Country Roots in the Kitchen

As I’ve mentioned before, I am from a tiny, unincorporated town in central Alabama. It has a stop sign with a caution light next to the school house, then another stop sign at the gas station. I always say I’m kin (related) to everyone in the town. Now, that is an exaggeration, but I do know almost everyone there. If I don’t know you, I definitely know your Mama. My late grandfather was born in a shack there, lived there his entire life, and is buried in the local cemetery. That is a 5 mile radius…maybe. Driving around with him, he was always waving and stopping to shoot the breeze (talk). He literally knew everyone there. His life was the epitome of Justin Moore’s song “Small Town, USA”. I attended the local school until 6th grade, when my parents moved us 15 minutes up the road in the next “city”. (It was an incorporated town with a city school, police station, and a mayor. I mean, it was moving on up. Let me tell you!) Anyway, back at the elementary school, the teachers grew up with my grandfather, taught my aunt, uncles, and mom, and everyone in my class grew up together. Everyone knew everyone (and their dirty laundry). It was and still is an interesting place. I love going back, because it hasn’t changed much. People don’t move away often and they tend to come back to settle if they do.

So, yeah, my roots are country. I’m a true country girl. I helped my grandfather tend to cattle and crops. My weekends were at the livestock auction. I spent many hours shelling peas, shucking corn, and picking crops. I fished for catfish, gutted and skinned them, and fried them up to eat. I was the only girl for years, so no one taught me to hunt or shoot guns. (That began when I met my husband in college at 19. And I love that too.) I love sports and playing sports. I also love horses. My dream is to be able to tell my husband “I’m at the barn.” and walk to the barn and spend all day there.

With all of that said, I have found my girly side. I love make up, jewelry, mani/pedis, and designer bags/shoes. I’m the best of both worlds, if I say so myself. 🙂 So, my lucky husband also married a girl that can cook. I try to eat healthy most of the time, but sometimes, you have to exercise your country cooking roots. I did just that last week. For supper (dinner, for everyone else outside of the South), we had breakfast. Not just any breakfast, but gravy and biscuits. I grew up eating that a lot. My grandmother always made her biscuits, but I didn’t have that kind of time. So, I had to use canned biscuits. I did make the gravy in my cast iron pan. According to my husband it is at least 100 yrs. old, a family heirloom, passed down the generations of women. My husband doesn’t have a sister, so it was passed to me…and it will be passed to my daughter. Anyway, it is well seasoned and makes the best gravy. I cooked a tube of Tennessee Pride mild sausage, spooned it out of the grease, added a chuck of butter (maybe 2 tablespoons), a few pinches of all purpose flour (maybe 4 tablespoons) to create a rue in the grease. Then add about 2 cups of whole milk, depending on how thin or thick you want your gravy. Then add the sausage back. There you go! Oh, and I add a lot of black pepper. I love a peppery gravy. That is my gravy for gravy and biscuits.


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