By STACEY PATTON WALLACE
Many changes have come about in education in the last few decades. One class that has fallen by the wayside is home economics, or “home ec.” When Mike and I taught at Long Cane Middle School in LaGrange, Georgia, home ec was an exploratory or elective class until about 2003.
Back then, it was called Family and Consumer Science, a fancy name for home ec.
When the class was dropped, another computer course took its place. This was a mistake, in my opinion. Over 60% of our students lived in poverty. Also, some of those students had to help take care of younger siblings when they got home from school because their parents worked the second or third shift. Therefore, our kids had to provide supper for their younger brothers and sisters. Our home ec teacher taught them how to cook meals, sew, etc.
Thankfully, when my good friend Amelia and I were seniors at Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City (“Eleck” City to the locals), home ec was still an elective, so we signed up for it.
I soon learned two important things in home ec.: 1. I disliked cooking; in fact, the last time I loved to cook was on my Easy Bake Oven; and 2. I was a terrible seamstress; I had not inherited Mother Mac’s (my maternal grandmother) giftedness for making clothes.
During the six weeks, we had to make an article of clothing. Amelia reminded me that some of the male students made SUITS. It took me the ENTIRE grading period to make a Kelly green wrap-around skirt. I looked like a fat blade of grass. To make matters worse, Mrs. Smith, our home economics teacher (not her real name), insisted that we model our creations in a class fashion show. I was mortified and still bear the scars 42 years later.
Also, for the first and last time in my life, I made homemade biscuits for a group project. I don’t remember how the biscuits tasted. However, they certainly weren’t the melt-in-your-mouth, float-off-the-plate biscuits that my Grandma Patton made.
Recently, I talked with Amelia about those biscuits we made so long ago. I had forgotten her experience. Amelia and the students in her group were given a biscuit recipe that included adding jelly inside the biscuit. Amelia said, “The biscuits blew up in the oven, made a big mess and were inedible.”
As veteran, retired teachers, Amelia and I now question Mrs. Smith’s decision to have high schoolers make such a biscuit. What was she thinking? It sounded like a recipe for disaster, and it was.
Since I officially retired from biscuit making at the tender age of 18, Mike and I proudly bake Pillsbury frozen biscuits. Also, we hunt restaurants that serve homemade biscuits.
Recently, Mike and I joined our friends Jack, William and Cory at The Flying Biscuit Café at 2524 Enterprise Drive in Tiger Town. The Café was packed, and since the weather had warmed up considerably, we elected to eat outside.
Kaitlyn, our server, was a real delight. She was so kind, helpful and patient. Mike ordered a biscuit and gravy, scrambled eggs and sausage patties. Jack and I both chose the stuffed French toast breakfast, which consisted of “two thick slices of challah bread dipped in their signature batter, grilled and stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with raspberry sauce, honey creme anglaise, fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.” It came with two eggs, which I ordered scrambled, extra crispy bacon, creamy dreamy grits and a fluffy flying biscuit.
William selected the Best I Ever Had, which included two slices of French toast topped with raspberry sauce and honey crème anglaise. This included creamy dreamy grits and three strips of applewood bacon. Last, Cory ordered two eggs, applewood bacon and grits. Oh, my two times.
Everything was delicious. I refrained from licking my plate because my parents taught me better.
Also, their famous biscuits lived up to their reputation. They were indeed light, fluffy and amazing. We will definitely be back to The Flying Biscuit Café.
Besides our delectable brunchy dishes, The Flying Biscuit Café also serves diners many other tasty choices, some of which include Georgia peaches and cream waffle breakfast, three amigos breakfast tacos, steak and eggs, chicken and waffle, omelettes and benedicts.
The Flying Biscuit Café also has vegetarian and vegan options, as well as burgers, sandwiches, bowls and plates. Believe me, there’s plenty to love at this restaurant.
This is my 100th column for The Observer. Thanks so much to everyone who is kind enough to read it.
The Flying Biscuit Café is open on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Flying Biscuit Café makes the grade with an A+ from this retired English teacher. Remember, “Pooh-sized” people never lie about food. Enjoy!
Stacey Patton Wallace, who retired from teaching language arts for 30 years, is a professional diner. Her column, “Making the Grade,” will appear each week in The Observer. Wallace may be reached at email@example.com