We’re back! It took a couple years, but it’s time to go back into the kitchen. It’s time for magic. It’s time for Master Chefs.
You know what that title means? It means this is the sixth time I’m writing about an Extraneous Thanksgiving. Six times means I’ll need a new gimmick for the titles next year! Does anyone have a list of Star Wars novels?
There’s been nine of Extraneous Thanksgivings, officially, but we took a couple years off. No Master Chefs since I moved away from Philly. Very little Master Chefs since Jerry and Skabs moved out of Apartment 711N. I don’t know if this will go anywhere. I hope it does. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It fills me with nostalgia, and hope, and turkey. It’s difficult to imagine a better feeling.
In contrast to our decadent and complex meal, we’re going to teach you something simple. It’s been a long time since we’ve done this. Let’s take it nice and slow.
Southern Style Biscuits and Creamy Sausage Gravy!
Souther Style Cheddar Biscuits!
Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Crisco, Butter, Buttermilk, Cheddar
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
If you’ve made our world famous cornbread then you should know where we’re going with this. Take a large bowl. A bigass bowl. The best bowl you have, because these are the best biscuits you’ll ever lay eyes on (or make… or, at least, the best biscuits you’ll bake on the day you bake these specific biscuits and assuming you are not a baker who baked biscuits previously on that same day).
Right. Two cups flower, 2 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and an entirely arbitrary amount of cheddar cheese. Mix that all together. Cut in 1/4 cup Crisco. Consider doing this with a pastry cutter. If you don’t have access to a pastry cutter, consider pawning off responsibility to someone credulous and nearby (I suggest Ben).
Cut them together until you’ve got little pebble sized lumps of dough. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Pour in your buttermilk and sweep it around until everything’s nice and sticky. You know what daddy likes.
Flour a board and flour your hands. Spread that shit out. If you’ve got a cool board it’ll have concentric circles telling you how big to make a pie or a tart or a cake. It’s fascinating, it’s mezmerising… it’s… totally irrelevant. Just smash out the mix until it’s about half an inch thick then start cutting out two+ inch wide circles. You may find that a coffee mug or a wine glass is perfect for this perfect, and who do I think I am that I should argue?
You might find yourself getting thirsty, but your hands are all doughy! Fortunately, you had the foresight to set your beer next to you on the floor, and can grip the neck with your teeth like a circus seal, taking swigs to the horror and shame of all around you, some of whom are cute girls. That’s okay! You are a very brave biscuit maker person!
These biscuits don’t expand overly much, so you can set them pretty close together on the rack. Cook them in the oven for ten minutes or so. Be especially mindful towards the end, because they will burn and you will cry. Greasing the bottom of your baking sheet might help with that, but I couldn’t tell you through all my tears.
Creamy Sausage Gravy!
Butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper, sausage
Whatever sausage you get it don’t matter. Maybe a quarter of a pound. Four relatively small patties. As long as it’ll crumble up nice in a pan. Brown that shit. Break it up. Make your mamma proud. Lord knows nothing else you’ve done is gonna do it. Actually, just do that whenever you want. Or, again, make Ben do it. He’s a vegetarian, but he won’t mind. It’s not very exciting, and this is not a blog post for people who want to do not very exciting things.
Here’s where the magic happens. FIVE tablespoons of butter. That’s right. More than half a stick. Melt it. Kind of move it around. Low head, don’t let it burn. When it’s nice and melted, thrown in four tablespoons of flour. Little bit of salt, little bit of pepper. Then just start stirrin’ that bitch. Flip it around. Move it back and forth. Have some fun with it. Over time it’ll turn brown and chunky and not very liquidy.
That’s your queue. It’s milk time. A cup of milk, right in there. Real milk. Big boy milk. Whole milk. No wussy skim. No “Oh I only drink 1% it tastes the same in cereal anyway.” Whole milk. RED CAP. Kick that heat up to medium and keep stirring. Add another cup of milk over time, until that stuff is as thick as you need it to be. (Protip: you need it to be very, very thick, because that’s how you roll, gravy man, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). When it’s reached the desired thickness (you’ll know when, I believe in you, even when nobody did, I was there) sprinkle in the sausage. It’s ready! More salt and pepper, as much as you want. It’s your day!
Extraneous Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday that’s an offshoot of my favorite holiday. In fact, Thanksgiving is just a long-form extension from Wednesday to Sunday where I get to see people I may not have seen since the LAST Extraneous Thanksgiving. In these internet days, with your instant messengers and your bloggernets and your Skype mobile telephone service, it can be easy to forget how much you miss someone until you see them face to face.
I wish every day was Thanksgiving. I also wish scientists would invent an artificial stomach valve that would allow me to divert consumed food directly to my intestines without going through the messy process of digesting it for nutrients that pretty much serve only to make me fat. I guess that would make my poops something out of Cthulian horror, but at least I’d maintain my girlish figure.
Enjoy your biscuits! There’s more pictures!