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I have a neighbor who I've been friendly with, in a neighborly way for 1 1/2 years now.  He's an ex-marine, Black, and hails from Arkansas.  He has been telling me for weeks now that we need to get together for coffee some morning, and like the men that we are...we have kept kicking the can down the road.

Finally I walked over to his house and told him we need to stop talking about it, and just do it.  I Promised him a pot of black, strong coffee, and then went out on a limb.

"Do you appreciate a good, unhealthy breakfast as much as I do?", I asked. He said yes, and I obligated myself to making buttermilk/baking powder biscuits, along with country sausage gravy.

I have never, ever, made sausage gravy.  I've got the biscuits under control.  I make some mean biscuits.  But I've never made sausage gravy.  I've had this breakfast numerous times growing up, and I have to admit that there's nothing quite like perfect biscuits and savory sausage gravy.

I've just never tried it at home.

I need some Southern Kossacks to come to my rescue.  Any insights upon the perfect sausage gravy would be greatly appreciated.

I want to knock my neighbor's socks off.  And watch him lick the skillet.

Will a pound of Jimmy Dean sausage render enough fat to make a good gravy?  Or do I need to fry some bacon as well?  Canned milk vs real milk?  Really...I'm looking for some family secrets here.

Please share yours.

Quickly.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:31:03 PM PDT

  •  without being a (7+ / 0-)

    Southern cook, I would say that you'd get enough fat for gravy from a pound of sausages. Maybe even more than enough - you only need a couple of tablespoons for each cup of gravy.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:36:48 PM PDT

  •  I'm only southern (32+ / 0-)

    by derivation, but makin' good sausage gravey is as easy as rollin' off a log.  These days, the hard part might be finding a sausage that's not too lean!

    Take a pound of standard pork sausage.  Brown.  If the sausage is too lean, add a pat of butter.When well browned, sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of flour.  Stir for about a minute.  When the flour has absorbed the grease, pour a cup of milk (more or less).  Bring to a boil, return to simmer, stirring constantly.  Stir mixture until thickened.  Salt and pepper to taste (if I'm using hamburger for this dish, I'll add a dash of Worcestershire).

    Serve over hot, split biscuits.  Worry about the calories on another day!

    Hope this helps!

    Don't practice. Train.--Brian Harvey

    by luvsathoroughbred on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:38:25 PM PDT

  •  Not sure on a recipe for gravy... (5+ / 0-)

    ... but the coffee should have chicory in it!  

    I don't have any recipes to give you, but if no one else helps you out follow these three rules:
    1) First you make a roux
    2) Go heavy on the southern cooking holy trinity - onion, celery, and bell pepper
    3) When in doubt, fry it in oil

    Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

    by Hey338Too on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:43:16 PM PDT

    •  I don't think I've ever had sausage gravy that was (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, Hey338Too, churchylafemme

      heavy on the southern trinity.  But I do have onion, celery and bell pepper in the crisper.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:47:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh dear GOD NO not chicory (7+ / 0-)

      that's as bad as making "coffee" with scorched ground peanuts.

      For sausage gravy you do NOT, repeat NOT, under any circumstances, want any vegetables in it. If it seems flat a pinch of garlic powder and some fresh-ground coarse black pepper are fine.

      Jimmy Dean sausage is fine for eating, but it might be too lean for gravy-making. Pick up a pound of regular and a pound of hot, and cook them together in a big, well-seasoned, heavy cast-iron skillet (our "gravy skillet" is a 12-inch size); remove all the meat from the drippings and pour them off, then measure. If you're going to make a quart of gravy (about right for a panful of biscuits) you need 3/4 cup of drippings. (If there's not that much, make up the difference with melted butter -- no cheaper substitutions, please). You'll need 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 tsp salt, 1 tsp fresh coarse ground black pepper.

      In the hot pan put the flour first and cook it a minute or so, to toast. Then add the fat, whisking the whole time, and the salt and pepper after the roux begins to tighten up but before it starts to separate; last thing you do is pour in your whole milk (or half-and-half, but not the fat-free stuff) and stir until there's no lumps. Stir the cooked crumbled sausage back in and stir through.  Kill the heat, cover the gravy, and pull the biscuits out of the oven.

