Triangle Biscuit Harvest Festival
posted August 14, 2014 10:29 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sat September 27 at 11:00 AM, Our house, in the middle of our street
400 East Woodcroft Parkway, Durham, NC, USA (Map & Directions)
Let's get together for biscuits, as discussed in the last Triangle area meetup thread! NOTE REGARDING LOCATION: this is just to let IRL let me post with confirmed date and time - REAL address will be provided via mefimail to people in the 'Attending' list on this page.
This would be potluck style, at our (me + ardgedee) place. Biscuits to be brought from various establishments in the Triangle, to be rated by an expert panel of attendees, meaning you! (Rating forms and statistical analysis to be provided by yours truly. Lovely parting gift of mystery superhot peppers may be available.)

When should we do this? Who's bringing what?
posted by research monkey to Meetup (76 comments total)

Here's the list of possible candidates from the last thread, sorted by locale.

Biscuitville (chain)
Bojangle's (chain)
Pie Pushers (food truck, usually Durham Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings)

Chapel Hill/Carrboro:
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen (Chapel Hill)
Neal's Deli (Carrboro)
Time Out (Chapel Hill)

State Farmer's Market Restaurant
Big Ed's
Beasley's (Usually doesn't do takeout)

How should biscuit-running be coordinated?
posted by ardgedee at 10:46 AM on August 14, 2014

Scratch and Pie Pushers are probably the easiest for me to get.

Though, if we do want to do Pie Pushers, I guess that constrains us to a Saturday noonish event? They don't seem to offer the biscuits except on Saturday mornings.
posted by Maecenas at 10:56 AM on August 14, 2014

I live pretty close to Rise and also not too far from a Biscuitville in the other direction. What sort of toppings are we looking at here?

I am happy to bring homemade cookies in lieu of biscuits, too.

I agree that based on some of these places' hours, lunchtime/early afternoon on the weekend is the only option. Does that work for ppl?
posted by leesh at 12:49 PM on August 14, 2014

I know for sure I will drive right past a Biscuitville and at least one Bojangles on the way up from F-V, so I can stop there easily. Alternatively, I could go slightly out of my way and stop at either Big Ed's and Beasley's or the Farmer's Market if there is no one else for whom those places are convenient.

Timing-wise, Saturday brunch sounds about right. The 23rd is out for me and the 30th isn't great, but I'm open other than that. I may end up bringing my 13-year-old daughter, if folks don't mind.

We may also want some biscuit topping type things. Certainly a couple types of jam, some honey, good butter, and probably some heartier things like sausage gravy and country ham. Any other thoughts in that department?
posted by Rock Steady at 2:01 PM on August 14, 2014

Speaking of dates, Sep. 13 is out for me. Personally I'd prefer it to happen in September rather than August.
posted by research monkey at 2:09 PM on August 14, 2014

So are we just getting plain biscuits in the interest of fair comparison? (I missed the initial convo on this.) September is better for me, too.
posted by leesh at 3:15 PM on August 14, 2014

Wait, research monkey, you're the hostess! You can rule out August, you have the authority. :)
posted by leesh at 3:16 PM on August 14, 2014

So how does brunch on September 6 or September 20th sound?

We're going to have both biscuits and toppings people choose to bring - I'll set up a Google docs spreadsheet to help coordinate.

There's published journal articles on wine and cheese pairing, I'm sure we can do something similar for biscuit and toppings :)

King, M., & Cliff, M. (2005). Evaluation of ideal wine and cheese pairs using a deviation-from-ideal scale with food and wine experts. Journal of food quality, 28(3), 245-256.

Harrington, R. J., & Hammond, R. (2006). The direct effects of wine and cheese characteristics on perceived match. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 8(4), 37-54.

Bastian, S. E., Collins, C., & Johnson, T. E. (2010). Understanding consumer preferences for Shiraz wine and Cheddar cheese pairings. Food quality and preference, 21(7), 668-678.

