Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Food For Surviving The Winter...!
Now, those of you that live in the South or have been in the South for any length of time, know that there is one food that stands out as the breakfast of champions!
Gravy...! All kind of gravy! Call it milk gravy, flour gravy, country gravy, red-eye gravy, sausage gravy, or saw mill gravy! No matter what kind or what base you use...gravy and biscuits is a traditional breakfast for a lot of country folks.
This is a real "stick-to-your-ribs" food and is just as good for supper as it is for breakfast! Very filling, cheap to make, good for using all the ingredients in the pantry.
One of my favorites is the Sawmill Gravy...and I found an old time recipe for this wonderful, wonderful dish! The beauty of this dish is that it uses cornmeal instead of flour as a base!
Below is a little history and the recipe for this culinary wonder! I hope you enjoy it!
"Sawmill gravy (or Logging gravy). In the years following the turn of the century, logging camps sprang up all over the Smoky Mountains where timber companies had bought up tracts of virgin timber. Lumberjacks and saw-millers by the hundreds came in to snake out the logs to nearby streams, sawmills, and newly built railheads.
Entire families moved in with the men to the camps. To feed the multitude was a big challenge. Breakfasts usually consisted of coffee and meat plus flour-based gravies and large "Cathead" biscuits.
One day, the story goes, the Tremont camp ran out of flour and had to substitute cornmeal in the gravy. Inquisitive loggers arriving before breakfast asked what kind of gravy was on the menu that day. "This gravy's made out of sawdust!" the cooks replied. The name stuck. The cheap, easy-to-fix cornmeal gravy caught on.
While "sawmill gravy" was the popular nickname, some called it "Logging Gravy." Others named it Poor Do or Life Everlasting, a reference to what many felt was its role in keeping them alive. This recipe adapation comes from Janice Miracle of Middlesboro, Kentucky...
"Life Everlasting" Sawmill Gravy
3 heaping tablespoons white cornmeal
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups milk
A dash of pepper
In a frying pan, combine cornmeal, bacon drippings, and salt. Stir until brown. Add milk and let boil until gravy thickens. Stir forcefully to keep gravy from pumping. Add pepper to taste."
---ibid (p. 207-8)
If you have never had this gravy using cornmeal...let me suggest that you try it. I really think you'll find it very satisfying !
You know, if I am ever lucky enough to meet a young lady that likes the country, can bake good biscuits and bread and cookies, and can make great gravy...then I might even consider getting married again! Looks aren't important, but if a lady can cook...well, then that is a different story all together!
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! OK?