      For the best holiday queso use a pound of hot sausage and a pound of 93%-lean hamburger plus 1 tablespoon good taco seasoning; cook as above. Drain a can of roasted diced green chiles and stir into the gravy along with 2 1/2 cups of grated cheese -- 1 part mozzarella, 1 part queso fresco, 1 part yellow mild cheddar, 1 part colby, 1 part pepper-jack, 1 part extra-sharp white cheddar as you return the meat, and serve warm.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:24:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm originally from Baltimore (15+ / 0-)

    but lived in CT since 1966 -- and yet, I can do a mean sausage gravy and it is easier than kicking dirt:

    Sausage Gravy

    1 pound sausage (I like to spice mine up a bit with sage but you don't have to)
     1/4 cup all-purpose flour
     2 cups milk
     Salt and black pepper to taste
     8 prepared biscuits

    Crumble and cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned. Whisk in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot over biscuits. Refrigerate leftovers.

    Add any seasonings you old boys like -- hot peppers, possum lips, whatever pleases and goes with sausage.

    Have fun.  Good for you for making the move.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:46:32 PM PDT

    •  I can only guess at the sublimity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gchaucer2, Mr Robert

      of waking up to breakfast by you.  I'll bet it is awesome.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:52:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My recipe, if I had one, would look exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery, BlackSheep1, Ahianne

      like this. I've always made the sausage gravy by approximating flour and milk.........but these look like the right proportions to me.

      I've never put onions or peppers into the gravy - it's perfect without those additions (and this is coming from someone who LOVES onions and peppers).

      You're right, gchaucer - the gravy's easier than kicking dirt.

    •  I don't measure, but this looks about right to me. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      txcatlin, Ahianne

      Be sure to cook the flour for several minutes so it won't taste raw. Also add milk slowly and stir, stir, stir so you won't have lumps. (or even better, use a whisk - but still add milk slowly over low heat). Then you can turn up the heat. As the gravy heats up and thickens, you may have to keep adding milk until it is the thickness you want.

      If you need to make it gluten free, just use brown rice flour instead of wheat flour. Use whole milk - real milk.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:57:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup, this is the one. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, Ahianne

      About the right amount for two hungry people.  I use white pepper cause I like it. And Tony's, though it doesn't really need it. If you don't know what Tony's is, don't worry about it.

      The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. Mark Twain

      by BlueMississippi on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:11:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know from sausage gravy, (5+ / 0-)

    but please post your mean biscuit recipe.

  •  Recent Jimmy Dean's sausage... (7+ / 0-)

    renders a bit of fat, but lately almost as much non-fat liquid (the ever-present water filler) as fat -- roughly 2-3oz fat and 2 oz brown & tasty water per pound of sausage.

    This aging Southern cook would urge you to render up a pound or so of good quality bacon in addition to JD sausage.  Cook over low heat, very, very slowly.  You'll get a more fat-rich gravy that way.

    I'll leave it to an expert at gravies, which I really have never liked, to advise you further.

    Would love to inhale the aromas of that breakfast, no matter what!  Enjoy!!

    (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:54:26 PM PDT

  •  All the above tips are good... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, Keith930, Munchkn, Ahianne

    ...but if you don't think you have enough fat rendered after browning the coffee toss in a quarter stick of butter for great flavor and fat content to help build the roux. Go slow adding the whole milk. You don't want to end up to thin... you can always add more milk slowly to thin it up if its too thick.

    Don't forget a bit of Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce for good color and authentic flavor!

    Good luck, let us know how it turned out!!

  •  I use thickened beef or chicken broth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, Mr Robert, cooper888

    rather than milk.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:58:26 PM PDT

  •  Just had biscuits and gravy yesterday (6+ / 0-)

    To answer some of your questions:

    I think that a whole pound of sausage is a bit much for 2 people, but better more than not enough. I find that leftovers can go into the fridge and do fair well in a couple of days (but not longer).

    I always need to add some oil to the sausage to make the gravy because the sausage has gotten leaner over the years. I use oil because that has no taste, bacon grease would change the taste some (depending on how much and what kind of bacon). You can gauge it after the sausage is cooked and before adding the flour.

    I cook my sausage with water because that helps break up the chunks and so the sausage is in smaller pieces. Then I let the water boil off and let the meat fry a little. But it depends on how you like the meat in the gravy. I also use hot kind because I think it has more flavor.

    I use whole organic milk for all my cooking and drinking ... but milk is milk. Some people use coffee for red eye gravy.  To me, that sound really awful but again, tastes differ.