(Why yes, I have a Ph.D. and I will overthink things every chance I get ...)
posted by research monkey at 3:40 PM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

> I know for sure I will drive right past a Biscuitville and at least one Bojangles on the way up from F-V

If you have to prioritize between local businesses and major chains, focus on the local businesses. The chain restaurants are over the place, somebody else can claim 'em.
posted by ardgedee at 4:04 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I agree for sure. If no one else is closer, I'll do the Farmer's Market as my first choice.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:27 PM on August 14, 2014

I live right by Neal's and would be willing to participate, however Neal's stops serving biscuits (or more accurately, runs out of biscuits) by 10:30/11am.
posted by thivaia at 2:40 AM on August 15, 2014

I live pretty close to the Durham farmers market now, so I could grab some goods from Pie Pushers. Late September Saturday brunch is preferred.

What does one drink with biscuits? I need to start reading this Journal of Food Qualities.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:09 AM on August 15, 2014

If it makes a difference in picking a date, the football schedules of the three major local universities look like this:
9/20: UNC away
9/27: UNC away, Duke away

NC State has home games on both dates.
posted by research monkey at 5:26 AM on August 15, 2014

What does one drink with biscuits?

Maybe mimosas? I work for a wine wholesaler and would be happy to bring some champagne and OJ.
posted by something something at 6:34 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

> What does one drink with biscuits?

We'll have a range of bottled beers available. A growler of Full Steam's seasonal would be awesome if you're going to be at the Farmer's Market. Especially if it's Summer Basil.

Somebody volunteering to bring iced tea would be swell, too. We'll have lemons, limes, and simple syrup to add, so it doesn't have to be pre-sweetened.

If this was going to be in the morning, I'd suggest coffee, but by 11:30-noon, this is going to be too late in the day for coffee for most people.

> I work for a wine wholesaler

I am suddenly fascinated by your job.
posted by ardgedee at 7:07 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ooh fun! I am probably in, though depends on when we do it. I could bring something from Hummingbird Bakery in Durham.... doesn't Monuts do biscuits, too?
posted by aka burlap at 8:03 AM on August 15, 2014

Attendees are encouraged to bring family. Kids, spouses and partners are welcome. No pets, unfortunately.
posted by ardgedee at 9:27 AM on August 15, 2014

Monuts sometimes has biscuits, but not on a regular basis as far as I know (and I go there a lot).
posted by leesh at 12:08 PM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm interested and am generally available on weekends (I happen to have something on September 14th but not much else). Unfortunately, the thought of picking up biscuits at an unfamiliar restaurant and then also driving to meet a bunch of people I've never met before gives me the sweats. Is there something I can bring that I can either make myself or I can pick up a day or two before? If so, I'm totally in (I can figure out what it is, or I'm more than happy to take suggestions); if you'd rather that everyone bring biscuits from a local place, I'll just hit the next meetup. :)
posted by sockermom at 9:07 PM on August 15, 2014

Biscuits are the theme, but food is not restricted to biscuits, although we might frown on bagels :). People upthread have mentioned bringing drinks and stuff to put on biscuits. I have a feeling some kind of salad involving greens or fruits would be much appreciated.

No expectation of picking up biscuits from an unfamiliar restaurant, so no worries.
posted by research monkey at 4:51 AM on August 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Fruit salad sounds like a great idea! We're going to need some vitamins.
posted by something something at 11:07 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I miss living in Durham all the time, but this post is making me want to pack up and move back in the next few weeks.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:14 PM on August 16, 2014

I'll happily bring a salad. :)
posted by sockermom at 7:57 PM on August 16, 2014

I will, as mentioned before, bring a keg of coffee.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:40 AM on August 17, 2014

Oops, just noticed ardgedee's note about coffee. Scratch that. I'll volunteer to get biscuits from Big Ed's. Hoping to bring spouse to Harvest Festival as well, though he's strictly low-carb these days.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:46 AM on August 17, 2014

Fruit salad, or something with pepper jelly!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:53 AM on August 17, 2014

although we might frown on bagels

Ha. My boss, who's a Missouri farmboy, shakes his head when he sees me eating a bagel and says, "Why would anyone eat bagels when biscuits exist?"

