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.

7 comments:

Brian Stanley said...

You are going to have to tell us where to get Mayo's Django. I have never seen it at the grocery.

Joltin' Django said...

"You are going to have to tell us where to get Mayo's Django. I have never seen it at the grocery."

Not that it matters, but once upon a time the only Nashville-area grocery that carried Mayo's was H.G. Hill's. Now you can find Mayo's at any Bi-Rite or Foodland, at Food Lion and Kroger, and, yes, at Wal-Mart.

Go get you some ...!

Prasad said...

i hav been followin this blog for sometime now!!! and tho i am from india and never once visited the USA i know from friends there that nashville has some of the best steak houses which are booked for months!!!

I sometime or rather many times dont hav once clue of wot your writing about like say the pork skin and stuff cause i jus dont know it! But it's wonderful to read about the food that you cook up!!! Awesome! now i know what all i should try eating if i do visit the US!

Anonymous said...

My family and I visited Nashville from Ohio in the Spring. My 4 kids are addicts! We brought home 4 packages and they are ready for another trip to TN!!!

Any chance there is a mail order thru the distributer or are the kids out of luck?

Not that it isn't worth the trip, but no time with busy bodies all summer!

Judy Foster said...

My husband's family was related to the Mayo's and I don't remember the connection but I'm pretty sure it was thru the Carr line. Do you have any genealogy information? Everyone that would know has died (including my husband). Everytime we went to visit his family, we always had this sausage with the biscuits and gravy and some always came home with us - in the cloth bags. -- Judy Foster (in Ohio)

David said...

I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and left in 1962 when I joined the Navy. At that time, Mayo's Sausage was made in a small operation on Charlotte Pike in West Nashville. I thought it was the best country sausage made and its taste and quality only approached (but not equalled) by Cracker Barrel's Country Style Smoked Sausage. Since the original maker apparently sold the operation during my 22 year absence, I had a bit of trouble locating a place to buy it. I finally found it at H.G. Hills in 1987. It is now available only in certain parts of Tennessee at H.G. Hills and at Walmart. Since I have now retired in Pensacola, Florida, I make sure to stock up on it whenever I visit relatives in Middle Tennessee.
Dave Zentz

over99permusic said...

Just bought 2 lbs of Mayo and took them to NC, Pensacola used to have a link sausage that was better than Mayo called Registers, it was the best I ever had and Jakes sausage in Middle TN tasted like Mayo and came in a cotton bag