Today’s grief recipe is brought to you by Mandy Berrell – Atlanta, GA
Wife and mama, educator, non-professional grief girl and faith-filled sunshine finder.
My daddy Steve always loved to cook for his family and guests; I grew up with cookouts and special meals with lots of special people as a regular part of my childhood. Daddy baked gingerbread houses with us girls, loved to grill out for his friends, and often called his mother for recipes from his own childhood to cook for us.
In his late 30’s he was able to realize his lifelong dream of owning a lakehouse in the Georgia mountains, and so began his – and our family’s– obsession with breakfast. Every weekend, my family drove the two hours to the lake on Friday so we could wake up there on Saturday morning. As the years passed, we were joined by friends and family every weekend, so the cozy cabin was usually bursting with people. Part of hosting piles of teenage girls included a big breakfast to get them out of bed! Eggs, bacon, sausage, cinnamon rolls, coffee, fruit, and then biscuits…this was really the only way to get us girls moving on the weekends.
Daddy got to know many of the local people in the mountains, and was invited to the weekend breakfasts at our local mom-n-pop, Kastner’s. This casual gathering of lake friends always included Mrs. Mary Lee’s homemade biscuits and gravy, and my dad was obsessed!
When he set out to make his own scratch biscuits, he consulted his mother, my Mimi; and Mrs. Mary Lee as well. He wanted to get them just right, perfectly fluffy yet not “layered”, but rather flaky and caky with a nice browned top. Let me tell you, not only did he succeed, but he became instantly famous for those Stevie Biscuits!
Over the years those biscuits were part of the best memories of my life: weekends on Lake Burton with my family. Every one of my friends will tell you they remember Stevie’s Biscuits as part of the fabric of high school and college. When I was pregnant with my first child, he would make batches of biscuits for me since that’s about all I could stomach! Once I had a family of my own, those biscuits were part of every holiday meal. His grandchildren called him “Stevie” and they loved those biscuits at every sleepover; it was a big day when they were old enough to “help” make the biscuits!
Daddy also served as “Boss Hog” at the family’s co-op fish camp, Hog Heaven. Part of being “Boss Hog” meant that he would be making those famous biscuits for all the men at camp! And oh, how they loved their biscuits! Just a few days ago, my precious son said to me, “Mama, do you know what makes my heart happy?” and the answer was, Stevie’s biscuits. He misses his best buddy and grandfather Stevie so much, but those biscuits are a taste of comfort to him.
Daddy always wanted me to know where he kept his recipe file in his computer, as he was an avid cook and had many special recipes. I have the biscuit recipe of course, and it follows here; but you know as well as I do that these biscuits just aren’t the same without a serving of the love he put into his Stevie Biscuits. Still… absolutely delicious!!