This is a great idea for a meetup, so sad I can't make it. I'll eat a biscuit at work for you!
posted by mediareport at 8:05 AM on August 18, 2014

Yesss this is the most amazing idea ever! I always say that Bojangles', even as a corporate machine, is untouchable in biscuit quality. Now I can put it to the test. I volunteer to bring a box o' biscuits from Bojangles.

I will be coming from Raleigh. None of the suggested Raleigh places are on the way for me, but I can stop by any of them if need be.
posted by scose at 7:25 PM on August 18, 2014

Hey all, to help us prepare for how many house guests we'll have (and for those who are preparing food to know how much to prepare), please make sure the column on the right of the page has you in the "Attending" column if you're sure you'll be attending, and "Maybe" if you want to attend and are uncertain whether you can commit yet.
posted by ardgedee at 5:43 AM on August 19, 2014

> I volunteer to bring a box o' biscuits from Bojangles.

A lot of people are bringing biscuits. I was thinking that a couple biscuit sandwiches from any location should suffice. It's possible not everybody will get to try every establishment, but with about a dozen shops to choose from already that's going to be OK. Senseless biscuit fatigue should be optional, not a function of "Oh man, lookit all these leftovers" duress.

I'm working on a spreadsheet to coordinate fetching biscuits and bringing non-biscuit foods, and then people can start volunteering for runs.
posted by ardgedee at 5:51 AM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'll be coming from Hillsborough - anything I can bring?
posted by wens at 10:29 AM on August 19, 2014

I just noticed the description for the event mentions biscuit rating sheets and I hope this is for realsies.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:28 AM on August 23, 2014

Lo, what is this copy of Statistical Methods in Food and Consumer Research (2nd ed.) doing on my desk?
posted by research monkey at 12:01 PM on August 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Does the "bring the family" thing extend to an infant? Because this is all happening less than three miles from where we LIVE. And I've long since ejected the baby I was gestating, when we went to the Troy Mezze meetup. She'd be 7 months old by September 27.

I mean, WE COULD LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR THIS. If the baby lost her mind, we could GO BACK TO THE HOUSE without hassle.
posted by Coatlicue at 2:17 PM on August 23, 2014

I mean if it's really in the Woodcrofty area. I dont know why I assumed it must be, just because that's where the decoy is. Although we could still do the same plan if it's elsewhere. The baby evacuation plan, I mean.
posted by Coatlicue at 3:08 PM on August 23, 2014

Coatlicue: "Does the "bring the family" thing extend to an infant?"

If my 13-year-old ends up coming (and she really loves biscuits, so I think she will), we've got a built-in babysitter. She loves kiddos.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:59 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Biscuit accompaniment question: where can I get small amounts of sliced country ham? I don't want to buy a whole country ham, but would like to have a small amount for biscuits.
posted by research monkey at 10:13 AM on August 26, 2014

Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop might have it.
posted by Maecenas at 6:58 PM on August 26, 2014

My boss owns Johnston County Hams and he's got some there. If you don't want to bother looking around for it I'm sure I can get ahold of some and bring it with me.
posted by something something at 6:44 AM on August 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Sweet! We'll welcome any samples of those fine pork products!
posted by research monkey at 7:50 AM on August 27, 2014

Okay! I have verified they have country ham in a format called "biscuit slices" so I can be in charge of that.
posted by something something at 8:16 AM on August 28, 2014

something something: "Okay! I have verified they have country ham in a format called "biscuit slices" so I can be in charge of that."

Of course they do, because North Carolina.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:58 AM on August 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm pretty sure we can go. I need to figure out what to bring, now.
posted by Coatlicue at 12:40 PM on August 29, 2014

They have a wide selection of country ham in different organized cuts at Stone Brothers & Byrd in Durham, NC (near Cocoa Cinnamon). Super inexpensive and awesome. They also have bulk molasses, which I think we should also have to add as an addition to the plain biscuits which will be abound.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:14 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

something something, do they provide the country ham for sunrise biscuit kitchen? because, I swear, they have the best country ham biscuits I can think of.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:16 PM on September 2, 2014

Also, I could probably provide carpooling for other Durhamites, I have space for three in my car.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:17 PM on September 2, 2014

