Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Being Prepared, and Powdermilk Biscuits

There are, I suspect, a few moments in everyone's life when you feel completely unprepared to be you.

Like, for example, the first time you walk out of a hospital with a baby in an infant car seat.

"They're just letting us leave," I'd said to my husband, amazed, as the double doors swung open and we stepped into the hallway, baby bucket in hand.  "Don't they know we don't know what we're doing?"

"My father tells me that by the second day, you're an expert," my husband reassured me, with less than complete confidence in his voice.

It turns out, of course, that you're not an expert by day two.  Or by year seven.  Or, from what I can tell, by year forty.  But you muddle through somehow, and some days you feel like you have conquered the windmill, and other days you use every atom in your body to combat feeling like a failure.  And behind it all, maybe you sit with amused disbelief that you're really the one in charge; maybe, like me, you marvel at how this could possibly have happened.

Last night, as I walked from the dark parking lot towards my son's school for second grade parent-teacher conference, I felt that amused disbelief again.  Here we were, a handful of shadowy figures, older that we believed ourselves to be, marching towards responsibility, for which we were, at best, laughably prepared.  My mother was the one who went to parent-teacher conferences.  But me?  The thought is still weird.

My son's teacher is a very sweet, energetic, and enthusiastic twenty-something who says "like" a lot and probably sees me as "one of those older parents who wants to linger too long."  Like my mother would have been.  She tells me how well my son is doing, what a delight he is, walks me to the door, and I feel a little like I'm being herded.  Maybe I fit this role better than I think I do.

photo credit: S. Levine
Powdermilk Biscuits
My husband made biscuits the other night, because he's much more like an adult some days than I am, because we had leftover powered milk, and because they "give shy persons the strength to get up and do what needs to be done. Heavens, they're tasty and expeditious."

2 - 2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
3 t. baking powder
3-5 T. softened butter
1/4 c. powdered milk & 3/4 c. water (or just 3/4 c. milk--but powdered is better in this recipe)
1 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 450F.

Combine all dry ingredients and cut butter in with a pastry blender until you have small crumbs.
Add wet ingredients; if you need more flour to get the dough into rollable form, feel free to add a bit.  It should still be somewhat sticky.

Roll out dough onto a floured surface, and use a round object of your choice to cut out biscuits.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.
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  1. I never feel prepared - even when I try to prepare myself. And these days, I feel like I have that 2 day old baby in my arms again - a lot! I fell you on the PT conferences. I am older now than my mom was when she went to mine. How is that even possible?

  2. I have the same thought. I am constantly amazed that I am the mother of two nine-year-olds. How the hell did that happen?


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