Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I like different things. I used to think that perhaps I was adopted when I was little, because I like so many different things. In a family of country music fans, I like classical and celtic. In a family of meat and potatoes eaters, I like a wide variety of things. In a family of women who can sew beautifully, I like calligraphy instead. These are just a few examples of being unique.

I have always instilled into my son the importance of being unique, not necessarily going along with the crowd, but to find your own interests and your own likes. And I have instilled the practice of embracing different cultures, different ideas. We live in the Midwest, which is very culture-bound. Perhaps in the big cities they are not so much anymore, but in the small towns, it is not what you know, it is who you know - or better yet, who you are related to.

I especially like to learn about different cultures - what do they do for fun, what do they wear, what are there ideas on life, and of course, most importantly - what do they eat on a daily basis!! I have some friends from a recipe site who are from Great Britian. Now, in GB, a biscuit is a cookie. A scone to them would be like a biscuit to us. I happened to mention biscuits and gravy the other day and one of them asked for clarification.

Biscuits and gravy is a Southern food. Up north in the US, you won't find it much. The gravy is basically a white sauce with meat mixed in. You can use ham or sausage. The biscuits are a big issue also. We like ours made with buttermilk. It gives them a tang and the we think the texture is better. Biscuits and gravy are not just for breakfast, either.

Now, I am not a huge fan of biscuits and gravy, I like ham gravy over grits better. I will post that another day.

So Julie, this one is for you!

Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Makes 1 dozen biscuits, with enough gravy to cover them

To me, gravy is more of a technique, a feely thing. You can tell when you are stirring when it is thick enough, and watch out, because it thickens on standing.


1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 can evaporated milk
about 1/4 cup flour, more or less depending on how thick you like your gravy
Regular milk or 1/2 and 1/2 if you are feeling decadent
Fresh ground pepper

Fry the pork sausage, making sure you crumble it finely. Do not drain the grease off. Let the sausage get done, but not overly brown. Sprinkle over the flour and brown it for a minute or two. Then pour in your evaporated milk. Stir and scrape up all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour in some regular milk, probably around a cup or so. Then sprinkle over the pepper. Let it get good and bubbling, stirring the whole time. This does not take long. Then take off the burner and let it set for a bit before serving and stir before serving, as it may form a skin, but it will dissolve if you stir it back in. Gravy is best made in a fairly shallow skillet, that way it cooks evenly and quickly.

Makes about a dozen, of course depends on how big you cut them


3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup shortening
1-1/3 cup buttermilk

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until it is about pea-sized lumps. Add buttermilk and stir to a soft dough consistency. Knead lightly on a flour-covered board - pat out and cut with biscuit cutter or cut into squares.

On cutting dough: Stamp it, do not twist the cutter. Twisting the cutter seals the edges of the dough down and your biscuits will not rise as high.

Bake them on an ungreased sheet at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes.


What are some of your regional favorites??

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