The Pot (and pan) Party

Pots and pansMy brother-in-law Dan is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. Now, pilule people can be sweet, here they can be agreeable, they can even be nice. But not too many people are kind. Dan is one of those select few.

I met Dan on my first trip to Boston to visit my then-boyfriend-now-husband, Rick. It was pouring down rain and incredibly humid when I met Rick at the airport in Boston. My naturally curly hair that I had straightened that morning began to frizz, curl and resemble Diana Ross. I was a hot mess and so nervous to meet a member of Rick’s family. A bus ride, countless subway stops and a near-mile walk later, we finally reached Dan and Rick’s apartment. When we walked through the door, Dan welcomed me with open arms (literally – that boy knows how to hug you like he means it) and put me at ease right away.

I came back a month and a half later, and what was supposed to be a five-day Boston adventure turned into me staying for an entire month. And again, Dan was kind and generous and let his brother’s girlfriend (along with his own girlfriend and his other roommate’s girlfriend – it was like sleep-away camp!) cramp his style.

During that month, I learned a lot about my new friends and roommates. My brother-in-law worked early hours and long days, so I never really got to see him in the mornings. But I did hear him in those wee morning hours during his breakfast-making extravaganza. This is what his roommates called The Pot Party.

Dan made himself a “gourmet” breakfast every single morning and would use 4-5 pots and/or pans to do so. No one could figure out why he needed so many pans for sausage, eggs and cheese on a biscuit. (But if you’d ask me, I would say that’s a sign of a creative genius.) We’d hear him banging around in the kitchen at 4:45 a.m. (in his defense, the walls were paper thin) and we’d all smell delicious food that would rouse us from our slumber. Some would find this a little less than fabulous, being in the middle of a dream and being awakened hours before your alarm goes off. But I rather liked it. It made me happy to know that he found joy in cooking, in the little things.

But that is just like Dan – to see the beauty in everything and everyone, to make the most of this life in the short time we’re here, to not waste a minute on cereal or cardboard-boxed pastries, but to indulge in a gourmet breakfast and a quiet moment for himself.

This morning, as I reminisce about all the good times we had when we lived in Boston, I’m reminded of living in that tiny apartment with five other people, being awakened by the sounds and smells of an early morning breakfast. Dan, this one’s for you. Welcome to The Pot Party.

 

Honey-Rosemary BiscuitsHoney-Rosemary Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

¾ cup whole milk

3 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 450F.

In a food processor (you could also make these by hand, without the food processor), combine the flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary. Pulse to blend. Add the cold cubed butter, pulsing until the mixture looks like small peas.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and honey. (I used tupelo honey for this recipe because of its dark and more robust flavor, but you can use any honey you have on hand.) It helps if the milk is almost room temperature because the honey will blend much more easily. Pour this mixture into the food processor and pulse just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times. Then roll the dough out to about ½ inch thick and use a glass or round pastry cutter to cut out the biscuits.

Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until the tops are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Serve biscuits with breakfast sausage patties, scrambled eggs and melted cheese for a real treat (and in honor of my beloved brother-in-law).

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