As I reflect back to the mid-nineteen fifties when I was a young fellow, I recall the smells and sounds of the time permeating our family home. I nostalgically remember the daytime television soap opera sounds of “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night” and my mother busying herself with her housework without missing one fragment of the programs. The soap operas were so clean in the fifties that our mothers weren’t the least bit ashamed to watch them. They would even allow their children to watch if they desired.
I call to mind the evening sounds of Ronald Reagan hosting the “General Electric Theater”, “The Danny Thomas Show”, “Have Gun Will Travel”, Gillette Blue-Blade Friday night boxing, and the “Billy Graham Crusade”, to name a few.
My mind’s ear recognizes the radio music softly broadcasting throughout the house – “All Shook Up”, “Wake-Up Little Susie”, “You send Me” and “Love Letters in the Sand” and many more.
I loved the clean and disinfecting smell of Pine-Sol. Mother used it daily while cleaning the house especially in the bathroom where it mixed with the smell of my daddy’s Vitalis Hair Tonic and Aqua Velva Ice blue after-shave lotion always stored next to his shaving mug and brush.
Most of all I remember the scrumptious cooking smells from the kitchen; Aromas of fresh baked breakfast biscuits intermingling with scents of frying or cooking of sausage, bacon, eggs and sawmill (daddy called it plow-stock) gravy.
Sometimes we enjoyed baked biscuits at suppertime with fried smoke sausage or saltmeat all covered with tomato gravy.
Can I remember how the Gravies were made and served? I think I can since my wife and I prepare the gravies on a regular routine basis.
Check out our favorite southern recipes.
HOW TO MAKE PLOW-STOCK SAWMILL GRAVY
(Wow and Awe Your Breakfast Guests and Family)
Plow-stock or sawmill gravy requires only six ingredients.
1. Cooked ground sausage (broken, crumbled into small pieces)
2. Sausage fat or bacon drippings
4. Milk or cream
6. Pepper – black ground
Leave about 3 – 4 tablespoons of fat in your skillet after cooking the sausage. You can use bacon drippings if you have some saved from an earlier meal. Leave the sausage dregs in the fat for even more flavors.
With the heat on medium, sprinkle and stir about 3 – 4 tablespoons of flour into the fat. Continue stirring until the mixture turns faintly brown.
Douse the mixture with 1½ cups of milk or cream and season with salt and pepper. Keep stirring the gravy until it thickens. Add more milk if the gravy over thickens.
Dump in the cooked sausage and serve while hot over biscuits. It only takes a few extra minutes to make and this recipe will produce 4 – 5 servings. Your family and guests will love you for the extra touch to their main meal of their day.
HOW TO MAKE TOMATO COUNTRY GRAVEY
(Wow and Awe Your Dinner and Supper Guests)
Tomato gravy requires only six ingredients.
1. Diced tomatoes in tomato juice, 14.5 oz can
3. Virgin olive oil, or Bacon drippings
6. Pepper – black ground
Pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or bacon drippings) into a large skillet. Warm up to a medium heat and slowly stir in 2½ to 3 tablespoons of flour. Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely free of lumps and the flour turns faintly brown.
Add the contents of the canned diced tomatoes and the salt and pepper. Simmer the gravy until the tomatoes are cooked-down. Some people prefer to crush the tomatoes as they are cooking. As the gravy starts to boil add ½ to 1 cup of milk. Pour the milk in the skillet slowly and gradually with continuous stirring. Bring the gravy back to a boil and thicken it to suit your taste.
It only takes a few extra minutes to make and this recipe will produce 4 – 5 cups of gravy.
Our favorite is simply to serve tomato gravy over fresh hot biscuits but it is also delicious with many other dishes. Serve it over a bed of rice or mixed it in with a bowl of grits. You can also serve it over beef, fish or seafood. Be creative for tomato gravy is a delight to suit the palate.