Today’s guest post is by Daphne Maxwell Reid, an actress, photographer and artist who you may also know as Aunt Vivian from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She’s sharing with us her top five comfort foods for a rainy day. For more recipes like these, check out her latest book, Grace, Soul and Mother Wit, which is part cookbook and part memoir.
It pains me that a lot of parents and most public schools today don’t teach “living” skills, like home making, manners and common sense. Some of our children seem to have missed the opportunity to learn some wonderful skill sets that I learned in a traditional, Black, family-based community and in the all-encompassing educational system in which I grew up. For all who agree with my assessment, and in an effort to help bridge the gap, I offer Grace, Soul and Mother Wit.
Grace: The prayer before a meal; charm; a virtue coming from God.
Soul: Black tradition of emotional fervor and love.
Mother Wit: Intuitive common sense honed by a traditional upbringing.
My book is for you if you are leaving home for the first time, if you have never cooked before and don’t know where to begin, if you have cooked some things but want to expand your repertoire or myriad other reasons that will joyfully get you into a kitchen.
Here are my top five comfort foods that are perfect for a rainy day:
5.) Mom’s Cheese Biscuits
Holiday dinner gatherings at Mom’s house always started with cheese biscuits, chicken liver pate and a glass of cream sherry as we waited for all the other fixin’s to cook. I finally got the recipe! Hopefully the tradition will continue at my house now.
¼ lb. of butter (one stick)
2 Tbs. walnut oil
¼ lb. sharp cheddar cheese
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Set out the butter to soften. Grate the cheese and let it stand to warm up. Add the salt to the flour and the cayenne pepper, and when butter and cheese are room temperature, mix them together well. When well mixed, place on a piece of waxed paper and roll into a log about 1 inch thick. Let the log sit in the refrigerator for about ½ hour to firm up. Remove the waxed paper and slice the log into ½-inch-thick rounds. Place the rounds on a baking pan and place a pecan half atop each one. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes or until they start to brown. Remove from pan and store in an airtight jar. Enjoy with the beverage of your choice or as a wonderful starter to a dinner party.
Utensils you will need: Grater, bowl, fork, measuring spoons, measuring cups, chef’s knife, cookie sheet