I am saying grace before supper. And a lot is going through my mind.
Namely because we are eating biscuits tonight. And I love biscuits. When I am done saying this blessing, I will experience one of the best feelings on planet Earth. Which is peeling open one of my wife’s hot, handmade catheads.
Steam will rise from the soft bread to kiss me square on the nose. And I will swear I can almost hear the Vienna Boys Choir singing “Ave Verum Corpus” somewhere in the distance.
I have a long childhood history with biscuits. The day after my father’s funeral I remember awaking to find our kitchen covered in a fine dusting of Gold Medal Flour. There were old coffee cans of lard on counters, and matronly women in beehive hairdos.
The oven had transformed the kitchen into a sauna. The sound of female chatter was like the sound of geese on a pond. I sniffed the air.
Hallelujah. They were making biscuits.
After a funeral you have a lot of
food around. This happens when someone you love dies. Church ladies with solemn faces show up at odd hours to leave hot pans on your porch, or shoeboxes of fried chicken, or Tupperware containers with notecards attached to the lids.
And you receive a lot of biscuits. This is because the American biscuit is not something that merely sits in a bread basket, covered with gingham. A real biscuit is true. It is something real.
Next time you eat a biscuit think of the hands that mixed the flour. Human hands that have seen their share of pain, and loss, and life. See the fingers flex when they knead lard into the ivory dough. Watch the dusty palms use an upside-down cup to stamp each one.
Verily. This is love.
The ironic thing is, after my father’s funeral I didn’t feel like eating. I had no appetite.…