Nineteen years ago next month, my dad passed away. He loved his country. Served in the Navy for 20 years. Fixed his own cars. Was a hard worker and a Johnny Cash fan. A Republican. Loved baseball, basketball, football and boxing. Spent time at the horse track. Loved gambling, hunting, camping, horseback riding and fishing. Fishing was his favorite.
I dreaded fishing season. We owned a little lot up by Lake Cushman growing up. Parked our camper there every summer. We spent HOURS and hours fishing. Trolling was his favorite. My brother, mom and I would take turns going with Dad. If it was my turn, I would throw on my swim suit, and hope to catch some sun during those long days of fishing. If I got a tan, it didn’t seem like a total loss of a day. SO many hours spent on the lake fishing…listening to the little brown, and later a black transistor radio. No ipods back in the stone ages, kids. For Dad it was always country music. How I hated country music. Funny…I love it now. He also loved to fish rivers for steel head salmon. The Cowlitz, and Toutle rivers were among our summer hangouts. One summer Dad discovered Moses Lake fishing, where we caught TONS of Crappie. Seriously, they are called Crappie! But pronounced Croppie. Not my favorite fish. I remember complaining about eating SO MUCH FISH. Dumb kid. Especially the salmon. What was I thinking? Hmmm.
I think about those days fishing with my dad, and wonder, why didn’t I talk to him more about his childhood? Ask him more questions about his parents, grandparents, and his life? More about growing up on the farm in Delta, Utah? His early 20’s traveling the world on the various Navy battleships? How I wish I could turn back the clock now. My Dad was 57 years young when he passed away. Lung Cancer and cirrhosis. He wasn’t perfect, but he loved his family. He was a family man. Honored his mother and father. Loved his pioneer heritage. He loved us unconditionally, and was always forgiving of the mistakes we made. My most precious and lasting impression of my dad will always be – he loved us, and we knew it.
Every time I make biscuits, I think of my Dad. He LOVED biscuits and gravy. Maybe that’s why my kids love gravy with their biscuits so much? In honor of Dad, and all of the other Fathers out there whose lives on the earth were way too short- rustle up some biscuits and gravy. Love you, Dad.
Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
A Bountiful Kitchen
12 oz tube of Jimmy Dean Spicy Sausage
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour, sifted
3-4 cups milk, whole is best
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
Brown sausage in skillet, drain grease from pan. Remove sausage and place in small bowl. Lightly wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium high heat. Add the flour, and whisk in until the lumps disappear. Continue to cook for about 1-2 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Add salt, pepper and cayenne. Using a whisk, add in the milk, a cup at a time, whisking during each addition, letting the gravy thicken as the milk is added. If needed, lower temperature of stove. I usually add about 3 1/2 to 4 cups total, depending on how long the gravy sits on the stove before serving. Add the cooked sausage to the gravy and heat through. Add more pepper or salt to taste. Serve with home made biscuits, fried eggs and potatoes.
Hopefully, you weren’t thinking about using canned (gasp!) biscuits with sausage gravy. Click here for the real deal: Buttermilk Biscuits.
-Make the biscuits while the sausage is cooking. Pop the biscuits in the oven when you are making the gravy. They will be ready about the same time.