Saturday, November 22, 2008
My, oh, Mayo's that's good sausage!
I have never in my life been a breakfast-eater. When I was little my mother would practically beg me to eat something before I left for school, but I always refused. I was in fifth or sixth grade when she badgered me into carrying blueberry or strawberry breakfast bars with me each morning. I would stick 'em in my pocket after promising to eat 'em when I got to school, and then I would trade 'em for baseball cards or extra milk money come lunch time.
The only - and I mean only - time I ever regularly ate breakfast was when I stayed with my grandparents in the country. My grandmother would get up at the crack of dawn to make sausage, gravy, grits, and biscuits for my grandfather, who needed a hearty breakfast before starting a long day of farming or carpentering. The smell of all that cooking would sometimes literally jerk me awake. And if I didn't get up right then to eat, I would eat whatever was left over whenever I did get up. Every once in a while, usually when someone who was going to help my grandfather with some special to-do came to the house, my grandmother would fry a few pieces of chicken for breakfast. Believe you me, I never lingered in bed when I smelled chicken frying at 5 a.m.
Even though I'm still not big on eating in the morning, every once in a while I do get a hankering for some sausage, biscuits and gravy. And I won't just settle for any old sausage, neither. No sir, it has to be Mayo's Hickory Smoked Pork Sausage and homemade gravy.
Mayo's sausage is distributed by Family Brands International in Lenoir City, Tennessee. I used to do business with Family Brands International back in the mid-'90s. First time I ever visited their offices, they gave me a big box of Mayo's sausage. Now back then, a roll of Mayo's wasn't packaged in clear plastic. Each roll came in a country-style cloth tube, if you will, through which Mayo's hickory smoke aroma easily seeped out. When I got back to Nashville with that box of sausage, I couldn't wait to cook me some. Which I did. And I've been a fan ever since.
This morning, I got up and fried some Mayo's sausage in a skillet ...
When the sausage was cooked through, I put about two tablespoons of flour into the pan to pick up (as Justin Wilson used to say) the drippings. Then I added about a cup of milk. I simmered it down until it made a thick gravy ...
I put some of that gravy on a biscuit with a little black pepper ...
Damn, that was good!
Something happened to the photo I took of a slice of Mayo's tucked into a golden biscuit. Thus, I owe you a pic ... stay tuned.