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Friday, December 23, 2011

Biscuits and Bah Humbugs (Me)

Well, it's that time of year again--the hours of my annual angst. Some people just don't do holidays well, and I'm not sure there's an explanation for it, or at least none that wouldn't be obvious. The childless, family-less, financially insecure, or even idealists-against-rampant-Capitalism all likely suffer at Yule Time. I qualify for all of the above. But.

I do try. Less and less, perhaps, but I try. This is the first year I have not put up a (at least) fake tree with lights and a wreath. I gave away all that paraphernalia when I left Asheville, and don't intend to buy more. But I wistfully appreciate the other houses all decked out around me.

This morning, in a fit of celebratory optimism, (I DO try) I decided to make biscuits for breakfast. Something that I recall very fondly that my grandmother used to do for me when I lived with her as a child. She served these southern style light-as-air 4-inch beauties with butter and honey, and I would eat until I burst. It is one of my fondest food memories, and my Granny could cook. Originally from Arkansas, she whipped out the best fried chicken, gravies, biscuits and pies that I ever tasted.



So, I had this packet of Bisquick biscuit mix. Don't laugh, it's not bad. It's NOT Granny's biscuits but it passes and it's quick and simple. You preheat the oven,
mix and dollop onto a baking sheet, and voila, biscuits.



What I didn't realize, however, is that last night's baked yam had run juices onto the floor of my oven, and actually caught fire and about halfway thru the cooking time of the biscuits, smoke started to waft from the oven, which then set off my fire alarm (those little round suckers stuck to the wall are LOUD) which in turn set both of my little dogs off into a running, barking frenzy -- the alarm probably hurting their ears -- and me, like a maniac, running around opening windows, throwing a towel over the alarm, and trying to hush the dogs...well, it was a picture.



All's well that ends well. The fire went out, the smoke cleared, the alarm finally shut up, ditto the dogs, and the biscuits weren't ruined. The oven awaits a good scrubbing. But none of this aided in de-bah-ing my humbug.

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And if you are wondering (as I was) what the hell a humbug is, here's Wiki to aid us:

Humbug is an old term meaning hoax or jest. While the term was first described in 1751 as student slang, its etymology is unknown. Its present meaning as an exclamation is closer to 'nonsense' or 'gibberish', while as a noun, a humbug refers to a fraud or impostor, implying an element of unjustified publicity and spectacle. The term is also used for certain types of candy. In modern usage, the word is most associated with Ebenezer Scrooge, a character created by Charles Dickens. His famous reference to Christmas, "Bah! Humbug!", declaring Christmas to be a fraud, is commonly used in stage and television versions of A Christmas Carol and also appeared frequently in the original book.

P. T. Barnum was a master of humbug, creating public sensations and fascination with his masterful sense of publicity. Many of his promoted exhibitions were obvious fakes, but the paying public enjoyed viewing them, either to scoff or for the wonder of them. A famous humbug took place on the arrival of the actress and theatre manager Jenny Lind to America, just outside the showplace of P. T. Barnum, the New American Museum, in 1850.

Another use of the word was by John Collins Warren, a Harvard Medical School professor who worked at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Warren performed the first public operation with the use of ether anesthesia, administered by William Thomas Green Morton, a dentist. To the stunned audience at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Warren declared, "Gentlemen, this is no humbug!"[1]


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And finally, here is a true Season's Greeting -- my video card of Scrooge and the
Boys rocking around (apparently) somebody else's house!

XMAS CLICKY

Season's Greetings, friends!

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