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Jan 27/17

Rolling Pins and Buttermilk Biscuits Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments

Two years ago, while on vacation, I found myself standing between the storefronts of two iconic store brands A look to the left, a name which instantly brought diamonds to mind and to the right, high-end cookware. I took the right path. Such is the nature of this southern cook’s dreams. As much as I love jewelry and count inherited pieces as treasured items, the memories they evoke are never as warm as those from well-worn kitchen items.

As the company itself explains, the offerings of Vermont Rolling Pins are “not your cookie-cutter rolling pins.” They are the stuff of craftsmanship, tradition and memory. Each pin a practical work of “heart,” hand-made from a single block of wood. These are the kind of pins that can be passed down through generations, making them a perfect gift for others or for yourself. One look at them should bring back memories of flour-dusted hands and the smells of baking pie or rising biscuits. Many of their customers collect and display their rolling pins and the company sells displays just for that purpose, but these are pins whose main purpose is use as their designs give form and function equal consideration.

So, how are these beautiful works of art created? The team at Vermont Rolling Pins explains the process of their skilled wood-turner: “When Vermont Rolling Pins’ wood turner turns a piece, he uses his heart, his mind, and his hands. Each piece gets his heart, even before he starts the lathe. He admires the solid wood’s unique grains and colors. When the lathe turns his mind remains focused; it stays intent on its subject. His hands work the wood to get the desired shape and then he sands the piece to a smooth finish and then each piece is oiled, enhancing each wood’s grain and color even more.”

“We are not only hand-turning our Vermont Rolling Pins, but using them, too,” says Cyndi Freeman, with Vermont Rolling Pins. The company started a pie club that makes pie, pasta or pizza once a month.

“We have been getting together for over two years,” she said. “It’s like having the front end and the back end of a restaurant in three to four hours. We make either dinner or dessert or both. We’ve made Guinness Oyster Pie, Chocolate Hazelnut Pie, Turnovers, Lasagna from scratch, making our own pasta, and gourmet pizza and a lot more.”

If that inspired you to grab your own pin and start rolling out some memories in the form of cinnamon rolls, pie pastry, or buttermilk biscuits, try the recipe below. These buttery, light biscuits are bread when brushed with melted butter and dessert when accompanied by honey or jam. My children will get excited about any meal if it includes these. IF you have leftovers, freeze them so you can easily re-heat them and enjoy them later.

The Pie Belle’s Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small squares
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter (for brushing on baked biscuits)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine the first four dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles little flour-covered peas. The flour will begin to yellow slightly. Slowly add the buttermilk and using a fork, stir just until the dry mixture is moistened by the buttermilk.
3.Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it gently only 3-4 times. Roll the dough with a floured rolling pin to about ½ inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter.
4. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet and bake for 13 to 14 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly browned. Brush the tops with melted butter and remove biscuits from the pan. Keep them covered in a bread basket.

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