Grandma’s Sweet Potato Biscuits
As remembered by Lila’s granddaughter Holly Alisha Carraway Warren
There is a photograph of Lila rolling dough with flour all over her hands on display in the kitchen where Holly taught me the famous yet unwritten recipe. I want to honor the oral tradition by keeping this post rather vague, photographic, and vignette-based. Qualitative rather than quantitative. There is no formula to these biscuits, so, as you make batch after batch there will be the good and the bad, the sweet and the bland, the crumbly and the smooth—the biscuits will be as varied as your lived days. The key element, in addition to the four key ingredients, is to have Faith in what you are doing. (And maybe listen to that song, like we did.)
Be sure to pick out each and every pimply tubercle, the whole follicle. Ew. But you wouldn’t want those nasties contaminating the textures of the biscuits. Put some flour, a couple soft sweet potatoes, however much sugar you think you deserve, and a glob of non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (photo shown for those who would like to estimate proportions) into a bowl.
Bake (and here is the only given concrete detail) at 350 for 30 minutes. Enjoy with butter! If you are Jude, you will call them Cookies. Lila, Holly tells me, kept a ledger of her biscuit-making, and would tally over two thousand biscuits every year. Her biscuits traveled the country, and perhaps now, the world! Surely they will last generations to come, as great-grandson Jude, at two, is already fond of and familiar with the routine. (Select photography courtesy of Tom Warren, who remembers taking Grandma’s biscuits with him to the Coast Guard Academy.)