Whenever I think I have it bad, I am brought back to reality by a number of things. I have the most wonderful, most beautiful, most talented wife in the world who, for some reason, puts up with me. I have a house in the less-than-half completed Housing Bubble Burst Acres subdivision. And I have two gorgeous daughters, the two-year-old ham sammich and the seven-year-old Biscuit Nazi.
Making biscuits this morning reminded me you can't take the Biscuit Nazi out of the Biscuit Nazi, even as she gets older. When she was two, we first began making biscuits together based on a recipe from Alton Brown, just about the only person worth watching on Food Network any more. Given that she is mildly autistic, this means that Mr. Brown's biscuit recipe might as well have been etched in stone by the Lord long before He gave the Ten Commandments to Charlton Heston. Hell hath no fury like the Biscuit Nazi if you are out of baking powder and try to substitute some cream of tartar.
It took almost two years to convince BN that, if you happened to be out of buttermilk, you could use regular milk. No, BN said, Mr. Alton said BUTTERMILK, you MORON. The biscuits will get up and run out of the oven, out the door, shake their flaky booties at the neighbor's dog, then explode on contact with the asphalt of the street. It's a good thing that, when we first began making biscuits together, we didn't tell her that Mr. Alton did not use only shortening in his biscuits. He cuts both butter and shortening into his dry ingredients, which does taste better, but we were trying to avoid having to buy butter every other day during that time a few years ago when dairy was more expensive than beer. We might have brought about the return the Four Horsemen by now, which would really have pissed off Ric Flair and Knute Rockne.
We don't make biscuits quite as much anymore, but when we do, the Biscuit Nazi returns, albeit in a somewhat milder form. She isn't as anal about ingredients anymore. Instead, BN has to do everything by herself, measuring the ingredients, mixing them, kneading and rolling - everything except put them in the oven, which she still understands she can't do. It makes me wonder what she'd be like if I had been a fish monger; "you can't use that fillet knife on a MONK FISH. The Monk fish Mafia are gonna GET YOU!"
If this sounds like a pain, it isn't. I wouldn't change anything about BN, and not just because her anal retentiveness helps her make a damn good biscuit. Besides, she is now forever the Biscuit Nazi as christened by Mr. Alton himself in an autographed picture he sent to BN after I got the chance to tell him the story. I think Mr. Alton understands completely, being somewhat of a food Nazi himself. Now, off to the store. We're need baking powder and buttermilk, and I don't want to be eaten by the giant invisible cow monsters who attack the owners of inadequate ingredients.