We’re All COVID Pioneers Now: Here’s A Biscuit Recipe

Sunde White illustrates her essay on covid biscuits

Hearty just like us pioneers!

During this time of COVID, I feel like we are all pioneers now, trying to find our way in a new world.  Our future is uncharted as we move through our lives blindly, trying to just feel our way around all the changes.  With no government to really help us, we’re all floating around, trying to do the best we can with our new normal.  How do we educate our kids, get food on our tables, get work, keep our businesses open,  vote, stay safe from harm?  Who knows?

What does our future look like?  Will there be restaurants other than Olive Garden and TGIF’s?  Will sports ever exist again?, Will there ever be justice for our fellow citizens? No one knows.  For comfort I think back to the pioneer times when people would just put together all of their belongings and bundle themselves into wagons and begin their journey into a complete unknown.

How brave of them. How terrifying for them, bouncing along for months to find a little piece of land for themselves.  Did they even know how to farm? Probably not but they figured it out.  How the heck did they know how to build a house? They just figured it out. How’d women have babies in the middle of nowhere? They just figured it out.  And so, using the pioneers before us as inspiration, we’ll just figure it out!  The mighty pioneers of COVID!

Here’s a list of all the things we’ve figured out already, great job guys!

  1. There’s not really a treatment for COVID so if you’re someone who’s gotten it you probably just hunkered down and used old fashioned remedies to save yourself. Lemon tea, Echinacea, oranges, garlic and what not…just like the pioneers would have done!
  2. You’ve made your own bread! Just like the mighty pioneers before you, you now know how to bake beautiful loaves of bread to feed the whole family, well done!
  3. You don’t go to hospitals! The ghosts of pioneers are reading this like, “What’s a hospital?” and can relate since you probably don’t go to hospitals or probably even doctors right now because you’re smart enough to not risk getting COVID in the emergency room.   So you just tie a tourniquet above the artery to stop the bleeding and look away as your loved one tries to stitch you back together with some embroidery thread. (Yes, you now embroidery feminist sayings on pillows, hazzah!)
  4. You day drink! In the old days water was so dirty that they drank a low alcohol content beer all the time and it was totally fine.  You probably have fresh water, but fuck it, if it’s good enough for the pioneers, it’s good enough for you.
  5. You home school! So did the pioneers!  If they were lucky enough to live near a town their kids would go to school there but they still took a lot of time off for winter and the planting and harvesting seasons.  But guess what?  They were totally fine.  They learned all about nature and animals, weather cycles, how to buy and sell their product and how to calculate their losses and earnings.  They learned to do cool stuff with their hands like fix plows and other machinery, whittle things, sew and knit things and maybe, if someone in the family played, they’d learn a musical instrument.  And at night, around the fire with the family, they’d be read to by their Ma or Pa and learn to love books.  So congrats!  Your young pioneers will be great and fine and very smart!


So to celebrate what a great pioneer you are, I have a delicious biscuit recipe.  I recently perfected this recipe and I really love how tender and tasty they are.  My biscuits of the past were always weird dried out pucks the second they cooled down but these are moist and tender and fluffy.   Don’t be freaked out by the sugar in these, it counter acts the flavor of the baking powder and soda which I always find to be a strong, unpleasant flavor. Enjoy!

Preheat the oven to 425.

In a large bowl combine:

4 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar


Cut into this mixture until it looks like small pebbles and sand:


12 tbsp salted butter


With a few swift strokes mix in:


1 ½ cups cold buttermilk

½ cup heavy cream


Don’t over mix this! Dump sticky and floury mixture onto surface and shape into a rectangle.  I usual roll it our lightly just to press everything together but you want to hardly work the dough.  I cut my biscuits into squares because I like to make egg and cheese sandwiches with them and also cutting out circles messes with the dough too much but you can if you want. I flatten my dough to about an inch and a half so I can have big biscuits and then cut it into 8 pieces but you could do ten.

Let sit in the fridge for about ten minutes to activate the baking powder and buttermilk then coat top with egg wash (one egg and some milk).

Bake for about 14 minutes and enjoy!