I recently had the pleasure to read Melissa Norris’ new book “Hand Made: The Modern Guide to Made from Scratch Living”. So much more than just a recipe book, Melissa really invites you into her life, sharing personal stories from her childhood and family life intertwined with some seriously delicious recipes, handmade gift ideas and some great tips for simplifying your life & home. Modern life is so hectic and chaotic; this book is a refreshing reminder it doesn’t need to be. Each page is chock full of common wisdom our great grandparents took for granted but that has been forgotten by current generations.
I was excited to dive in after reading Ms Norris’ first book “The Made from Scratch Life”, which I also thoroughly enjoyed (click here to read my review on this book)
I loved the whole book, but my two favorite sections are the “thrive” & “simplify” chapters.
In “Thrive”, Melissa passes on tons of valuable information for growing & assembling your own natural medicine cabinet. Everything from tips on which herbs to grow, recipes for balms, bath salts, salves and healing home brewed teas – and of course culinary tips for using herbs! I love the handy several page long reference chart!
In “Simplify” each room in the home is tackled with tips on how to declutter, live with less and just quite simply “simplify” everything! Through out the whole book you will find “Great Depression Era Tips” with tips on how people not only survived but thrived during one of the hardest times in our country.
There are some really amazing, simple, healthy, home cooking recipes in this book that I can’t wait to try out! The one that caught my eye first though is one of the very first ones – Melissa’s mom’s delicious Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits! Let me tell you, these delicious biscuits live up to every ounce of hype from the book. I can tell these will become a staple around here! Start to pulling them out of the oven it’s only about 20 minutes – seriously. Easy enough for everyday and so delicious!!
Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
from “Hand Made” by Melissa Norris
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 tsp honey
3/4 – 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
Use a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until it becomes pea sized clumps
Add the honey & buttermilk and stir until just combined. Start with 3/4 cup of buttermilk, only adding the last 1/4 cup if needed to hold the dough together
Dump the dough out onto lightly floured surface & fold it together a few times with your hands
Pat out into a 1 inch thick circle. The key to flaky biscuits is to not over handle the dough. You want the butter chunks to melt as it bakes.
Use a metal biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits
Place your biscuits in a cast iron skillet or on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until the tops turn a luscious golden brown.
The dough also freezes really well if you want to make a double batch. Cut the biscuits out and instead of cooking them, pop them in the freezer on a baking sheet. After an hour or so, remove and put the biscuits in a sealable freezer container. Take out and bake when needed – you might need to increase bake time by a couple minutes when baking frozen biscuits.
I would definitely recommend checking out “Hand Made: The Modern Guide to Made from Scratch Living” by Melissa Norris – now available in book stores everywhere & on Amazon. Click here to buy on Amazon now!