by SuSu, MaceVindaloo
Mara Jade was raised secretly by Emperor Palpatine and trained from the start to be the Emperor's Hand. That made her a combination bodyguard, external agent, spy, executioner ... and distrustful of everyone and everything around her. She learned to do things for herself her own slicing, creating her own clothes, programming her own 'droids ... and cooking for herself. She could not afford to become sick from ill-prepared or poisoned food, so she became quite good at creating meals and dishes which she could create in advance so she wouldn't have to eat anyone else's food.
And so it frustrated her that though she could not trust others, she was often forced to be a teamplayer. Like the time she located the Jedi Master An'ya Kuro, known as the Dark Woman, via a tip from a man trying to escape Imperial custody on Kuat. Now aged, Kuro lived in solitude in Cophrigin 5. Jade returned the information to Palpatine and demanded the kill, but her master would not allow it, instead passing the right of execution to Vader.
Frustrated by her master's apparent preference for Vader, Mara found herself punching and squeezing this biscuit dough, even though it was common knowledge that biscuit dough needed to be treated gently. Too upset to care, she finished up the recipe and just hacked out the quickbread into squares, instead of the traditional rounds.
Even though she fisted and spanked that dough like a bad boy, it came out great! You can't overwork it, of course, but you don't have to be gentle. It's actually okay to smack the dough around a bit, which is exactly what Mara wanted to do to both Vader and Palpatine!
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt and combine well. Put the vegetable shortening into the flour mixture. Use your hand to quickly squeeze the mixture so that the shortening gets broken down into the shortening and it resembles a granular, kind of sandy mix. Add the cold buttermilk to the mixture and mix to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly. Roll out to a rectangle about ½ to ¾ inch (1½ to 2 cm) thick.
Cut into squares 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7½ cm) wide per side. Place on a parchment-lined or greased baking tray, not touching. Bake for about 15 minutes or till lightly browned and cooked through. If you wish, brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Makes about 2 dozen biscuits.
Serve hot. Or they can be cooled to room temperature and placed in an airtight container and refrigerated, and reheated later if you wish.
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