Sister Lettie's Buttermilk Biscuits recipe | TV Guide Chicago, February 12-18 1954

 Ethel Jackson: WEWS food authority at work on another dish. This one boasts sweet potatoes, apples and maple syrup.

CLEVELAND is steeped in the history and culture of the Shakers and their fine food.

So the choice of regional recipes for Ethel Jackson, slim, blonde cooking expert on The Women's Window, WEWS, was not hard: Sister Lettie's Buttermilk Biscuits, an authentic recipe of the Shakers, a religious society which in 1820 founded a colony east of downtown Cleveland where now is located one of the city's loveliest suburbs, Shaker Heights.

Ethel thinks the Shaker recipe is as interesting in background as it is in taste. The Shakers were-are would be more accurate; a handful still exist-communal living people who banned smoking, drinking, marriage and, at one time, meat. They were people dedicated to "consecrated labor." The sect was founded by a woman, Ann Lee. And "Mother Ann" insisted that her feminine followers be top-notch homemakers. In time, the Shaker women became known as excellent cooks.

Shaker communities numbered from 200 to 600 souls, so the women learned to work with vast amounts of food. Sister Lettie's recipe has been cut from its original proportions to smaller, workable amounts for today's average family. The reduced recipe has been tested and found just as good as the old.


2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

3 tablespoons butter 

3/4 cup buttermilk

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in butter finely. Stir in buttermilk. Knead lightly. Roll or pat out about 3/4 inch thick. Cut with small cutter. Bake in pre-heated very hot oven (450°) for 12 minutes or until golden- brown.