Sunday, April 27, 2008

Apr 27: Biscuits and Gravy in a Box

I grew up on the West Coast where biscuits and gravy was not a common breakfast item. Biscuits and gravy is typical of the South and Midwest. In fact, I didn't know such heavenly goodness existed until my senior year in college. At least, I don't remember having biscuits and gravy before hand.

In my senior year, I was part of a group that went to Cleveland to present our aircraft designs in a student conference.

Why Cleveland? The city with the river that caught on fire? The city that's known as the "mistake by the lake"?

The funding for the project was provided by NASA. Each year a different NASA facility would host the student conference. That year NASA Lewis* (in Cleveland) was the host site**.

What does this have to do with biscuits and gravy?

Well, we were in Cleveland for about a week so we ate out daily.

One restaurant near the hotel was a Bob Evans. Bob Evans serves classic American food.
That's were I experienced my first order of biscuits and gravy. The sausage gravy was creamy, savory and peppered with little bits of tasty sausage. Gravy was served over crunchy on the outside, yet tender and fluffy on the inside biscuits. That entire week I ordered biscuits and gravy every time we went to the Bob Evans.

Imagine my surprise when I was walking through the supermarket and I spied the Bob Evans name on frozen Biscuits and Gravy. I had to try it out. It was on-sale for $2.50.

There were instructions for the microwave and the oven.
The gravy was heated in the microwave and the biscuit in the oven.

Overall, the gravy was flavorful, but a little salty/msg tasting. Indicative of a processed food. I was worried that the biscuits would be little dense, hockey pucks, but they turned out well. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Also, ample amounts of gravy to coat the biscuits.

Although I know how to make gravy, I just haven't been able to create a decent batch of sausage gravy. I think it has to do with the sausage available at the local market. Even the much advertised, nationally known brand is plain and flavorless to me.

I'm still searching for a good breakfast sausage to make my own country gravy, but in a pinch and for $.250, it's not bad. One thing I'd do differently next time is not microwave the gravy the full 5 minutes. My microwave would get the job done in 4 minutes. I did notice a drop-off in flavor at 5 minutes compared to the stir I gave at 4 minutes.

Food evokes pleasant memories...
Comfort Food: food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal

Comfort Food: Food that is simply prepared and associated with a sense of home or contentment.

*Note: NASA Lewis is now known as NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field or just NASA Glenn.

** Note: The following year, the senior class went to Florida. Although I had a great time in Cleveland, I still would have preferred going to Florida!


Anonymous said...

Very nice story to go along with your frozen bis'q-n-gravy... but, I think I will stick with my favorite of homemade with bacon.

Mom's recipe rocks!

Nice to see your adventure side! Hmmm... Yeah... I don't know... still seems a bit scary to me.

Eat4Fun said...

Homemade recipes are always the best, especially from our Mom's.

My mom didn't make bacon or sausage gravy so I didn't get my gravy fix until much later in life.

I wonder if that's why I'm hooked on it now.