Breakfast is becoming the norm for my weekly Dark Days meal. Weekend mornings are a little slower paced than my weeknights have been the past couple weeks. Saturday morning I made one of my new favorite breakfasts: biscuits and tomato gravy.
I'm kinda new to tomato gravy, which is surprising. It's traditional Appalachian, what I call "country cookin'," fare. I've lived here all my life and had plenty of meals prepared by my grannies or someone else's "maw maw" where Appalachian cookin' is the standard cuisine. Since I've known him, Jeremy has gone on and on about tomato gravy. He couldn't believe I'd never had it. Late last summer, in the middle of high tomato season, I searched the internet and found a recipe for tomato gravy on this blog.
It was a pretty basic recipe, but OMG, when I took that first bite... I'm hooked. I modified the recipe a little bit, after my father-in-law's recommendations based on how his mom used to make it. She could cook like nobody's business. All from scratch and all pretty much not by recipe. Just a little of this and a little of that, and anything that lady cooked came out unbelievable.
Here's the recipe:
bacon or sausage grease plus butter or oil to make 2 - 3 Tbsp. of fat in a skillet
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. sugar or honey
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of fresh tomatoes, diced and seeded (or 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes)
1/2 cup milk, plus more as needed
Heat fat in the skillet and sprinkle in flour to make a roux. Blend with a spatula to smooth out lumps. Let roux brown slightly. Add milk slowly, stirring to combine completelly. Simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and crush slightly with the spatula. Blend completely and simmer until rethickened, about another 2 minutes.
I crumbled about 2 tbsp of sausage into the gravy for a little extra somethin'. My father in law said his mom did this with either crumbled up bacon or sausage for more flavor.
We had biscuits, sausage and tomato gravy. In the biscuits, the flour, shortening and baking power were from Kroger. (My local source for flour has been out of commission this winter--health problems :-( ). The milk was from Homestead Creamery in Wirtz, VA. The sausage was from White Oak Ridge Farm in Phillippi, WV. The tomatoes were canned by me last summer, and either came from my garden or were from Crihfield Farms in Jackson County. The sugar is organic Muscavo sugar from far away.