Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sausage and Biscuits

Thanks for the comments on the biscuits.  I will try the not twisting and going straight down with the cutter.  I have since made biscuits and they were a flop.

We have ground pork that we can buy in Lusaka - 12 hours away.  Then I add all the spices to make the sausage.  It is good.  We feel we spent too much money on the pork we got.  So we are buying a pig and the butcher here is going to do it up for us.  A pig and the cost of the butcher is much cheaper then then the pork we brought back from Lusaka.  Plus, we will have a whole pig and not just part of a pig.

A Hectare of Maize

Two Saturdays ago we went to see Steve’s language helper’s (Wigin) fields. We drove our vehicle and it was quite a ways to get there. If Wigin walks it takes him 45 minutes to get there. He says on the bike it only takes fifteen to twenty minutes. He has about a hectare of Maize. One hectare is the equivalent of 2.47 acres. This man does not have oxen. He works all of this land with a hoe.

The road to the field.

Wigan standing in his Maize field.

Pumpkins growing with the Maize.

Friday, February 5, 2010


It started two years before we even came to Zambia. We knew we would be going to Africa hopefully. We always bought biscuits at Wal-mart in the refrigerated section. You all know what I’m talking about. So if I’m going to Africa, maybe I better learn to make a few things – biscuits was on my list of things to learn.

I would make biscuits and they would not be good. They were either hard or flat or both. So I would give up. Then a few months later I would try a new recipe to see if it would be any better with no results. Homemade biscuits take a little work. I mean more work than opening a can of them and popping them into the oven. So when the results were unfavorable, I really didn’t want to try again. Steve said we just don’t need to eat them for three years. Three years is how long we will be in Zambia before we come back to the United States and can buy already made biscuits in a store.

Over the two years of trying to make them once in awhile, I started to think, a good thing to do. I wondered if I didn’t follow the recipe to the T (I always follow them to the T, at least the first time you make it) maybe it would work better.

I use the Mennonite Community Cookbook. Surely, Mennonite ladies know how to cook! I just looked in the book and on the first biscuit recipe on page 12 I hand wrote on it “OK, roll thicker.” The recipe says to roll 3/8 thick. That is thin!!! They don’t rise up to be big biscuits.

Another missionary lady on my team taught me how to make biscuits. She didn’t have her recipe, but the Buttermilk Biscuits on page 13 in the Mennonite Community Cookbook was close to hers. And the trick is don’t knead them much at all and roll them out thick.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour                       ½ teas. Soda

½ teas. Salt                       3 Tables. Fat

3 teas. Baking powder       1 cup sour milk or buttermilk

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (like making pie dough. Also my friend used half butter and half Crisco, I don’t) Add sour milk all at once. Stir until dough follows spoon around the bowl. Turn out on floured board and knead for ½ a minute (I’m serious, too long they get tough). Roll 3/8 inch thick (ignore this roll much thicker) and cut out with biscuit cutter. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. My friend also adds 4 teas. of baking powder instead of three. I double the recipe and add 7 teas. of baking powder.

It all seems very simple, yet I never did figure it out until I got hungry for sausage gravy over biscuits.

God bless,