Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Anybody wanna buy a restaurant?

Sad news arrived yesterday via the East Nashville list-serv:

The Red Wagon Cafe, one of our very favorite neighborhood brunch spots and the place Kristin's mother had hoped to have a bridesmaids' luncheon next spring, is up for sale. It's not a huge surprise, really: Meg, the owner, has been talking about wanting to get out for a while now. But if Kristin's grandmother's biscuits are good, Meg's biscuits are transcendent. Maybe the best we've ever had, and we have, between the two of us, eaten a lot of biscuits. So, anybody out there have a really, really good biscuit recipe and wanna buy a restaurant?

In other news:

Yeah, yeah, we were gonna be better about posting regularly. But more important than updating the blog right now is getting all the freakin' boxes out of the living room.

It actually has gotten better. All the large furniture has either found a home or gone to the garage. A neighbor bought Christian's old bed for her son, who is moving back to Tennessee after several years on the West Coast. Better news, she's also going to buy the microwave, and she's even taking the huge stack of old wrought-iron porch supports that have been sitting in the garage since Kristin had the house painted last year. So that's all good.

But. There are still boxes. Lots of boxes. Full of ... random stuff. And they all have to find at least a temporary home by Friday, because Kristin's parents are coming in for the weekend, and Kristin can't handle the thought of them seeing the house in anything less than pristine condition. Sadly, this time that ain't gonna happen. Best we can hope for at this point is to get everything stacked somewhat neatly in a corner and close the door.

Yard sale is still in the works. We'll let you know.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bakin' biscuits (plus UT football)

So here's what happens when Kristin has a major house-cleaning project pending: She gets really interested in ... well, pretty much anything else. Hence, biscuits.

(The scene around here this afternoon has been ridiculously domestic, circa 1950. Kristin's in the kitchen with a rolling pin while Christian is kicked back in the man-eating chair with a Shiner Bock, screaming at the TV. To be fair, Tennessee has simply destroyed the University of California. Embarrassing, really.)

This is also a preview of next week's All The Rage. The cover of the pullout food section is ... biscuits. Specifically the ATR staffers' mothers' and grandmothers' biscuit recipes. Kristin's grandmother, the former food editor of the Tulsa World, swears by the Biscuits Supreme reecipe from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. These aren't the stereotypical Southern biscuit. They're not big and fluffy, and buttermilk goes nowhere near them. Instead, they're flat and elegant and very tender, and there's no better vehicle for homemade apple butter.

Uh huh -- YUM. And the dirty little secret is, they're stupidly easy to make.

Here's the recipe, courtesy of the 2000 edition of the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook:


1. Stir together 2 cups All-Purpose flour, 1 Tbsp. baking powder, 2 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in center. Add 2/3 cups milk all at once. Stir until moistened.

2. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surfaced. Quickly knead dough by gently folding and pressing dough 10-12 strokes or until nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut dough with a floured 2.5-inch biscuit cutter.

3. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 450 degree oven 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve hot.

Album of the moment: KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope

Attacking the boxes

Well, we thought we were done moving. And if the friend who said she was going to move into Christian's old apartment and buy his sofa comes through, then we are. If that deal falls apart, as still might happen, then we're moving a very large, very heavy leather sofa. Tonight.

Whether we have to embark on that particular adventure or not, we are going to start excavating the living room today. It will get worse before it gets better -- Kristin still has about 10 boxes of stuff in the guest room that she never unpacked when she bought the house more than 4 years ago, so there's a lot of remedial organization that has to happen before we can really dive in. But we have the three-day weekend to work on it, so we're (perhaps foolishly) optimistic.

While Kristin is sorting through the archives, Christian will be working on carpentry projects -- several dresser drawers have lost their faces, so he'll be playing with wood glue and finishing nails. Wish him luck.

Album of the Moment: Ray LaMontagne, Till The Sun Turns Black