If I had to name the two best parts about my childhood family dinners, it would be this: We started with Pillsbury biscuits and ended with a “Please, may I be excused.” Asking to be excused was annoying then, but as a mother now, I can say this for certain–kudos to my mom. The fact that we had to be excused before leaving the table meant that
a.) She had a real dinner on the table every night
b.) We ate as a family, and
c.) We were expected to be civilized
As for the biscuits, say what you like–those things were good. Our biscuits last night were rather good too. Sure, they took longer than popping frozen dough in the oven, and the kids couldn’t pull them apart to eat them layer by layer…but I didn’t mind, and they didn’t either.
Now for getting the kids to ask permission to be excused from the table…
WHOLE WHEAT BISCUITS (adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1T baking powder
1t baking soda
almost a cup of plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 egg (for the tops)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix together the dry ingredients in a food processor. Add the butter and combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the yogurt. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead and then press dough into a 3/4-in. rectangle. Cut the dough in to circles using a cup. Place onto a baking sheet and add some egg with a pastry brush. Bake for 7-9 minutes and serve immediately.