Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Ballots and Biscuits


Happy Election Day, oh my (American) internets! At least, I hope it will end happily.

Sugar and I went to the polls this afternoon, in company of a NOT AT ALL SLEEPY Bean, who went on nap strike today. After I gave up on the whole business, I got ready to go vote, but when I asked the Bean, who generally lives for trips outside and starts pestering us with cries of “shoes? Walk? WALK?” long before the sun is up, if he wanted to go vote, he said, “no.”

“Bean. Listen. Romney wants to fire Elmo.”
“Elmo?? VOTE!!”

And just like that, the fire of democracy was kindled in the bosom of a new generation. Lucky for us the Elmo candidate is also the candidate who thinks we have the right to be a family. Could be a tough dinner table conversation if it were otherwise.

Luckily, our polling place is a school with a playground. Luckily still, I GUESS, the table for our district had separate lines by last name, and Sugar’s line was very short, so she and the Bean could go play while I stood in the endless first-half-of-alphabet line for another hour or so. Not that I’m bitter. No, no, I’m proud to be part of the half of the alphabet that gives a damn about this country, unlike certain second-halfers I could name.

As usual, our polling place had no stickers. C’mon, people! Adults don’t get that many sticker opportunities, you know? Give a little.

Someone at Comedy Central knows how I feel, anyway. They provided one, free, on the cover of one of the free newspapers people thrust at you as you leave the subway stations in the mornings. So the Bean, who voted early and often, with us and with his babysitter/favorite person/Facilitator of Walkies earlier in the day, gets his Baby’s First Major Election picture with sticker after all.

Stars and Stripes, Sans Culottes

He never did take a nap, but thank the Lord, he is now asleep. Sugar is faintly tolerating my mainlining of election returns and carb loading. To that end, I have tinkered yet again with the sweet potato biscuit recipe I’ve been dallying with, and I now feel so deeply satisfied that I will show my work. This is a tinkered version of this, from Chowhound. I apologize for the weird measurements, but that is partly where the tinkering has come in.

Sweet Potato Biscuits You Will Like

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1.5 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/8 teaspoon baking soda (1/4 t plus half of that spoon again)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup baked (boiled, whatever) mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium potato; freeze extra if you have it, for next time)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, FROZEN
Heavy cream for brushing the tops (Used half and half tonight; was just as good)

Okay, remember before you start that the key to biscuits is a light hand. This isn’t bread; don’t take you emotions out on it. Handle it as little as possible, lest you awaken the demon gluten and end up with hockey pucks. To that end, lay out your ingredients, your implements (spoon, basting brush, biscuit cutter/glass, cookie sheet and optional parchment paper) ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 400.

1. Combine dry ingredients. Whisk it around with a fork. Don’t bother sifting.
2. Combine sweet potato and buttermilk. If you’re a little short of sweet potato, use more buttermilk so that you still have 1 3/4 cups wet stuff.
3. Do this brilliant thing Starrhillgirl taught me: Grate the frozen butter into the dry ingredients. Stir it around so that it’s reasonably evenly distributed.
4. Add wet ingredients. Stir just enough to combine everything. Don’t get crazy.
5. Plop the dough down on a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to gently press it into a mat about 1 inch tall.
6. Cut out your biscuits. If you don’t have a cutter you like — I use a 2-inch one — use a juice glass.
7. Use your hands to form the leftover dough into appropriately sized biscuits. Don’t make it into a new sheet; this way involves less handling of the dough. Trust me.
8. Place biscuits on a lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper. Or a Silpat. Brush their tops with cream or what have you.
9. Bake for roughly 15 minutes.
10. Eat. These are nice with pork and onions and just as good with eggs. They are positively divine with the damson preserves I brought home from Starrhillgirl’s.


13 thoughts on “Ballots and Biscuits

  1. That’s my daddy being brilliant there, btw.
    Go ahead. make me cry multiple times in one day.

  2. OMG. I love the Elmo comment. Way to get out the toddler vote.

  3. What’s with the no stickers? I said the same thing! After standing in line on the UWS for an hour at 645am, I was hoping for a little voting flair. At least there was a bake sale.

  4. Whoa did we make the same joke? That’s nutty. But then again, our kids are both really into Elmo. Also, the line for the A-Ls was way, way longer in our district too. We have to get the Freakonomics guys on that.

  5. We got stickers!

    But I have to say The Bean’s is much cuter.

    I am enjoying your daily posts…

  6. I appreciate your reminding me that there is ONE good thing about living in a conservative state. We had plenty of stickers.

    Glad the Bean is on board with all things that are good.

  7. Firstly- I’ll try the biscuits recipe with the brilliantly grated butter – we call them scones here and eat them English style with jam and whipped cream. Mmmm.
    Secondly- although you addressed the election comments to Americans – I’m sure I’m not the only non-American reader that was totally following the US elections. It was a huge one, with the gay marriage voting and Obama vs R Money. So many of my friends posted on fb last night about their relief Obama got back in. It affects the whole world of course. So YAY!!!! Thanks for voting!

  8. Yuuuuuuumy. Thanks for your vote, Bean.

  9. They don’t do stickers in Chicago. We get a little slip of paper that says I voted. Not the same!

    I live in a very undemocratic neighborhood. There’s never a line. Or it could just be that there aren’t a lot of citizens considering that there is a high immigrant population. Still, I haven’t had to wait to vote since 2004 when I bought the albatross. I guess that’s one good thing about it. Also, low taxes and lots of storage.

  10. Love the “Romney wants to fire elmo”. Brilliant πŸ™‚ Gus is too young to object to going to the polls yet but he does enjoy crinkling the slip of paper we get in Chicago (although I miss the stickers I used to get when I lived in NY and VT) πŸ™‚

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