The first meal of the day has historically been needed to be both inexpensive and hearty. The settlers would commonly compose it of the most basic ingredients available.
While this did the trick, I imagine there was something left to be desired in the flavor department. Most commonly, settlers would serve some sort of gravy made from whatever meat was available and would need to soften the twice baked and very tough biscuits that were a staple on the wagon train.
Thanks to modern technology we not only have the luxury of soft flaky biscuits fresh out of the oven, we also no longer need to make our gravy with salt pork, bacon, or someone’s goat. It feels good to have the luxury of fresh meat and an electric oven and I feel we should be sure to make the most of what we have.
This week I have kept with our Brunch Basics theme of the last month and wanted to share a recipe for biscuits and gravy. Although my recipes are much different than the ones used on the wagon trail they ought to do well for you. For those of you that don’t eat meat feel free to use a vegetarian sausage and or different types of milk etc. The basic components of gravy are fairly forgiving most of the time. And of course this same gravy can be served on toast or just about anything else you can dream of. Enjoy!
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
Pre-heat oven to 450°F
Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter using a fork, pastry blender, or by gently pressing with your finger tips (My preferred method). Stir in the buttermilk mixing gently until the mixture barely holds together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently press with your hand until the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter cut out all the biscuits you can. Push the leftover dough together gently to get the last biscuit or two, if they are bigger by a little those ones can be for a special guest or you. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with butter and place your biscuits about an inch apart and evenly spaced on the pan. Bake in a 450°F oven for 12 or 15 minutes or until golden brown.
6 ounces breakfast sausage without casings
3 tablespoons minced yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/4 cups cold milk
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Brown sausage in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions and butter and continue to cook for about 1 minute or until the onions are translucent. Add flour and mix in thoroughly continuously stirring and cook an additional 2-3 minutes (do not brown the flour). Stir in milk and bring to a simmer. Cook for another 3/5 minutes stirring constantly to avoid sticking or burning until the gravy is to your desired thickness. If it becomes too thick as a splash of milk and stir it in, repeat if necessary. Season with Kosher salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.
Sunday, April 28
Sequoia Pentecost & Rachel Yoder’s Country & Gospel Brunch – Indianapolis, Indiana Join Sequoia Pentecost & Rachel Yoder as they host the Bag Ladies for their Annual Country/Gospel Brunch next Sunday at Talbott Street. Doors open and brunch is served at 12:00 noon. “Church” is from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Showtime is at 1:00 p.m. Catering by Black Plate Catering.
Tinner Hill presents Blues & Brunch the Mainstreet Blues Duo with David Cole at Open Kitchen Bistro – Falls Church, Virginia Wake up your Sunday with one of the coolest music groups in DC. . . featuring Mainstreet Blues Duo with David Cole. They will light up your Sunday with a combination of hot blues and cool jazz and a side order of laughter. All proceeds benefit non-profit Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation. Delicious brunch from the award winning Open Kitchen menu available for additional cost.
Saturday, May 4
Mother’s Day Brunch and Fashion Show – Strongsville, Ohio Calling all mother and daughter fashionistas! The American Heart Association invites you to join them for a special mother’s day brunch and fashion show! This event is presented by Kaiser Permanente and proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association. Attendees will be treated to a preview of the spring fashions as modeled by heart and stroke survivors. Dawn Kendrick, the medical reporter for WOIO 19 Action News, will be emceeing the fashion show. The event includes a plated brunch, a swag bag, and much more!
Sunday, May 5
Cinco de May Brunch – Seattle, Washington Join Entre Hermanos on Sunday, May 5 – Cinco de May. Their mission is to promote the health and well-being of the Latino LGBT community. They do this through health education, support groups, referrals to services and advocacy. This event will will be fun, delicious and more fun and they will have several performers to entertain you, scrumptious food to make you feel loved, and an opportunity to learn about their work. You will also have the opportunity to support their work with an additional tax-deductible donation.