Proposed State Poem and Cat Head Biscuits

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A bill to make "I Am Mississippi" the state poem has again been filed in the Mississippi Legislature. Its author, Paul Ott, says that at the heart of a previous controversy was one line in the poem that referred to cat head biscuits. Apparently some people didn't know what cat head biscuits are. Maybe you don't know.

"Coffee in the morning, and an ole' smoked ham. Cat head biscuits, and blackberry jam." Ott says this line from the poem was misinterpreted by a group of professors and it put a halt to Mississippi having a state poem.

"So they got the professors on the national radio and they got me, and the word got out that we were killing cats to make cat head biscuits," said Ott.

There are no cats in the recipe. But you will need flour, milk, a little bit of salt, and shortening. There are some variations. Some might use butter, or buttermilk, and some may even like a little bit of sugar in their cat head biscuits.

2 cups self-rising flour
1 to 2 tablespoons shortening at room temperature,
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt

You begin by cutting shortening into the flour. Once the shortening is mixed well, add milk until the mix is good and doughy.

After it's mixed well, drip large spoonfuls into a cast iron skillet. Put them in the oven at about 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until they're golden.

"Let me tell you what a cat head biscuit is. Its a big ole' biscuit the size of a cat's head," said Ott. "And you punch a hole in, and you take sorghum molasses, pour it down in there and eat it. It's good! And it's good for you, cat head biscuits. We're having fun with it."

Maybe "I Am Mississippi" will have a better chance of getting approval as the state poem from both the Mississippi House and Senate this year.