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RDJ-- Easy Cheddar Biscuits, 09-15-12  RDJ
 Sep 16, 2012 09:48 PDT 

Volume 15      Number 172
US Library of Congress ISSN: 1530-3292

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Easy Cheddar Biscuits

1/3 cup butter, softened and cubed*
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted butter

Cut softened butter into flour with a pastry blender or 2 forks just
until butter cubes are coated with flour. Using your hands, add cheese,
and gently combine until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in
buttermilk with a fork just until blended. (Mixture will be wet.)

Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface, and pat to 1/2-inch
thickness. Cut dough with a well-floured 2-inch round cutter, and place
on lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 450F for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from
oven, and brush warm biscuits with melted butter. Serve immediately.
Makes about 18 biscuits.

*1/3 cup shortening may be substituted.

(nutritional info not available)

By Walter Mills

There’s Only One Catch

Penn State University, where I work, has been going through a hard time
the past year. The Sandusky child abuse scandal cost us a university
president and the reputation of iconic coach Joe Paterno, whose name was
so dragged through the mud that he is now believed by a large proportion
of the public to have molested children himself.

I think all that will be righted at some point, but until then, a couple
of English professors are trying to show that Penn State is far more
than a football school. In fact, the university, which was not much more
than a cow college 40 years ago, now has top ten programs in a number of
disciplines, including English. On Thursday this week, I walked across
campus to a tent that was set up in front of the library where a
marathon reading of Joseph Heller’s classic antiwar novel, Catch 22, was
about to take place.

The campus was beautiful on a near-fall afternoon with the sun bright
and a cool breeze. Students sat on the grass and there were cameras and
camera phones snapping the scene. First up on the reading schedule that
would extend through the night and into the next morning was a thin
woman of indeterminate age, Sue Paterno, wife of the revered coach. We
all moved up toward the tent to catch her reading, which was barely
amplified. She began with a few throw away lines, smart aleck cracks
that showed why she was still tough enough to make public appearances at
close to 80 and after her and her husband’s name had been dragged
through the mud.

She began to read that first great opening scene where Capt. Yossarian,
a bombardier in WWII off the coast of Italy, is lying in a hospital bed
censoring enlisted men’s letters home. It’s a book I’ve read at least
half a dozen times, a great book in my opinion, the funniest thing I’ve
ever read. They say that Joseph Heller began the book while he was
teaching in the early fifties at Penn State. Maybe, at least he started
it not long after he left. It doesn’t matter, we have the plaque along
the beautiful mall to show for it.

After Sue ignored the timer that was supposed to end her 15 minutes and
read on to the end of the chapter, the coach of the women’s basketball
team stepped up to the microphone. Russ Rose has been the most
successful women’s volleyball coach in the country over the past decade,
with four straight national championships. He was there to show Penn
State athletics’ support for scholarship, and he was followed by his
team co-captain, Marika Racibarskas, a 6-foot tall athlete who read the
complex sentences cheerfully and well.

Joe Paterno was an English major, like me, and he did a lot to make this
university among the top fifty universities in the world, according to a
recent survey. He said a great university needs a great library, and he
donated his time and a large part of his fortune to see it happen. I
could see the Paterno library from where I stood. I have a fondness, and
protectiveness for English majors, as they are so often the butt of
jokes. Maybe that’s why I so hate to see a really successful lover of
literature and learning dragged down.

Joseph Heller and Joe Paterno came to the university at about the same
time and from similar tough neighborhoods in New York. They both went on
to Ivy League schools. They had a lot in common, but I don’t know if
they ever met. But there was Sue Paterno reading the words of the boy
from Brooklyn, a great writer on the green lawn of a still-great
university. A guy who, when told by an interviewer that he had never
written anything as good as Catch 22 again, replied “Who has?”

That’s a line Sue Paterno might say about her husband. “Take away all
those wins, if you think it will make any difference. Who has been as
good?” Not many, maybe nobody. And that’s the truth.         

Read more of Walt's writing at his blog:

(The above column originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times and is
copyright © 2012 by Walter Mills. All rights reserved worldwide. To
contact Walt, address your emails to    awmi-@verizon.net ).

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