Columnist Caitlin Weigel finds out the hard way how not to use buttermilk.
If heaven is a place on Earth, I can guarantee it’s Sam’s Morning Glory. I would be willing to bet Sam is just a nickname some angels gave God. Seriously – the breakfasts here are absolutely divine.
Tucked a few blocks away from the flash of South Street on 10th and Fitzwater streets, Morning Glory – “a finer diner,” according to the sign – serves up classic diner fare in a cozy setting. And by cozy, I mean tiny. Don’t go planning family reunions up in there.
During the summer, Morning Glory was a frequent stop on my weekend breakfast circuit. And though my entree selection constantly rotated, there were a few staples on my plate.
The breakfast potatoes are an absolute must. Not only are they fuh-reakin’ amazing, but they’re the perfect excuse to use Morning Glory’s homemade ketchup. Heinz has got nothing on the spicy tomato sauce served up at this diner. I often find myself conflicted – is it bad manners to ask for a bowl and spoon so I can eat the ketchup like soup?
The other must-have foodstuff is the buttermilk biscuit – a thick square of a moist, delicious biscuit ready to be slathered in whatever jam or jelly happens to reside on your table – now that is the stuff a foodie day-dreams about.
I set out to make my day-dreams come true. I attempted to make my own buttermilk biscuits.
A quick Google search provided me with loads of recipes, and after reading a few, I decided on one from the blog, Pinch My Salt – mainly because of the cheeky blog name and awesome pictures.
Most of the ingredients involved were simple – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, eggs – the usual suspects. The one funky element is obviously the namesake ingredient, buttermilk.
You can pick it up in the milk section of your local grocery store. But be advised – no matter how much you like milk or butter, you will not like buttermilk. Please do not attempt to drink it or pour it on your Reese’s Puffs.
I followed the recipe pretty closely and eventually had a ball of shaggy looking dough. I preheated my oven to 500 degrees and proceeded to prepare my “well-floured surface.”
In this case, it translated into me throwing flour on a section of my counter between the toaster and the pile of weird kitchen supplies no one knows where to put. I didn’t have a biscuit cutter (because who does?) so I used a cup to cut out circle-like shapes of dough.
The end result? Meh.
They were definitely edible, but they lacked the impact of their Morning Glory counterpart. For only $2.50 you could be enjoying the real deal in an adorable diner in South Philly.
The final verdict this week? Go for the eat. You can nosh on some exotic frittatas with goat cheese or stuffed French toast while enjoying the homey atmosphere, then finish the experience off with a bangin’ biscuit.
The home-cooked version doesn’t even come close (which leads me to believe perhaps Sam is using his connections to get saints and angels to bake those things … ) and in the end, you’re left with a kitchen that looks like some kind of flour monster sneezed all over it and half a jug of a buttermilk you will never use again.
I must reiterate the importance of not putting it on your Reese’s Puffs. Please learn from my mistakes.
Caitlin Weigel can be reached at email@example.com.