Making biscuits with Magar
"What else do we need, Magar?" I asked. Magar is my grandmother's adopted name. It bloomed from my brother's inability to say "grandma" as a baby.
She was teaching us to make biscuits, just as she had taught us to sew and paint. My sister, 12, and I, 14, hurried about the large wood kitchen grabbing ingredients as needed.
"Buttermilk, lard and flour," Magar said. "Use your hands to mix it all together, like this." She demonstrated and we copied, giggling as the mixture squished between our fingers.
Coming from a family of 12, my grandmother had grown up helping her mother around the house. Every night, she would use the same recipe we were using now to serve bread at dinnertime for nine siblings and two parents.
We scooped the dough onto greased pans with a spoon and patted them down with milk on our fingers. We put them into the oven to bake and brown. Twelve minutes later, they were finished and on plates. I bit into one and steam escaped from inside. It was delicious and warm in my mouth: the perfect swirling of softness and sweetness, with a milky and slightly salty flavor. No wonder they used to make them every night.