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No Orrell's beaten biscuits on Thanksgiving tables this year

Orrell's Maryland beaten biscuits won't be making their annual appearance on Thanksgiving tables this year.

The factory that makes them has been closed since the death of its owner, Herman Miller "Dick" Orrell III. Orrell, whose mother, Ruth, started the factory, died Sept. 5 at age 83.

Orrell's operated out of a 100-year-old house in Wye on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Beaten biscuits are so named because in days when yeast and other leavening agents were scarce, bakers would beat the dough with the handle of an ax or hammer to make the dough rise.

A beating machine came along in the late 1940s, but the company still made biscuits without preservatives.

Dick Orrell's son, Phillip Orrell, said the family will try to reopen the factory after Christmas but wasn't able to resume operations in time to get the biscuits on store shelves for Thanksgiving.

Interest in the biscuits grew after they were featured in 2001 on the Food Network's "Food Finds" program.

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