Thursday, November 11, 2010

Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit

An elderly Italian man lay dying in his bed.  While suffering the agonies of impending death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favourite Italian anisette sprinkle biscuits wafting up the stairs.
Gathering his remaining strength, he lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort, gripping the railing with both hands he crawled downstairs. With laboured breath, he leaned against the doorframe, gazing into the kitchen. Where if not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven, for there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favourite anisette sprinkled biscuits.
Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted Italian wife of sixty years, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself towards the table, landing on his knees in a crumpled posture. His parched lips parted, the wondrous taste of the biscuit was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life.
The aged and withered hand trembled on its way to a biscuit at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife..... 'Back off!' she said, 'they're for the funeral.'

Biscuits and gravy is a well known and loved dish . . . especially in the American South.

Quick and inexpensive to prepare, biscuits and gravy is a rich and hearty meal of biscuits covered in a wonderful sausage gravy spiced with black pepper.  Warm, comforting and completely satisfying . . . not particularly healthy but it will get you through a cold day.  On further thought, it just might be healthy . . . with a glass of orange juice it has all the food groups encompassed  . . . yeah, healthy . . . that's it . . . healthy.  :D

To make the biscuits:

  • 2 Cups Self-Rising Flour
  • 1/4 Cup All-Vegetable Shortening, Butter Or Lard
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk, Or You Can Use Whole Milk
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, cut the shortening into the Self-Rising Flour with a pastry blender or fork or your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Blend in buttermilk with fork just until the dough comes together. The dough will be sticky.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently by folding the dough 8 to 10 times.

Roll out dough to 1/2 to 1 inch thick, depending on how high you want your biscuits.

Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Do not twist the cutter until the dough has been cut all the way through (twisting the cutter will cause the biscuits not to rise straight up.

Place the biscuits on baking sheet so that they barely touch. Gather up the scrap dough, press it into a circle, working it as little as possible and continue cutting until all dough has been used.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the sausage gravy:

  • 1 Pound Fresh Sausage
  • 3 Tablespoons Shortening, Or Bacon Drippings
  • 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Here's what you need to do:

In a large heavy skillet, brown the sausage breaking it up with a spatula over medium high heat. Do not drain.  Add the shortening, flour, salt and pepper.

Cook stirring constantly until flour begins to brown.  Slowly add milk while continuing to stir.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for one minute stirring occasionally. As the gravy cools it will thicken so if you want thinner gravy, add a little more milk

Cut the biscuits in half and pour the gravy over the biscuits.

I hope you enjoy this southern biscuits and gravy recipe!

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