HMM. We can make molasses happen.
posted by Coatlicue at 9:08 AM on September 3, 2014

We already have molasses ...
posted by research monkey at 10:08 AM on September 3, 2014

I went ahead and created the MetaFilter Triangle Biscuit Harvest Festival 2014 Planning Document. Please add your name, and feel free to add locations if your preferred biscuiteria is not already listed. I tried to pull info from the thread, but I probably missed stuff.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

OK, I signed up for Rise, please clarify if I'm supposed to order plain biscuits or biscuit sandwiches, and how many of each.
posted by leesh at 7:52 AM on September 5, 2014

That clip art biscuit in the planning document made me laugh out loud at work at a really inappropriate time.

I have the ham! It looks good!
posted by something something at 9:16 AM on September 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

I was going to Photoshop googly eyes onto it, but I figured I had already wasted enough time at work.

Also, I still cannot type the word biscuit correctly the first time. My brain insists on spelling it "buiscuit" for some reason.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:23 AM on September 5, 2014

Sorry, y'all. I was supposed to be out of town the previous weekend, but my travel plans shifted and I won't be in town on the 27th. I changed my RSVP. :( I will make it someday...!
posted by sockermom at 5:43 PM on September 9, 2014

The Pit Durham gives out free biscuits (and hush puppies) as their bread service. Not sure about the Raleigh one. They're probably open the morning of the meetup though. Would it be weird to bring biscuits from the night before?
posted by spec80 at 5:13 AM on September 14, 2014

Okay, the biscuit meetup is next week- and we have quite a headcount! I'll be mefimailing our home address to folks listed as 'Attending' so keep an eye out on your MeMail inbox this coming week.

Now as to what to bring, going over the signups in the very helpful Planning Document created by Rock Steady (thanks Rock Steady!), 5 people have volunteered to bring biscuits, while there will be 17 people who are of an age capable of eating biscuits unaided.

Biscuit bringers
Given current headcounts, each of you should bring at least 4 biscuits (3 if we get a Biscuitville volunteer), but probably no more than half a dozen each. Include at least 1 plain biscuit in your order, but otherwise you can bring whatever biscuit strikes your fancy at your biscuiteria of choice.
(spec80, I think the Pit's biscuits would be unduly disadvantaged if they were from the night before :), I think there will be more than enough fresh biscuits.)

I think we're pretty much set in terms of alcohol. We'll also have some soft drinks on hand, but if you're partial to, say, stuff like Coke or Pepsi or Mountain Dew, you'll have to bring your own.
And can we get a volunteer for iced tea? Bringing some from Bojangles or Biscuitville is fine.

Other items
It would be great if we had some volunteers for salad. Or fruit. Or something with fiber.

On our end we'll have bacon, Canadian bacon, molasses, butter, hoop cheese, homemade pickled jalapenos, homemade hot sauces. And a hot pepper challenge!

Anything I forgot?
posted by research monkey at 9:30 AM on September 20, 2014

OH GOOD, FRUIT. We were just wondering if fruit would be the hole we could fill.
posted by Coatlicue at 6:34 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Do you guys mind if I only bring vegetarian-topped biscuits from Rise? They have really good veg sandwiches and other toppings there.
posted by leesh at 7:23 PM on September 20, 2014

Address MeMailed to folks on the Attending list! Let me know if you didn't get it.
posted by research monkey at 8:37 AM on September 24, 2014

I grabbed a growler of beer and a growler of cider. I'm excited! We might have to leave a bit early for the Pride parade.
posted by oceanjesse at 11:48 AM on September 26, 2014

Hope everyone is ready to eat 2 quarts of sausage gravy.
posted by spec80 at 5:08 PM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

I have the biscuits.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:22 AM on September 27, 2014

Our neighbors are running a yard sale today, so be aware that there's going to be more traffic than our neighborhood usually gets.
posted by ardgedee at 7:30 AM on September 27, 2014

Line for rise is far out the door, I might be a while. :(
posted by leesh at 7:33 AM on September 27, 2014

Rise is v efficient, I have biscuits and will be there soon.
posted by leesh at 7:48 AM on September 27, 2014

Super fun, y'all. Thanks again to our hospitable hosts. Hope to see everybody again very soon!
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:00 AM on September 27, 2014

The biscuits were beautiful. Thanks for having us and our bubs.
posted by Coatlicue at 11:47 AM on September 27, 2014

Thanks for hosting, research monkey and ardeegee! We had a great time and it was nice meeting everyone!
posted by spec80 at 11:48 AM on September 27, 2014

> Hope everyone is ready to eat 2 quarts of sausage gravy.

