators. The experience did, however, have me thinking about the Anthony Bourdain quote we have up in the shop. You know, the one where he says he once believed mankind was basically only one step above wolves waiting for the slightest chance to tear each other to shreds but he ultimately believes we are mostly good and decent? Well, despite the unpleasantness of the week, it turns out that Tony was right. From bankers to fraud specialists, customers, to smiling baristas and neighbors, as I moved through the week, there was evidence everywhere I looked that people were good and decent, and just wanted to help, share stories, and connect. Sometimes that evidence just happens to be quieter than the misdeeds of others and the loud negative headlines.
The shop continues to buzz along with Spring arrivals. Bees and bunnies, ceramics, linens, jams, and honey are all stocked up. We are expecting a large shipment of tableware along with a myriad of cookbooks in the coming week. Until then, keep yourself entertained by learning why honey crystallizes and how it is, in fact, a good thing. Try making this fermented garlic honey and drizzling it on pizza or over grilled cheese. Or stop by the shop and pick up some Bee Raw Honey and a few kinds of cheese after checking out their Honey and Cheese Pairing e-Book. Besides, I've shared my favorite biscuit recipe below and you'll need tons of honey for those. Finally, we are excited to share we are starting a Cookbook Club. Details of the first event will be sent very soon!
Accidentally consumed five biscuits when I wasn't paying attention. Those biscuits are wily fellows - they leap in like sugary ninjas.
- Charles Dickens
Pie in the Sky
Successful Baking at High Altitudes by Susan G. Purdy
for baking at sea level
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter,
cold, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk,
plus more for glazing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Combine dry ingredients, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles small peas. Add in buttermilk and combine until the mixture just comes together. Do not over mix as it will result in dense biscuits. Pour mixture onto a lightly floured board and gather into a ball. Press into a square roughly 3/4" thick. Fold into thirds and gently roll or press out into a rectangle. It will be approximately 4" x 8 " give or take. There is no perfection here and this folding technique is something that I have found to be helpful in creating layers but it is crucial to not overwork or compress the dough.
Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the rectangle in half and then each half in quarters. You should come out with 8 square biscuits. Arrange the biscuits closely together on a parchment-lined baking sheet, lightly brush with buttermilk and bake for 15-17 minutes on the middle rack or until the tops are golden brown. Allow the biscuits to cool 10 minutes before serving warm. Leftovers (bah ha ha, leftovers?) can be warmed in the oven for best results.
Chill the biscuits in the freezer for 15 minutes after forming and before brushing on the glaze particularly if your kitchen or the weather is quite warm. Alternatively, you can freeze the diced butter before it is cut into the dry mixture. The colder the butter, the fluffier the biscuits.
I have made these biscuits subbing a one-for-one gluten-free flour. If using this method, it is hydration of the dough is important. Using the same recipe, add tiny bits of additional buttermilk if the mixture is too dry to come together. Then, and this is crucial, gluten-free items need to further hydrate (sit) so the drier flours can absorb the liquid. Much to my dismay, this requires a little planning. If you can refrigerate the unbaked biscuits for 30 minutes - 2 hours before baking, you will have better results than if popping them straight into the oven which tends to result in a sandy texture.
Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich@honeyandco
Once the head of the pastry section at Ottolenghi and after helping set up his famed NOPI, Sarit and her husband Itamar opened a tiny restaurant serving traditional middle eastern food called Honey & Co. in 2012. It boasts the kind of food you find in people’s homes using the best ingredient they can get their hands on. There’s always lamb roasting in the oven, salads & tahini with everything, lots of cakes on the counter, jams and cookies on the shelves if you want to take something sweet with you. A cookbook, baking book, deli, and grill house have followed. The couple hosts a podcast, The Food Talks and has recently released Honey & Co at Home. If Honey & Co is not on your radar, they are definitely worth the follow.
In the Works
We’re starting a cookbook club and you are invited. We will choose a book for an upcoming gathering. The cookbook may be a new release, something decades-old but beloved by one of our team, or a book about topics relating to food. Participants will choose a recipe to prepare and bring it to share at the gathering. Come, connect with your community, share your stories, and gather around the table.
If you would like to join the Cookbook Club: email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Cookbook Club Registration” in the subject line. Include your name, cell phone, and email address within the body of the text. Your information will not be used for any other purpose than communicating information about the club. Once you have joined, we’ll email you back with your membership card and number along with information about benefits and how to attend upcoming events.
We carry a lovely selection of honey at the shop from around the world including Bee Raw - their Colorado Clover Honey is a customer favorite.
Knapp made chain-link scrubbers are back in stock - in addition to the standard link shown above, we are now stocking the finer mesh scrubbers. These scrubbers are truly ingenious and not only will clean tough messes off of your cast-iron but will last a lifetime.
We have a whole host of smile-inducing chopstick rests sprinkled about the shop including green dragons, tucans, weiner dogs, raccoon dogs (it's a thing), and these white roosters obediently lined up to the "I'm Gonna Need You To Cover That In Chocolate" towel.
We believe anyone can cook.
We believe in welcoming everyone to the table.
We believe some tools are timeless.
We believe high quality isn't always expensive.
We believe in making things from scratch when possible.
We believe in gathering & connecting with one another.