    BTW, I am not a "southern cook" a la Paula Dean.  I am Hispanic and have a mean recipe for chilaquiles. LOL

    "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

    by CorinaR on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:03:23 PM PDT

  •  If you've started from the other side: broth, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, Ahianne

    it can be turned into gravy by wetting flour with cold milk or some of your broth or even cream (so there is no powder left -- that it is entirely sludge or liquid) and then pouring that back into the mixture.  If the broth is too hot you'll get noodles, but if it is not quite boiling, the flour mixture will dissolve into the broth and thicken it.  You'll still have to cook up to 5 minutes (stirring frequently).

    My father uses arrowroot flour, but I use either whole wheat flour or cornstarch.  (You can cook down arrowroot flour gravy to achieve the right thickness.)

    I prefer the roux approach, but sometimes you have to work with what you've got.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:03:55 PM PDT

  •  GRITs! (5+ / 0-)

    You need to make grits - REAL grits (if you get "instant" grits you'll be a damn yankee!), "Quick" grits are okay, but never instant.

    Bring the water to boil, pour in the grits slow while stirring - turn the fire down REAL LOW and let them simmer for at least 20-25 minutes - maybe more - covered, stirring every few minutes. A few lumps are okay but when you're done the grits should be very smooth and not firm or sticky  (they'll start to 'firm up' a bit as they cool)

    I always add butter to the grits (about 1 TSP per serving) to the boiling water when I start cooking- and I usually put about 10% water then what's called for as I'd rather let the water cook down. If you don't have enough water the grits get dry and sticky too fast and won't cook all the way (gritty again) - better to have it liquid-y and cook it a little more than the other way around. You can't over-cook grits... just under-cook them or dry them out.

    For extra effect - stir in some american or mild cheddar cheese and crumbled cooked bacon bits when just about done.

    Grits should be creamy -not 'gritty' -Serve a big heaping glob on the plate hot with more butter on top (you can never have too much butter), salt, pepper and some nice toast.

    strong Coffee and chicory to wash it down -

    essential for a southern breakfast - fills you up and you know life is good!

    "The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings" Adam Duritz/Counting Crows... Or if you prefer... "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" Carl Sagan

    by zipn on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:18:59 PM PDT

    •  10% MORE water (0+ / 0-)

      ...you'd probably figure it out - but wanted to be clear - I tend to add more water than what's called for (it's usually a 3/1 ratio water to grits)

      "The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings" Adam Duritz/Counting Crows... Or if you prefer... "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" Carl Sagan

      by zipn on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:20:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  After the water pretty much cooks down, (0+ / 0-)

        I add milk - makes for a creamier texture in stone-ground grits.

        Being the single intellectual in a village of 1,100 souls ain't much fun, especially when 1,099 of those don't think you're all that smart.--Lucy Marsden

        by Miniaussiefan on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:00:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  anybody who doesn't cook grits in at least (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne

        whole milk is cheating the people they're feeding, and they're even better cooked, very slowly, in half-and-half.

        same with oatmeal.

        Best way is to do the Alton Brown overnight-slow-cooker thing.

        Instant anything ought to be against the law; the processing necessary destroys the flavor, so you wind up with added salt, sugar, and FSM-knows-what added back in.

        Sigh.

        Scratch is cheaper, too.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:30:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  thanks, bud... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright

      I am going to the grocery store in about an hour.  I will include grits in tomorrows breakfast.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:46:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As long as we have southern cooks' eyes here (6+ / 0-)

    I have my own request about biscuits.

    My wife makes great biscuits. Light, fluffy, delicious with honey.

    They're fine.

    But I would like to have some like my rural southern grandmother used to make in the 1960s.

    These were drop biscuits instead of biscuits cut from a rolled sheet of dough.

    The were a lump, slightly molded with the palm of the hand, but what was special about them was the flavor. They came out of the oven very dark brown on the bottom, somewhat  salty, and slightly greasy. The edge was crispy salty goodness, and tasted great with almost anything you paired it with, but best of all on its own.

    Sound familiar?  If so, please share your recipe and technique. Both my grandmother and her daughter (my Mom) are long gone, so I can't go to the source.

    •  She made them with lard, not butter. (10+ / 0-)

      And she used a heavy baking pan, not one of those lightweight modern things, although stainless steel baking sheets will do the trick.  Stay away from nonstick or airbake sheets.