And people certainly were!
posted by research monkey at 11:58 AM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes, it was super fun--thanks, all!
posted by leesh at 1:36 PM on September 27, 2014

We had a great time as well! Already looking forward to our ice cream tasting meetup!
posted by Rock Steady at 4:48 PM on September 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

That was amazing, great sharing! I would love to learn more about those gravy-makings. And the data collection, I am excited to learn about the results!
posted by oceanjesse at 11:31 PM on September 27, 2014

I'm so glad you liked the gravies! Here are the recipes:

Meat Sausage Gravy (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

1 pound breakfast sausage (used whiskey breakfast sausage from Rose's Meat Market)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 to 4 cups skim milk, more to taste (used Maple View Farms milk)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (used Lawry's - can be found at Kroger)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper, more to taste

With your fingers, tear small pieces of sausage and add them in a single layer to a large heavy skillet. Brown the sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle on half the flour and stir so that the sausage soaks it all up, then add more little by little. Stir it around and cook it for another minute or so, then pour in the milk, stirring constantly.

Cook the gravy, stirring frequently, until it thickens. (This may take a good 10 to 12 minutes.) Sprinkle in the seasoned salt and pepper and continue cooking until very thick and luscious. If it gets too thick too soon, just splash in another 1/2 cup of milk or more if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Vegetarian Sausage Gravy (adapted from The Daring Gourmet)

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8 ounce) package Morningstar Farms Original Veggie Sausage Patties, thawed and finely chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2½ cups skim milk (used Maple View Farms milk)
1 bay leaf
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp celery seeds
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
⅛ teaspoon dried ground sage
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onions 8-10 minutes until golden and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the veggie sausage and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to incorporate, cooking for another minute.

While stirring constantly to prevent lumps, pour in the milk and heavy cream. Stir until smooth. Add the all the spices & seasonings. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
posted by spec80 at 6:24 AM on September 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

Awesome, thank you for the recipes!

I had a great time and I caught my husband reading FanFare last night, so y'all might have been the impetus for him to finally become a MeFite, instead of just being forced to hear the highlights from me.
posted by something something at 6:32 AM on September 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

This was a great time, and I'm eagerly awaiting the results of the data analysis!
posted by Maecenas at 9:06 AM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Umm, is this where I mention that for breakfast today I had an egg and cheese biscuit at Neal's Deli in Carrboro?

(I am going through this to get ideas on better ways to analyze ranking data.)
posted by research monkey at 9:23 AM on September 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oops, data analysis delayed because of some real world things - just wanted to put this here before this thread is closed, data analysis when done will be posted to my blog, which is also linked to my MeFi profile.

We had 10 survey forms evaluating differing numbers of biscuit purveyors (this represents a survey response rate >50%, which is astoundingly good :) ). Five biscuit purveyors were sampled: Big Ed's (Raleigh), Biscuitville (chain), NC Farmers' Market (Raleigh), Rise (Durham), and Scratch (Durham). Respondent gender ratio was 60% female / 40% male. Oddly enough there were no NC natives in our survey sample, and only 1 respondent originating south of the Mason-Dixon line. This probably indicates something about the demographics of Triangle area residents who show up to MeFi meetups, or Triangle area residents who show up to MeFi meetups who also like eating biscuits. Or even Triangle area residents who show up to MeFi meetups who also like eating biscuits who don't mind driving to Durham for a weekend brunch meetup, etc. So a totally non-generalizable sample :)

Did somebody propose a pie taste-off for the next meetup or did I mishear?
posted by research monkey at 7:36 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

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