Chemo and Biscuits

When I was being treated for breast cancer a couple of years ago, chemotherapy did a number on my taste buds. It was like having bad “cotton mouth” for weeks on end. But I still had an appetite of sorts, because they give you really good medicines to counteract potential nausea. Food still smells good, but then you taste it and . . .ugh. Not so good. For whatever reason, I found that I craved biscuits. Not fresh baked biscuits, but the toasted leftovers.

Toasted Biscuits

I remember when I was a little girl my mother used to buy these par-baked biscuits. They came in a little rectangular pan and were small. Maybe 1 ½ inches square. Mom would heat them up for breakfast. At the next meal, she would toast the leftovers, splitting them in half and putting a little pat of butter on top before they went into the oven. They would come out all crispy and golden and buttery. Wonderful.

Marshall's Buttermilk Biscuits

Marshall’s Buttermilk Biscuits

THEN, the leftovers from toasting would go into a baggie and we would eat those at room temperature later. Now, I don’t know why any biscuits would have lasted long enough to go into that bag. You would think with a family of five, a tray of biscuits would disappear in a heartbeat. I don’t know. But I do know that the leftovers in the baggie were my favorite. They had a crispy, buttery, salty crust, with tender biscuit inside. They kind of crumbled in my mouth with a texture that is different from any other kind of bread or cracker.

Marshall's Buttermilk Biscuits

I don’t think the packaging has changed a bit!

When I began to crave biscuits during chemo, it was for those toasted ones. I found them at the East Nashville Piggly Wiggly, which has become my favorite spot for frozen biscuits.

I know biscuits are not the healthiest food for someone fighting cancer. I do. But I figured that since I was going through chemo I could make some allowances. Besides, I still did not have a great appetite. When I found something I wanted to eat, I did not judge.

More Toasty Goodness

More Toasty Goodness

Want to make your own shards of buttery toasted biscuity goodness? Just split any biscuit in half, spread a generous dollop of butter or margarine on top, and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

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Mystery Biscuit

I didn’t plan for it to happen. We were actually thinking of going hiking. Then there were biscuits. And the Piggly Wiggly. IMG_0670

Ok, wait, let me start at the beginning. We were away for the weekend in an area called the Cumberland Plateau. On Saturday we’d gone on a lovely hike to Greeter Falls, one of my favorite places. On Sunday, we figured out where the trailhead was for the waterfall that the cabin owners had said was a “must see.” It was in the town of Gruetli-Laager, TN.

Now, I used to spend a lot of time in this area of Tennessee and the only thing I knew about Gruetli-Laager is that they have a Piggly Wiggly. So as we drove and the rain started coming down, I thought to myself, “At least we can go to the Piggly Wiggly.”

I put the Piggly Wiggly into the map on my phone and watched our progress. We slowly got closer but it seemed to take longer than expected. At one point, I thought I saw a few buildings ahead and cried out, “We’re almost there!”

“Where?!” he said, excitedly.

“I don’t know, but we must be getting close to something!” And we laughed.IMG_0671

Anyway, hiking was definitely out of the question, but the Piggly Wiggly was open and warm and dry. We perused the shelves, marveling at the humongous (truly) cans of turnip greens and various cuts of meat we had never seen anywhere before.

Then we saw them. It was a very simple package. Easy to miss if you did not know what you were looking for. Just a stack of frozen biscuits in a plastic bag. The most basic of nutritional info and no other labeling whatsoever. No brand. Not even a distributor location. I had to get them.IMG_0655

The next weekend I baked some of them up. That’s how you say it, you know. “Bake them up.” Just look at how they turned out! IMG_0663

Those simple little disks rose into these fabulous fluffy, tasty biscuits! Amazing.IMG_0664

The next day, I did the toasted biscuit test. I slathered them in butter and baked them for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. They just browned a little at the edges. I put some Maple Cinnamon Button on one of them. Ahhh. Look how yummy. IMG_0678I have to admit, though, that they were not as good as I had hoped when they had cooled later that day. But I have some other biscuits that are perfect as leftover, leftover toasted biscuits. But that’s a post for another day.