      Otherwise, biscuit making is a matter of cutting in the cold fat quickly, so it doesn't melt into the flour.  I use a pastry cutter (you can use 2 knives but it takes longer) and here's my secret: when I push the pastry cutter into the mix, I twist my wrist like the woman who taught me biscuit-baking did it.  I don't know why it works, but it does.  Whether the biscuits are cut or dropped doesn't matter, except that the less you handle the dough, the more tender the biscuits tend to be--so dropped biscuits will be more tender.

      By the way, you can find lard in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.  If your local store doesn't carry it, ask around.  I haven't bought lard (or sausage, for that matter) for years--we butcher, so we're spoiled.

      "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

      by DrLori on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:32:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh -- we use lard (3+ / 0-)

        But this was just a fundamentally different biscuit.  Heavier, saltier, greasier, than biscuits typically available today.

        Maybe she was just a bad cook and for some reason I liked it..

        I'll take your suggestion on pan -- I'll try using the cast iron skillet next time.

        •  NOTHING beats a cast iron skillet - nothing. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright, Munchkn, Ernest T Bass
        •  Reminds me of a story I read years ago (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ernest T Bass, Ahianne

          in a Jewish cookbook.  It seems that a young bride wanted to learn to make matzoh balls for her new husband so she went to a balebooseteh (housewife) she knew was famous for her light as a feather matzoh balls.  Well, her first batch was a bit heavy, but through practice and the balebooste's kind tutelage, she perfected matzoh balls so light they would almost float away.  The bride decided to make some to go in the chicken soup she was making for the Sabbath.  Well, she'd had somewhat of a bad day and by mistake ended up dumping the entire box of matzoh meal into the dough. She figured that they would be awful, but decided to serve them anyway. Her husband declared the wife's disastrous matzoh balls "just like Mama used to make".  

        •  Bet she brushed them with butter (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ernest T Bass, BlackSheep1

          before and after baking. Makes them greasy and salty.

          The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. Mark Twain

          by BlueMississippi on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:16:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  sure it wasn't bacon fat she used? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ernest T Bass, Ahianne

          or at least partly so? My mom used to use bacon fat in the Sunday morning biscuits.

          LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:32:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's certainly possible (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1

            I remember she had a small aluminum pot of bacon fat on the stove that she'd dip into occasionally either as grease or as a flavoring agent for string beans.

            Do you know what proportion of bacon fat to other fat (lard or butter) your Mom used?  Or was all the fat bacon fat?

            •  my Mom, in the 60's, always had a small crock of (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ahianne, Tinfoil Hat

              bacon drippings.  She used it to fry eggs, season green beans, make cornbread....you name it.

              Her baked beans were to fucking die for.  It was the bacon.

              And her German Potato Salad?  man, I pity the soul who gets between me and that bowl.  Bacon.

              Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

              by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:59:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I keep a jar in the cabinet (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BlackSheep1, Ahianne

                I generate more bacon fat than I use, so eventually end up pitching it when it gets full and then start on the next jar.  If I were more motivated I suppose I would toddle down to the biodiesel refiner and donate it.  I re-use cleaned pasta sauce jars or similar; of course nowadays I generally make my own pasta sauce.

                That bacon fat is one of the "secrets" (so to speak) in my signature braised beef short ribs. The short ribs are browned in bacon fat before removing from heat and adding the aromatics to saute.  I end up chilling the braising liquid overnight and lifting off the fat before reducing it the next day to make the sauce.

                Braised short ribs have the most amazing flavor and texture.

                Good stuff if you eat meat, which I do at least a few times a week.  But I only go to the trouble of making short ribs 2 or 3 times a year.

            •  usually about 1/3, but come to think of it, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ernest T Bass, tapestry, Ahianne

              on Sundays Dad helped with breakfast. He'd melt a thumb-sized wad of cold drippings in the biscuit pan in the oven, then when he put the biscuits in he'd push 'em around and flip 'em over once.

              LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

              by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:21:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  And actually, lard isn't refrigerated at the store (4+ / 0-)

        It's in a regular grocery aisle; often with ethinic hispanic foods such as tortillas, pickled jalapenos, bagged spices and so forth.

        The tubs of lard may be turned so the Spanish name Manteca is showing rather than the side that says Lard.

    •  Mr Bass... (7+ / 0-)

      I will be doing a diary in two weeks for the What's for Dinner series that occurs each Saturday eve.

      It will be all about biscuits.  Please check in.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:50:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ernest T Bass, do you think your grandmother (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ernest T Bass, BlackSheep1, Ahianne

      used buttermilk?
      My maternal family is southern & I was married to a "rural" southerner.  The biscuits you describe sound just like the ones my MIL & great granddaddy in law used to make.  They used buttermilk & lard & made biscuits every morning/evening.

