Today, I am reprinting a column from 12 years ago. My reason for this is because after 50 years of cooking, I can finally make homemade “from scratch” biscuits.

It has not been an easy road, and many frozen and canned biscuits have been served in my home. I also remembered how good these three recipes are to prepare.

Thanks for reading.

Here it is column printed Nov. 11, 2007:

Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a “cooking slump.”

My family loves to make fun of me when I have cooking catastrophes. Most people think that everything I cook is supposed to be terrific — my family knows better.

Several weeks ago, Steven and his girlfriend were here for the weekend. After we woke up on Saturday morning, I decided to fix a big breakfast for all of us — bacon, eggs and homemade biscuits.

I was out of Bisquick, but I just thought I would fix them from scratch. I found my recipe, fixed my meal and told everyone to “come and get it.”

I was last to fix my plate and only then did I realize that the biscuits were as hard as brickbats. Butter wouldn’t even melt in and soften them up. They were awful!

We all laughed and ate what we could of my well-intentioned breakfast. As I was cleaning up the kitchen, Steve called me into the living room where everyone was watching TV to ask me where Stephen’s old hockey stick was from when he was younger. I couldn’t imagine what he wanted with it, nor did I have any idea where it was. I asked what he wanted it for, and he replied, “I thought we could take the rest of those biscuits and use them for hockey pucks.”

I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Strike one.

Last weekend, Steve cooked some marinated venison on the grill and I prepared a rice casserole as an accompaniment. We were headed home from school the next day and Steve asked what we were having for supper. I told him I was heating up the leftover venison, chicken and rice casserole. He pulled the car off the road, looked at me and said, “I love you and you are the best cook in the world, but that was the worst rice casserole I have ever tasted.” Strike two.

On Sunday, I prepared a big pot of homemade vegetable soup. Normally I fix it in the Crock-Pot and let it slow cook all day. After I started to pour in my ingredients, I realized that the Crock-Pot wasn’t big enough, so I decided I would just cook it on the stove in a big stew pot.

Everything was going really well, until I decided to watch a movie and realized that after two hours, I hadn’t stirred or lowered the temperature of the soup. When I began to stir, I could feel the potatoes stuck to the bottom of the pan. As they came to the top, each potato had a black bottom part where the skin of the potato had scorched.

Do you know how hard it is to remove burned potato skins out of chopped potatoes in a big pot of soup?

It can be very time consuming.

You would think that any fool could fix a pot of soup, but apparently not. Strike three.

SPINACH MUSHROOMS

2 dozen fresh button mushrooms, clean

1 cup onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons butter

1 (10-ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

¾ cup grated Swiss cheese

Grated Parmesan cheese

Spray a large shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Remove stems and chop finely. Place mushroom caps in baking dish. Saute’ the mushroom stems and onion in butter for five minutes. Add the spinach and mix thoroughly. Add Swiss cheese and stir lightly. Fill the mushroom caps with spinach mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.

BLACK-EYED PEAS AND TOMATOES

1 pound ground sausage

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 (10-ounce) bags frozen black-eyed peas

1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Brown the first three ingredients and drain. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, and simmer for one hour. May need to add some additional liquid.

CAJUN POTATOES

6 potatoes, unpeeled

1 stick butter, melted

1 envelope Lipton dry onion soup mix

1 cup water

1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Thinly slice potatoes and place in a 9 x 13 inch dish. Mix next 5 ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the potatoes. Bake, covered, for one hour at 350 degrees. Uncover and add cheese; heat until cheese melts.

Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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