The Best-Ever Mid-Term Election Breakfast During Divisive Times: Sausage & Fried Apple Biscuits and the Wisdom of Mary Cross

October 30, 2018
By Holly Jennings


From Turner Ham House in Fulk’s Run, Virginia, slowly cured ham, sliced luminescent-ly thin, salt and sugar preserved, deeply flavorful.


A gift for my family, by love and the color of blood, not skin.


Other gifts: a half-gallon of must-shake raw apple cider from Smith’s Fruit Market in Augusta, West Virginia, comfortingly tart; fresh-made biscuits from Bonnie Blue Bakery in Winchester, Virginia. Winchester, proclaimed apple capital of the world, is located in the Northern Shenandoah Valley at 39.1670° N, -78.1670° W, making it practically the most north-western spot in Jim Crow South.


To Bond Street, home of 95-year-old Mary Virginia Cook Cross, and (more…)

Browned Butter Cookies

June 05, 2012
By Holly Jennings

These are my favorite sort of cookie: buttery and sturdy enough to dip in tea. To provide a subtle nutty flavor, the butter is browned, a step that is not difficult but requires the attention of an undistracted cook. Finely grated lemon zest is added to balance the richness of the butter, and sea salt to balance the sweet.

This recipe hails from Australia, where cookbook author Jennifer McLagan grew up. Quick and easy to make, (more…)

Debunking the Baking Powder Test

July 05, 2011
By Holly Jennings

Last week I made the buttermilk biscuits from the current DCCC pick, Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon. This recipe was an opportunity to use some King Arthur cake flour I’d been meaning to try (Crescent Dragonwagon recommends using cake or pastry flour, such as While Lily, for ultra tender biscuits), some of my homemade lard, and something else lingering in my fridge: baking powder that had long outlived its expiration date.

Before just chucking it out, I decided to test it using one of the many baking powder tests found online. The tests are all the same: you pour hot water over some baking powder, and if it fizzes and bubbles, it’s good to use. A typical ratio is 1 teaspoon baking powder to ⅓ cup hot water.