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Better With Biscuits

For Carrie Morey of famed Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, Thanksgiving is all about family, traditions, and—of course—biscuits.

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If Carrie Morey had to choose one recipe that represents Thanksgiving to her, it would be her grandmother Caroline’s cornbread dressing. “I could eat it alone and be at peace—and as a child, I am pretty sure I did exactly that,” Carrie says. “The aroma of the sage and the dressing baking in turkey stock takes me right back to my childhood and transports me to her kitchen. I often wonder if my own children will base as many memories off of their food experiences like I do.”

So when thinking about a variation on her grandmother’s perfect recipe, Carrie was careful not to mess with it too much. Yet she wondered, “Could a biscuit version rival it?” And if you’re familiar at all with Carrie, that wouldn’t surprise you.

For more than 15 years, the South Carolina Lowcountry native has been making tender, cakey biscuits accessible to biscuit lovers across the country via her made by hand mail-order company and eateries, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. Her initial goal: to make sure that biscuit-making wasn’t a dying art.

Biscuit-making is certainly alive and well at her own Thanksgiving. It starts with the crackers she serves alongside her smoked fish dip, a recipe that centers around a favorite tradition. After working up an appetite running the annual turkey day race, her family enjoys a roast of local oysters and Bloody Marys. Alongside she serves a creamy dip of flaked smoked amberjack flecked with herbs and capers. The ideal vehicle for scooping? Biscuit crackers.

“We always have a little dough left over that is too tough to use for biscuits, but it makes a perfectly crisp savory cracker,” she says. “You might as well not waste any of your hard work, and this way you get two recipes in one.”

Squash casserole is another must for Thanksgiving in Carrie’s home. But it might not be the squash casserole you’d expect. Instead of butternut or delicata, zucchini, summer squash (both of which you can still find in droves in the South this time of year), and cherry tomatoes star. “Many a Southern home and just about every church or community cookbook seem to have a take or two on this delicious casserole. Mine combines a few of my favorite vegetables in one colorful veggie gratin.”

And it’s not just the combination of vegetables that makes Carrie’s modern twist uniquely hers. She tops off the cast-iron skillet of veggies, cream, and cheese with crumbled biscuits for a satisfying buttery crunch.

“I love taking a classic recipe and shaking things up a bit. This recipe also feeds my belief that everything is better with biscuits.”

And that brings us to dressing. So often at Thanksgiving there are things you just don’t mess with. But the swap of buttermilk sage biscuits for cornbread in an otherwise traditional dressing of celery, onion, stock, and sage is absolutely worth rocking the holiday boat for.

She suggests making it all a family affair by letting everyone get involved in making the biscuits a couple days before. “Go ahead, let them make a mess—it will be memorable and hopefully forge a new tradition.”

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