Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Half-Assed Gourmand #5

Every now and then, even a half-assed gourmand gets a jones to throw frozen food chicken patties to the far winds and do a little experimentation on his own. Not projects like this one, however—clearly this individual is suffering from some sort of crippling mental deficiency—but a simple menu of comfort food fare that requires just a bit more effort than turning on the microwave.

Friday, my mother and I ventured out to the local Publix here in Athens in search of sustenance, and because I glanced at the weekly ads online ahead of time, I noticed they had a sale on Pillsbury’s Grands biscuits (4 cans for $5.00). After a minute’s contemplation, I thought—hey! I’ve seen kits (from the good people at Tennessee Pride) where they have pre-made sausage gravy ready to heat and eat…why don’t I get some of those biscuits and the gravy kits and prepare a breakfast fit for a king? (Here, King…here, boy…)

And that’s all there was to it. I bought the biscuits…bought the sausage gravy…and as a fallback plan, I even bought some thick-sliced Smithfield bacon (which was on sale as well) in case the gravy was a complete bust. I had planned to rise and shine earlier this morning to prepare this repast…but as usual, my loyal manservant neglected to wake me—necessitating that I turn the meal into a sort-of-brunch.

For the small minority of you who have never eaten sausage gravy and biscuits (I know frequent TDOY commenter Pam has never sampled such delights—Mater thought that sort of food rather common, I’m guessing) let me tell you that if you’re looking for honest, down-home, stick-to-your-ribs eats you can do no better. My old high school chum Deb could whip up an excellent batch of the sausagey stuff—but since she’s dropped out of sight I usually have to make do with a once-a-year pilgrimage to West Virginia to visit a chain called Tudor’s Biscuit World for some primo sausage gravy and biscuits. I’ve also sampled this dish at various places throughout Jaw-Ja—and while there are any number of great mom-and-pop diners that serve it up fine, I’m not at liberty to divulge their names…mainly because I can’t remember any of them.

The Pillsbury biscuits, I was surprised to learn, are a lot easier to open than they were a long time ago—I remember my mother granting me the privilege of opening up Pillsbury dough (cookies, croissants, what-have-you) many years back and how you’d almost wear out your arm banging the packing against the kitchen counter to achieve the perfect split. I placed the eight biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, and when they were done, heated up the gravy in my junior microwave for 4 minutes and presto! Instant brunch gratification.

Unfortunately, I’ve eaten better sausage gravy and the biscuits were, to use a phrase I borrowed from a friend of mine, “aggressively average.” But that’s to be expected from the kitchen of the Half-Assed Gourmand. I’ve rescued the remaining biscuits and will have them with a small beef roast that I am currently cooking as I type. So until next time, fans—good eating to you all!


Pam said...

No Spam, no sausage gravy. Go on - pick on Mater!

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I'm sorry...I just find it hard to believe that you've lived such a sheltered life.

Pam said...

LOL! Sheltered?!?!