Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Memories and Biscuits - Random Thoughts from a Grateful Heart

I am an extremely fortunate girl.  I know this.  I had a childhood full of fun, happy memories with friends and family.  Now, I have a house full of little people and an ever-changing family thanks to our role as foster parents.  I have a daughter that has beaten the odds of a terrible diagnosis she received as an infant and has surpassed all expectations that were set for her.  I have a son that is full of joy and humor that can make friends anywhere - from a small town Dairy Queen to the butcher shop.  I have a farm full of animals, a garden that provides for us and a freezer full of meat that I can access whenever needed.  I can look back and laugh at time spent with those I cherish and for that I am blessed.

I realize this because of a breakfast date with a childhood friend yesterday.  She and I honestly can't remember how we became friends or when it happened.  I think somehow we just became completely woven into each other's childhoods to the point.  Her family was my family, my family was her family.  It's just the way it was.  She and I hadn't seen each other most likely since high school graduation - 23 years ago.  We've been able to maintain contact through social media and we were able to connect finally so that I could meet her grown-up family and she could meet mine.
Back when "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"

We all talked for several hours and shared a farm breakfast together.  We talked about fun times we'd had together, odd food combinations that we enjoyed, people that we knew from school, shared classroom experiences.  We talked about our lives now, parenting moments, our jobs.  We took a farm tour led by my overly-knowledgeable 7 year old who put forth more farm information that most people care to know.  We laughed a lot and hugged good-bye, adding another great memory to our friendship story.

I was so glad that we both took time out from our everyday to take advantage of this opportunity.  After she left, I got out my childhood scrapbook and looked through all of those great memories.  From the orange-tinted photos where we sported too much polyester, through the moments forever captured in white framed Polaroids, into the days of the perms before I entered my teen years, I'm happy to say there was page after page of smiles - not only on the pages of the book but on my face as I remembered my childhood.

I'm going to jump right into a recipe because not only is it a good memory, it's also one of the breakfast foods we shared with our company.  Here's an easy recipe for Biscuits and Sausage Gravy.  Don't be intimidated by it - biscuits and the gravy are from scratch and you can do it in around 30 minutes.  Talk about being a weeknight hero for pulling out breakfast for dinner and skipping the canned biscuits!

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl combine the following and mix until combined:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
3 tablespoons sugar

Using a fork or pastry blender (or honestly even your fingers if you're in the mood!), cut into the flour mixture either 3/4 cup very cold butter or you can use 6 Tablespoons butter and 6 Tablespoons lard until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  Pour in 1 cup cold milk and stir until just blended.  Turn biscuit dough out onto a cutting board or pastry mat.  Form into a 1 inch thick 10 inch by 10 inch square.  Let dough rest for about 5 minutes.  Don't skip this step - it prevents the leaning tower of biscuit. Using a long, sharp knife, cut the dough to form square biscuits.  It makes about 24 biscuits.  Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake about 12-15 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.

While you are mixing the biscuit dough, brown 1 pound of breakfast sausage in a 12 inch skillet. Once it is browned stir in 1/2 cup all purpose flour (do not drain the grease before adding the flour!). Add milk about halfway up the sides of the pan (around 4 cups).  Stir until all combined and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the gravy thickens and gets bubbly, but not a rolling boil.  Season with salt and pepper until it tastes like you want it to taste.   Don't shy away from the pepper!

These biscuits are also delicious with butter and jam, or our family favorite is apple butter.  Share breakfast with a friend - old or new.  Make some new memories and relive some old.  It's all good.


  1. Well crap!! Now I'm crying and laughing. I have this same picture somehow...it's one that makes me smile but I don't remember who's birthday. Just the people.

    Thank you, dear friend. Let's not take so long to do it again. Hug Gloria and JP for me!

    Now...I'm going to have to make biscuits from scratch because of this post. ;-)

    1. We will definitely not wait as long! Make sure to check the correction on the biscuit recipe before you give it a try!