      I'd never seen lard before..until the early '70s.  My southern mother never used it or buttermilk or made cornbread in a cast iron skillet....  Her biscuits were the fluffy/yeasty kind.

      Different parts of the south.  Different ways.

      •  It's possible (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1, Ahianne

        I should clarify she lived in the inland, rural part of Florida on a dirt (sand, really) road.  I joke that the only time I've been to Disney World was when, on a visit in the late 60s, we drove by a big sign with a small trailer next to it on a wide expanse of scrub land announcing "Coming Here Soon! Walt Disney World!"

        ...or something like that.

        I'll try the buttermilk/cast iron skillet combo.

  •  You have good instincts for Southern cooking. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keith930, Ahianne

    My biscuits usually start with following the recipe on the Lily White self-rising flour, and I definitely use buttermilk, preferably the kind with butter specks in it.  But you have that under control.

    If you are only feeding the two of you, I'm not sure you need the whole pound of Jimmy Dean (that's what I use).

    Fry the sausage and then take it out of the pan.  If there doesn't appear to be enough fat for the sausage, just add a bit of vegetable, or canola oil.  Dump in about a 4th to 3rd cup of flour, brown it, then add real milk, and if it gets two thick, thin it with some water.  I usually make water gravy any way.  You can use some of both.  The trick is to really get a good golden brown on the flour for flavor.  

    I doubt you will need too much salt and pepper.  The sausage, especially if the hot variety, has some of both.

    Add some stewed fruit like granny smith apples with butter, sugar, and cinnamon and you have a feast.

    Good luck.

    In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

    by Sixty Something on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:47:04 PM PDT

  •  Go and buy the packet of sauce mix (0+ / 0-)

    Jimmy Dean has a good one but I have tried many different brands and they are all pretty good.  Add your sausage.

    "Republicans are the party that says that government doesn't work, then they get elected and prove it."-- PJ O'Rourke

    by nocynicism on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:47:52 PM PDT

    •  Hey, that's cheating. LOL (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sewaneepat, Ahianne

      No fair.  We are talking about from scratch Southern cooking here.

      In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

      by Sixty Something on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:52:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you....I take pride in my cooking (5+ / 0-)

        and I only wish that I had realized my calling while my grandmothers were still alive.  Boy...the things I could have learned.  I caught a few things from them just by watching, but I would have loved to really have interrogated them them with a notepad in hand.

        I didn't appreciate how quickly that knowledge disappears.

        Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

        by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:59:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  then next spring, in green-tomato season (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Keith930, tapestry, Ahianne, Tinfoil Hat

          make biscuits.
          fry bacon.
          slice, thick, some just-ripe tomatoes (a tiny bit of green around the stem is even better).
          make cream gravy (not sausage gravy, bacon gravy: use the bacon grease and real cream).

          On a plate split a hot biscuit. Lay down two (or more) slices of bacon. Top with the slices of tomato, seasoned with salt and pepper. Ladle over the gravy, and serve immediately.

          O sweet mother of Ceiling Cat, what a breakfast that is, with coffee.

          LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:36:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can taste it just reading (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1, Ahianne

            Might I suggest some wilted lettuce with that?  Basically, green leaf lettuce freshly cut, and wilted with hot bacon grease and apple cider vinegar, with some sugar.  A little minced onion and a hardboiled egg doesn't hurt.

            Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

            by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:41:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you may; but the day we had this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Keith930

              this is what there was, to eat. No eggs available, nor lettuce; the tomatoes were picked, rinsed, sliced while the biscuits and gravy were cooking.

              Treat spinach like you do that lettuce. See if it won't make a good lunch, on a cold day. ;)

              LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

              by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:23:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  OMG. I can't help but am weighing in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keith930, koseighty, Ahianne

    to say how jealous I am of the amazing breakfast that will soon be yours.

    I have celiac disease and will never be able to safely eat a mouth watering, scrumptious, everything-is-right-with-the-world, buttermilk biscuit again.

    Sooooooooooooo sad!

    Honestly, when a good biscuit is on the table everything else is just gravy and it doesn't matter how perfect that gravy is.

    •  if I ever end up on Death Row (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, Tinfoil Hat

      biscuits and gravy is my last meal.  With eggs fried in bacon grease.  And bacon.  Creamed corn, and sliced cantaloupe.  

