Published on October 15, 2021
Submitted by Rachel Koch, Human Resources Coordinator
I may have grown up on the white sandy beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but my mother was born and raised in the beautiful, rural hills of Iron City, Tennessee. That is where I spent every single holiday and two weeks of each summer throughout my entire childhood. One of the most decadent joys of those visits was Granny’s “Chocolate & Biscuits.” On a summer day it was easy to hop out of bed because us 10 cousins had some serious playing to do: climbing trees, swinging from grape vines, rolling down steep meadowed hill, or loading up in the back of a pick-up truck to go swimming at the creek.
The winter mornings were a completely different story. That old clapboard house perched on the top of the hill was freezing cold! My little brother and I would wake to a room so cold that we could see our breath, and we didn’t have much incentive to leave a feather bed so deep it was difficult to climb out of or warm quilts our granny and great granny made by hand. However, if the fragrance of cocoa simmering on the stove and handmade biscuits baking in the oven made it past the smell of the wood-burning stove and up through the floor planks to our little nostrils…well, that changed everything! Granny was making Chocolate & Biscuits! Here is a not so pretty picture of heaven in a bowl. You can find similar recipes in old Appalachian cookbooks.
Here’s to that old country house (long burned down), to my Iron City family, to the rolling hills, lush “hollers,” winding chert rock roads, and bare feet in fresh-water springs. Most of all, here’s to my sweet granny, Myrine McKinney, who passed this family recipe down to me.
Chocolate & Biscuits:
1 c sugar, 4 T cocoa, 1 t flour (stir with enough hot water to dissolve everything), add 2 c milk. Bring to a boil then simmer till the biscuits are ready! It never hurts to add a dollop of butter to your bowl, too!