Weekend Traditions

I had every intention of taking great pictures and posting them in relation to this post, but plainly stated, I forgot. So please instead enjoy this picture of the first loaf of sourdough I made from the starter I began last week.

I have a lot of sourdough-bread-baking skills to acquire as of yet, but that first loaf was delicious. As was the second, the third, the fourth… the thing about starting sourdough is you have to be prepared to use it (bake it) every day.

It’s a chore, but it has delicious dividends.

Speaking of chores with delicious dividends, allow me to share a little about a weekend tradition we’ve started since moving here to our Hilltop Homestead.

Every Saturday morning – and I mean every. single. one. – whether I’m sick with the ‘rona or feeling right as rain, I make the same breakfast for my family.

This was a breakfast I never had growing up. In fact, the first time I had it, it was at a restaurant when I was in my mid-twenties, and I asked for the key ingredient on the side.

I wasn’t thrilled with it.

But then I learned how to make it myself and it tasted so much better than anything I’d seen (or sampled) on restaurant plates.

After making it a few times and perfecting the method, it’s now our breakfast every Saturday morning. Any guesses?

Biscuits and Gravy.

That first time I had it, I asked for the gravy on the side, and what came out in that bowl was a pile of sausage porridge. It wasn’t gravy. It did not pour, it plopped. The biscuits were nothing to write home about, and it was not my favorite breakfast. I couldn’t understand why this was such a treat for people.

One “people” in particular who I knew loved it was Hubs. So one morning in Big House on a Little Prairie back in Minnesota, I surprised him with it for breakfast.

I had never made sausage gravy before, and my first attempt was not my most successful. But it was still tasty enough, and Hubs requested I maybe add it into our breakfast menu rotation a few more times than never.

I did make it a couple more times and finally got the gravy to the point where it was tasty gravy and not merely an edible experiment.

After we moved here, however, and I really don’t know why, I started making it every Saturday morning.

I’ve been making biscuits since I could bake, so those aren’t anything new to me (but they do taste much better baked in my cast iron biscuit pan), but the gravy is getting better each time.

Well… it was. But then Hubs wanted to limit his carb intake so he started having eggs and gravy, and I started making the roux for the gravy with arrowroot powder instead of flour. That takes a little trial and error period. I’m still in the error period, figuring it out.

But I press on.

Because of my high-sissy-level sensitivity to any hot peppery spice at all, I cannot use a full pound of breakfast sausage in the gravy. I’ve gotten to where I can make a decent gravy using 1/3 to 1/2 pound of sausage, therefore stretching the sausage to two or three meals.

This not only saves on cost, but saves me from having to keel over dead at the breakfast table because my mouth cannot handle the heat. Win-win!

Here we are five months in to this breakfast tradition, and I must say, I’m so glad we do it.

First of all, homemade biscuits and gravy can’t be beat. Secondly, it’s as delicious as it is rewarding.

The first time I made sausage gravy, I made a roux with flour and lard, then added beef broth, heavy cream, and gelatin. What was I thinking? I don’t know, leave me alone!

Now when I make sausage gravy, I make a roux with whatever fat I have available (sausage fat, butter, ghee, or lard) and flour (or arrowroot powder as of late). Then I slowly add milk until I have the amount I want, cook it until it thickens, and add the cooked sausage. Voila. That’s it.

And it’s delicious every single time. (Arrowroot powder is tricky though; too little and it’s ineffective, too much and you’ve got jiggly, pudding like gravy.)

It gives me a sense of accomplishment to know I started with a (gross) pan of creamy jello broth the first time I made it, to figuring out the rhyme and reason of true sausage gravy, and am able to treat my family to it every weekend.

I always make enough of the biscuits and enough of the gravy that we can simply heat the leftovers up for breakfast on Sunday.

Because that’s another weekend tradition we have: family Sabbath on Sunday. I don’t cook on Sundays, save for heating up leftovers.

And let me tell you, homemade biscuits and gravy two days in a row is not a bad tradition to have on the weekend.

So this Saturday, as each one before, we’ll enjoy biscuits (or eggs) and gravy for breakfast. We may have some sourdough bread with our lunch. I may make homemade pizza (with sourdough crust, obviously…).

More than the makeup of the meals eaten around the table, though, I pray my family instead holds on to the time spent together. I don’t care if they remember what we ate, but I hope they remember I did my best to nourish them – body, mind, and soul.

And then, if they could just remember to clear their dishes when they’re done…

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