      First time I was married, in Los Angeles...circa 1990, my wife watched me make breakfast for the two of us for the first time.

      I fried up a bunch of bacon, and as soon as she saw me crack an egg into the skillet with the bacon grease I thought she was going to explode...

      "WHAT ARE YOU DOING????????"

      What?  I said.  I'm frying eggs.

      "IN THAT GREASE?"

      Ummmm...yeah....how  else do you fry eggs?

      Her reply was with PAM.

      Sorry...they will surely cook in in PAM, but they won't taste like they should.

      It was a cultural issue that we never quite settled.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:11:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since finding out that the thing killing me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne

        was gluten I have cheated all of once...with a buttermilk biscuit that called to me like a siren. I ended up in bed for three weeks after but mmmmmm, it tasted soooo good!

        Formerly a vegetarian (and, at times, vegan), I now eat lots of meat including bacon AND the resulting grease and have lost more than 30 pounds (wasn't huge to begin with). Bring on the bacon fat eggs as far as I'm concerned. So yummy! And, let's face it, outside fruit and veg, everything else in the grocery store is now off limits.

        So I say pig out! As long as everything in the chain is humane :-)

        •  I have some homemade apple butter to go with that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ExpatGirl

          biscuit.  And some apricot preserves.  

          You only live once.

          Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

          by Keith930 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:02:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  . (0+ / 0-)

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:31:08 PM PDT

  •  Keith930, helpful hint: pop your biscuits in the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, Keith930, Ahianne

    oven after you've started frying up the sausage so it's all ready at same time.

    1 roll of Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans (I use regular or sage)
    1/4 C flour
    2 c milk
    salt/pepper
    butter or oil if needed

    Chunk up & brown sausage until cooked through.  If there is little to no grease, add a couple tablespoons of oil or butter.

    Dump in the flour and incorporate it all into the meat; cooking until light golden brown. Slowly stir in 2 cups of milk.  Lower heat; cook gently until thickened, stirring occassionally.

    Note:  this gravy will continue to thicken as it sets-just add more milk if this happens & it is too thick. You really cannot mess this up.

    If there are any leftovers-it warms up fine in a microwave the next day...

    PS:  Only time I have ever seen anyone use canned milk was in the midwest.  Smells different made that way.  Don't know how it tastes-I couldn't get past the evaporated milk smell to try it...

  •  Never mind the recipes! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keith930, churchylafemme

    I love the opening parries of this bromance!  Wish my DH would invite someone over and make a southern breakfast like this instead of bagels and lox.

  •  My gravy recipe: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    Start with browning the sausage.  Drain most of the fat. In a separate pan, get some butter going.  Add flour to the butter, and make a blond roux--that is, cook the flour just enough to get a nice light gold color.  Enough to take the raw taste away.  Then add milk to the roux, stirring the flour to make sure it gets all blended in.  Bring to a light boil and let it bubble for about a minute to thicken. Once it's blended, transfer to the pan with the sausage.  Bring it back up to temperature and add your pepper.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:55:49 PM PDT

  •  Are you engaging in the search for (0+ / 0-)

    hyper-palatable foods?

    You realize, of course, that is the same thing giant food corporations do in an attempt to addict America to their food products.

  •  I'd cook the sausage, remove it to drain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    then add lard or butter to the pan if I thought there was not enough fat. Stir in flour roughly equal to the amount of fat and scrape with the spatula while it gets all bubbly so you get all the sausage flavor from the bottom of the pan. After the flour has browned a bit add in water and milk in equal proportions until it gets thin. Add salt and pepper, as well as the cooked sausage, and stir constantly until it thickens. I raise hogs and sell sausage. I've not eaten Jimmy Dean in years, but have seen few commercial sausage products that did not yield enough fat to make gravy. Darn, now I'm hungry.

    You can put your shoes in the oven, but it won't make them biscuits.

    by quetzalmom on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:50:01 PM PDT

  •  I could feel my arteries hardening (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose

    ..just reading this comment thread. Sort of like reading the Hungarian cookbook (well, it's in English except for the recipe names, which are given in both languages) that I inherited from my mother - practically everything has lard a/o sour cream in it. But every now and then I have to have chicken paprikas, and it sounds like you need a sausage gravy fix.

    Cogito, ergo Democrata.

    by Ahianne on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 08:22:26 PM PDT

  •  Rec'ced just for the comments (0+ / 0-)

    It's friday night, I think I know what we're having for breakfast this weekend.

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