It’s September, which of course everybody knows is National Biscuit Month. But wait, what’s a biscuit without a little gravy? Probably dry and sawdust-like, unless you’ve lived a charmed life amongst bakers. Well, not only is it National Biscuit Month, but the second week in September is always observed -- and religiously so in some circles -- as National Biscuit & Gravy Week. So for the next few days, add a little flavor to that otherwise boring brick biscuit. This celebration is obviously not for the weak of heart; participants must of course be cleared by a cardiologist. But B&G week is more than permitting credence to an angio-edge life style, B&G week is here to help us remember good old fashion homemade fixins’. And since cooking at home has gone the way of indoor smoking, Betamax, pull tabs, floppy discs, and glaciers, take some time out in your marathon commuter mornings, hit the local diner, whether it’s a Denny’s or a faux-bohemian hipster dive or a Mom & Pop’s greasy spoon off the health department’s radar, sit down to a breakfast of hot biscuits & gravy, a cup of coffee, ignore your cell phone, leave the laptop in the trunk, and read an actual morning paper, and not a Weekly ... a real daily newspaper with real smudgy newsprint. And as long as you avoid the articles on American politics, you won’t regret the respite!
Biscuits and gravy was once just a popular breakfast dish in the South, but its popularity has spread nationwide and is now served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think about it, a buttermilk biscuit covered in a piping hot thick "country" or "white" gravy made from the drippings of cooked pork sausage, a little white flour, milk, with bits of real sausage, bacon, or ground beef, flavored with lots of black pepper. I’m heading out right now, and just to keep a balance between my health and my bent for ruin, I’m biking to my favorite greasy spoon. Biscuits & gravy ... live on the edge!
Sausage Gravy Recipe
8 ounces breakfast sausage
2 tablespoons shortening or lard
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups milk
salt and pepper, to taste
dash cayenne pepper, optional, but damn good
Cook sausage in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up with a spatula. With a slotted spoon, remove the browned crumbled sausage to a paper towel-lined plate. Add 2 tablespoons shortening, vegetable oil, or lard to the drippings in the skillet.
Add flour, stirring until blended and bubbling. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups milk; continue stirring and cooking until thickened and bubbly. Add the crumbled sausage. If too thick, add a little more milk. Taste and add salt and pepper. Stir in a dash of cayenne pepper, if desired.
Serve over hot split and buttered biscuits.