I was never much of a saver as a kid. My sister was, though. She would set financial goals for herself, knew exactly what she wanted to purchase with her savings, and made it happen. Can you imagine setting, following through, and reaping the rewards of a well thought out financial plan? Amazing. She also charged very reasonable interest rates when her 11 year-old sister (that would be me) came to her for the occasional loan.
Are you all familiar with the story of The Ant and the Grasshopper? The grasshopper fiddles and plays all summer long instead of preparing for the grueling winter to come. The ant, not to be caught unawares by the brutal elements, spends his summer collecting food and supplies to weather him through the snowy storms ahead. Predictably, the grasshopper regrets his reckless decisions when winter arrives and must beg for help from the ant to survive. The old school version has the ant standing by and allowing the grasshopper to perish. Our kinder, gentler, modern version has the ant lecturing the grasshopper as he invites him in to stay for the remainder of the season.
Can you guess which one I am? Which one are you? My grasshopper tendencies have me cooking an entire package of bacon during a singular cooking event because I just can't stop myself-- no thought of breakfast for tomorrow!
But, learning from both experience and fables, I squirreled away the bacon fat from the latest bacon cook-fest for another time. That time is today.
Biscuits and Gravy
Biscuits (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
3 C of flour (I used King Arthur Whole Wheat White)
1 tsp of salt
1 tbs of baking powder
1 tbs of sugar
6 tbs of cold butter cut into chunks
1 C + 2 tbs of half and half
Bacon grease for greasing the pan.
Preheat 10 inch oven-safe skillet at 425° for 20 minutes.
Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry cutter, or whatever tools or expertise your experience suggests to you, cut the butter chunks into the flour-mix until the mixture resembles a coarse meal sort of thing-- crumby.
Then add all the half and half at once, stir firmly and with purpose so that you can fully combine the mixture in under 10 turns of a large wooden spoon.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (counter or large cutting board, etc...) and knead about ten times.
Pat into a squoval shape disk that is a bit less than an inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, knife, pastry scraper (what have you) to cut the dough into roughly 2 inch diamonds or squarish shapes (no leftover scraps!).
Carefully remove heated skillet from oven and grease hot pan (using a paper towel)) with bacon fat.
Place biscuits in skillet, return to oven and bake at 425° for about 16 or 17 minutes.
Cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage (one pound) set aside in bowl
2 tbs of bacon grease
2 tbs of flour
2 1/4 C of milk (true story-- I used a mixture of nonfat milk and 1/2 & 1/2)
In the skillet used to cook the sausage (a 10 inch skillet), add 2 tbs of bacon grease and heat until melted over medium/medium-high heat.
Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes (should be bubbly and a light amber color). Add milk in a steady stream while CONTINUOUSLY whisking the gravy.
Bring to just a boil and let bubble softly for about a minute. Season with 1/2 tsp of salt and a few grinds from the pepper mill.
Add sausage and stir.
Will there be enough for leftovers? I guess that depends if you're a grasshopper or an ant. Or maybe you're just hungry.