Biscuits for Candlemas



I celebrated Candlemas for the first time in graduate school. Teri Tynes was a creative force both in my American studies program and in our apartment complex, the Casa del Rio. One February 2 she brought a group into her ground-floor apartment. We sat in a circle on the floor, lit candles from a central flame, and shared our creative dreams. It was a night of bonding, of mystery, and of humor–in short, of illumination in many senses of the word.


Also known as Groundhog Day, Imbolc, and Brigid’s Day, Candlemas is poised between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. It marks the midpoint of our coldest season. Candlemas is an old pagan holiday and an agricultural one as well, a time at which we can at least imagine we sense stirrings of life in the cold ground. Even when snow banks dominate the landscape it’s comforting to observe that the sun is rising a little earlier and a little higher than it did in January. As the sun starts to come back, I always find myself a little more alert and a little more creative. And I find it easier to laugh at life’s small mishaps.


Traditional Candlemas foods are grain based in keeping with the day’s association with agriculture. They are often round and golden as well to evoke the sun; pancakes and crepes are popular edibles for this holiday. I’m following this tradition by making biscuits, a welcome treat at any time of year.


The recipe below comes from The Virginia Hospitality Cookbook. Put out by the Junior League of Hampton Roads, Virginia, this book is a goldmine of traditional regional recipes like Brunswick stew and crab cakes. The biscuits are also pretty darn terrific.


If you’d like to see what my talented friend Teri is up to now, visit her blog, Walking Off the Big Apple. She uses her fertile imagination and her historical knowledge to give her readers a new perspective on New York City. 

Happy Candlemas! Light a candle and get your creative (and of course culinary) juices flowing…….. 


Teri Tynes

Teri Tynes


Virginia Hospitality Country Biscuits




2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg in a measuring cup with enough milk to equal 2/3 cup liquid, lightly beaten




Preheat the oven to 450.


In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or knives, cut in the shortening until you have small crumbs.


Stir in the egg and milk until there are no dry particles. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently knead it for a moment or two until the dough holds together. Do not over handle the dough. Roll the dough out into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into 12 biscuits (you may get 11 or 13!). Bake the biscuits for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are light brown. Makes about 1 dozen biscuits.


"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world."

"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world."


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One Response to “Biscuits for Candlemas”

  1. yummmmy:P thanks to your ideas , i’d love to adhere to your blog as often as i can.possess a nice day~~