By Blair Thomas
Kim Randall’s son finally got tired of eating biscuits. She’d been practicing her recipe for the 2011 International Biscuit Festival for a week straight to prepare for the bake-off at the annual event in Knoxville.
“I wasn’t nervous about my recipe, but I was nervous about having to bake the biscuits on site,” Randall says. “So I’d made a few dozen test biscuits, and my son – who was 2 at the time – finally said, ‘Mommy, please no more biscuits.’”
But all of the practicing paid off for the Chattanooga resident and Hamilton County Farm Bureau member whose Sweet Potato Casserole Biscuits won the top prize in the dessert biscuits category and the overall Grand Prize at the 2011 festival.
“I spent years watching all of the women in my family make sweet potato casserole for every holiday, and I know the recipe by heart,” Randall says. “So when I sat down to write out my biscuit recipe for the competition, I just combined that recipe that I knew so well with the biscuit recipe I’d been making for years.”
Biscuit making is a family tradition for Randall. Her grandmothers made them all her life, and her mother taught her how to make biscuits when she was younger. But Randall has always made them her own, often adding flavors to the dough.
“I like making them just a little different than my grandmothers made them,” she says. “It makes them my own while still holding their tradition.”
The 2013 International Biscuit Festival is May 15-19 in downtown Knoxville’s Market Square District.
The Biscuit Bake Off begins at midday with competitors from across the country preparing recipes in four different categories: traditional, dessert, most creative and kids (under 16).
To get a taste of what’s cooking, take a stroll down Biscuit Boulevard. Tickets are $5 to sample creations from over 20 regional restaurants and bakers. Last year, all proceeds were donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.
Learn more about this year’s International Biscuit Festival and how to enter the Biscuit Bake Off at www.biscuitfest.com.
Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole Biscuits