This post is going to be sappy, you've been warned.
My baby sister left for college a few days ago. She packed her car full and drove with my parents six hours South to San Marcos, Texas where she is attending Texas State University this fall. This makes me feel a lot of different things. In my mind, Madilynn would stay little. She’d live in my parents' house and every time I came home to visit, there she would be. We would spend nights on the couch together eating pretzel M&M's and watching Gossip Girl as she asked me to paint her fingernails. Growing up and moving away was never an option for her in my mind.
I will admit, I am doing her a disservice by falling to this delusion. Madilynn is not a homebody or a fearful person at all. She and I share in big dreams and an attitude of openness to the world. I am proud that she is unafraid, and so proud that she is leaving the nest to grow and learn. But still, for some unknown reason (be it nostalgia or my protective nature over her) I never thought she’d get to this place.
When I left home (a long time ago) Madilynn still had braces and baby fat. She wore boy shorts and definitely never asked to borrow my lipstick or heels. While visiting me in California a few weeks ago she exuded a maturity I’d never seen before. A high school graduate now, in her final childhood summer before leaving home — I realized, as I sat across the breakfast table and served her these biscuits, that she seemed much older than 18 now. It was bittersweet to realize then, just as it’s bittersweet now to text her on her first night alone in her dorm room asking what it feels like to be free.
I want to tell her so many things. Share with her the mistakes I’ve made and warn her not to make the same ones. I want to move closer to her, and be there if she needs me. We’ve been thousands of miles apart for years, but for some reason the distance feels further now. She’s stepping out into the world as an individual, and if I’m honest, I’m afraid she’ll grow up quicker than I want her to. If I am even more honest, I’m afraid in a few short years she won’t need her big sister anymore. Maybe she won’t look up to me, or ask me for advice, or think to call me when she needs help. What if she’s too busy to come visit and let me make her breakfast?
When I was in Texas in May to watch Madilynn graduate, I went with her to orientation. After lunch, I dropped her off on campus before heading to the airport to fly back to California. I hugged her goodbye and told her I loved her. As we pulled away I started crying — at the time I didn’t know why. I was sad to leave her, of course, but I think I was also just so happy for her and my tears were an emotional reaction to what I knew was ahead for her. Aside from my irrational fear of her growing up, she is embarking on a truly special time and I can only feel joy for who she is and where she is going.
A note just for Madilynn: I love you, I’m proud of you. Never stop calling your sister.
*Click here to download a PDF version of this recipe!
For the biscuits:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas. Stir in the cream and egg.
- Quickly combine the dough with your hands. Lightly flour a clean, dry work surface. Turn the dough out and knead it for about 2 minutes or just until combined.
- Form the dough into a small round shape, about 2 inches thick. Use a small biscuit cutter to evenly shape the biscuits. (If you don’t have a biscuit cutter you can also use your hands or a spoon)
- Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet spacing them about 1 inch apart. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and let the biscuits rest for about 10 minutes.
For the berries and cream:
- Chill a glass bowl while the biscuits are baking. As the biscuits rest, whisk cream and vanilla together until stiff peaks are formed.
- Roughly chop berries of choice (I used cherries and blueberries) OPTIONAL: toss berries with 1 tablespoon of sugar before serving.