Just last week I met another mom at a coffee shop. I’d been scribbling on a pad of paper before she showed up and she asked what I’d been doing.
“Grocery list,” I told her.
“Ooh, do you have any ideas for meal planning…”
I looked up and stared her straight in the eye. “No. I do not.”
She waited for me to continue. So, I did. I told her why I’m done with meal planning this month.
It’s not because I don’t know about those website subscriptions. It’s not because I haven’t tried to stock my freezer in one afternoon. It’s not because I’ve never been part of a dinner co-op.
I have. I have done all of these.
I’ve even couponed.
But, as for me and my house, all any of that ever did was set me off in a frenzy of activity and social media comparisons.
It may work for you. One or more of the above systems, that is.
What’s worked best for me as of late is remembering the biscuit lesson.
The biscuit lesson may help you, too. I learned it my second year into marriage. That was after I’d given up on Gourmet Mondays. Oh, yes. I set high standards for homemaking once.
What’s the biscuit lesson? It’s simply this –
You don’t have to make homemade biscuits. Not even if you’re Southern. It ain’t a rule.
Some of you are battling Pinterest standards. That wasn’t even a thing when I first got married. But I was still battling an impossible standard, the expectation from my childhood. That expectation was that Southerners make good biscuits.
Let me explain.
As a girl, I did not know that biscuits could come from cans, exploding with a pop, oozing from metal sides with a simple slap across the counter. My momma made biscuits in batches from scratch every week or so.
When the freezer stash would near depletion, I’d hear my dad say, “Running low on biscuits.”
Then my momma would respond, “Running low on Crisco.”
I did not know then that Crisco was merely a brand name, but I have learned since that there are times in this region when brands matter. What I did know was that my father, who did the weekly grocery shopping, waited to buy Crisco until it was on sale. And he would find it on sale somewhere that very Friday if the biscuits were running low.
I helped often enough to learn. Though my part was only to ready the tin pie pans, left over from the store-bought frozen pie crusts momma always used – Pillsbury, I believe, two to a package.
Do not ask me why store-bought pie crusts were acceptable and canned biscuits were not. Some things are never questioned in a Southern home.
I’d grease and flour the pans myself. Mom would fill each with biscuit dough circles, that had been cut out with a used Hunt’s tomato paste can. I’d cover each pan with foil and stack the pans just so that they fit into our small freezer.
I have tried to duplicate them.
I follow through with the initial mixing just fine. But then, the surface and the roller and the cutter (that empty Hunt’s tomato paste can) need extra flour. My hands need extra flour. (Momma used her hands in the dough.)
The post recipe flour changes the dough completely. I never learned to compensate. My biscuits turn out flat and tough. Every time.
Today, I don’t even try.
I found the best frozen biscuit brand to fill the freezer. And I don’t feel guilty. I’ve found a few other brands of other things that I like, too.
So, that grocery list she caught me scribbling? Well, let’s just say it had the best brand of several things listed. Especially ones that I had digital coupons for this week.