Hiking the High Road

I learned pretty early on in life that it’s always better to take the high road. Unfortunately, getting there can sometimes feel like climbing Everest, especially when you are blue and fantasies of verbally eviscerating someone peek around the corners of your brain. I’ve never regretting taking the elevated route, but that climb isn’t always easy and can truly test your resolve and hiking heels. Consider the romantic breakup. Once the deed is done, wouldn’t it be nice if that person fell off the face of the earth? I don’t mean that maliciously, but rather that they enter an alternate universe and you never have to run into them. At the very least, shouldn’t they be sitting alone on the edge of bed in some seedy room, bare light bulb swinging overhead and garish neon letters just outside the window flashing ‘OTEL’’, while you’re on a date with George Clooney?

It gets even harder when you’ve been out of work for a while and run into someone in your network that knows your ‘villain’. We all know burning bridges is just plain BAD, and trash talking someone you worked for to someone who may know them is like pouring kerosene on the overpass. Regardless of how hard it is you have to stifle the urge to fire up the flame-thrower, even if the person controlling the your bridge is a beady-eyed, bald, officious troll with an ego 4 times his merits and diminutive height. (SEE how hard it is?) Much better to climb up to that higher road, smile like the Mona Lisa (with visions of torches dancing in your head) and enjoy the view from up there. Actually, I find a kind of nobility in holding my tongue and rising above it. I can’t always muster it (obviously), but on the occasions I do I realize that the crap that’s been thrown at me has had some  value and gives me more practice in shoring up my resolve. I have a feeling that will come in handy again.

Finding a recipe to go with this post was a bit of a challenge. I don’t have anything with trolls as an ingredient (now THAT would be revenge), so I thought something that rises. Yes, bad pun, but good recipe, and very nice addition to your holiday table or for breakfast the next day.

Pumpkin Biscuits

These are wonderful just as they are with a little honey, butter, or cranberry sauce. You could make these up to adding the wet ingredients in a food processor, but they are so easy by hand, why get something else dirty?

Makes 12-14 biscuits 2 ½” biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 TBSP cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup cold whole milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (about 1/8 tsp)
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add in the orange zest and whisk so it’s well distributed throughout the flour. Add the chilled butter, and ‘cut’ in using a pastry blender or a fork until the butter is about the size of peas. Whisk the milk and the pumpkin together until fully incorporated, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix together with a fork until the dough just comes together (careful not to over mix). Dump out onto a floured surface and pat together to a rough rectangle about an inch thick. Fold the dough in half and pat down again. Cover with a clean towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Once the dough has rested (it will have risen a bit), roll out to about ½ to ¾” thick. Cut out biscuits using a juice glass or 2 ½”biscuit cutter. Don’t twist the cutter or you will crimp the edges and they won’t rise as well.

Bake on a parchment-lined sheet for 12-13 minutes. Calories: 100 per 2 ½” biscuit.

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