Thanksgiving: What would Billie bake?

Angel biscuits no doubt—one of the Duchess’s specialties. Billie’s mother Sadie, or the Duchess as she was called by Lester Young, could put a hurtin’ on soul food. She ran grills out of at least two of their homes, one in Baltimore that served the after-hours crowd and one in New York that Billie bankrolled to get Sadie off her back. The Duchess was bad with business, though.

But could she burn! When Billie toured with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, the Duchess baked angel biscuits for the band’s send-off. Here’s a recipe.

Billie may not have been able to take the heat in Sadie’s kitchen, but she must have learned a thing or two. On the road with Count Basie’s big band, Billie treated the fellas to home cookin’.


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