I’ve been back from vacation less than a week now. I already miss the mountains and the ocean. Most of all, I miss the temperature. It was around 50-ish degrees everywhere we went, colder in some spots. Now, back in Dallas, my car thermometer hasn’t dipped under 100 at all during the day. Usually, it sticks around 115. UGH. As I make this post, I’m trying to put myself back on the deck of my cruise ship, watching ice and seals pass by while trying to warm my hands on my coffee mug. Ahhh.
There were so many great things about this cruise. I seriously want to go again sometime. The first day or so, a few people on the ship, myself included, were given a tour of the massive galley. The kitchens fit over 100 workers, who fed up to 3000 people per mealtime. As you can imagine, everything was made in bulk. Because of that (and also, I suspect, because of the cultural palettes of most of the kitchen staff), the food wasn’t all that amazing. But hey! It sure was pretty and they made darn good french fries. Anyway, this kitchen had tables and tables just for dessert prep (Pictured in the strip below), stand mixers dedicated to whipping about 40 pounds of butter at a time, and an awesome machine that took a round piece of dough and turned it into two dozen dinner rolls. The tour itself certainly gave me a new perspective on feeding mass amounts of people. What still drove me crazy was that this was all on a cruise ship. And the ship we were on wasn’t the largest in the fleet by any means.
Our first and favorite stop was Juneau, Alaska. There, Zack and I boarded a tiny float plane that flew us over five glaciers to an island lodge about half a mile away from a Glacier. You can see our plane flying away from the island with the Taku Glacier in front of it in my photo strip below. Glaciers definitely my favorite thing about the whole trip. They made me feel so small, but seeing the amazing work they were doing and the patterns they took filled me with awe. About two minutes after we took the picture of the plane flying away, we found a friend. He’s in the last picture of the strip. He didn’t get any closer than about 20 feet, but I feel like we bonded. After saying goodbye to our friend, we sat down for a dinner of fresh-caught salmon, baked beans, and the most amazing herbed biscuits I’ve ever had. Our drinks had glacier ice in them! (Don’t worry, it is an advancing glacier!). The herbed biscuits were so awesome that I just had to get the recipe to share with you. More about those and the recipe after the strip.
These biscuits are the absolute best when they’re hot. Even microwaving them is better than eating them cold. We even made little sandwiches with them! I had never made biscuits before, so I was a little intimidated, but these were super easy and so very good. The only thing about this recipe that I wasn’t wholly familiar with was “cutting” butter into the mix. The butter is supposed to be as cold as you can get it when you cut it in, too. In order to keep the butter solid but distributed evenly, I grated it on a cheese grater, which worked out wonderfully for me. Please try these biscuits and taste a bit of Alaska when you do!
Alaskan Herbed Biscuits Recipe
Makes roughly 2 dozen biscuits
- 4 cups bread flour
- 3/4 cup powdered milk
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp each of type, parsley, tarragon, and basil
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 sticks of very cold butter
- approximately 1 1/4 cups of water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and grate your very cold butter with a cheese grater (use the larger holes, if you’re using a box grater). Mix in the butter, but only enough to get the grated butter distributed into the dries.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the cold water. Work the dough with a wooden spoon and then with your hands until the dough is slightly sticky.
- Place the dough on a floured board. Fold the the dough, turn it over and fold again. Do this about 8 times. You may need to add a little flour between folds if the dough is too sticky.
- Pat the dough into a square about 1 inch thick. Cut into square biscuits.
- Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.