Saturday, March 31, 2012

Grannies and Biscuits and Tupelo Honey

Grannies are wonderful!  Mine were the best cooks and they each made wonderful, but very different, biscuits!  Biscuits are one of my comfort foods. 

My Granny Simmons made tall, fluffy, light, delicately browned biscuits - perfect for fig preserves or as a sausage sandwich later in the day. 

Granny Miller's bicuits were a little heavier, not quite as tall, not even fluffy, but still delicately brown.  And, most important, perfect for "honey sop"!  What's "honey sop", you ask?  I'll tell you in a minute, but first a little about the Tupelo honey.

As many of you know, Granddaddy Miller (Warren) raised honey bees.  I don't know when he started beekeeping, but he had a way with the bees and they rewarded him with the best Tupelo honey in the country  --THE BEST.  I even think he might have been a "bee whisperer"!  Imagine this:  It's early spring, Grandaddy goes down to the creek to check the tupelo trees - and he knows where each and every one is - and he sees they're about to bloom.  He goes back to the beehive and gives those precious bees a little pep talk.  "Ok, my mighty and tireless workers, it's almost time.  Let's get out there to the creek banks and bring back that special nectar that makes the sweetest honey in the world.  Be sure to capture only the best nectar.  When we're done, all of northwest Florida will be astonished when they taste your wonderful creation and will praise your accomplishments and celebrate with a great festivel to honor each of you.  We'll crown your queen, we'll sing your praises, we'll dance a bee jig, we'll......"  Ok, it probably didn't really go that way, but he certainly had a way with the bees.

Anyway, Granny Miller's biscuits were perfect for "honey sop" and here's how it's done.  Put a small pat of room temperature butter (the real stuff) on your plate then smother that with Tupelo honey.  The ratio's up to you, I prefer a heavy Tupelo taste and tend to use a healthy dose of Tupelo.  Mix it up real good until it's smooth and creamy.  Then tear off a piece of biscuit and "sop" it through the honey.  Don't bring the biscuit to your mouth, bring your mouth to the biscuit so none of that precious honey drips on your shirt, or pants, or table.  You don't want any of it to go to waste.  If you have a biscuit like one of Granny Miller's, it won't fall apart and you'll get a good amount of honey sop on the biscuit.  If you have a light, fluffy biscuit, then it will break apart and you'll have to use your fork to mush it through the honey sop - equally as good but a little more work and waste.  When you run out of biscuit, but still have some lefover honey sop, DO NOT WASTE IT.  When nobody's looking - or if you're with family it doesn't matter - use your finger to wipe all the remaining honey sop from your plate and lick it off your finger.  The perfect ending to any meal!

So you can see why my grandparents were married a good long time -- She made the perfect biscuits to go with his perfect Tupelo honey.  A match made in heaven!!


By the way, when we eat at Cracker Barrel, my husband asks if I'm going to "sop".  I always say, "No way - there's no Tupelo honey here."  Yep, I'm a Tupelo snob and proud of it!


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