Whoever negotiated the Jefferson Pilot 11 am SEC sponsorship needs to be alighted onto the company’s pedestal, made a member of the hall of fame, referred to as “First of His Name,” and otherwise made an object of adoration. Make him a partner if you’re not into that false idol worship. His company car should be something European and overengineered.
Here we are more than a decade after that particular partnership ended and a portion of a generation that began their college game day with the Mike’s can’t help but think of the early SEC game as anything but the JP game. That’s branding. Well played.
Now, we don’t like the early game, but rather than diving into that rabbit hole, we need to accept that we have the early game. Let’s make breakfast.
My parents are from the North. I have roots in Michigan, Ohio, New York, and New Jersey. They all got together and, fortunately for me, enjoyed each other’s company in Maryland. I’ve more or less lived in Birmingham since I was three. Until yesterday, I’ve never had sausage gravy on biscuits.
My wife, on the other hand, is an amalgam of Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, and a bit of California. She’s got backwoods recipes dancing about her chromosomes, impressing and taking bows when appropriate, and sneering at my Yankee-ish roots when the opportunity presents itself.
This is her Nannie’s sausage gravy, meaning her grandmother’s sister’s recipe. She makes it fairly regularly at her mother’s on Sunday mornings. I don’t go to Sunday morning breakfast, not out of animus to my in-laws, but because given the options of sleep or breakfast, I choose sleep every time.
Nannie’s Sausage Gravy
- 1 lb. breakfast sausage
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk, with a little in reserve if needed
- ½ tsp. salt - more to taste if needed at the end
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
- warm biscuits
Start by browning the loose sausage.
Add the flour. With the sausage fat in the pan you’re making a roux after the fact.
Add the salt and sugar and start pouring in the milk, a bit at a time. Stir. A bit more.
Right before serving add the pepper and taste for salt. My wife tells me that if you add the pepper too soon the whole project goes bitter, so mind her wisdom.
Pour over biscuits.
This is a hearty breakfast meant to keep the Arkansas sharecroppers sated from sunrise until whatever suet soaked lunch revived them for the afternoon. It should make mince meat out of the early game… because it is minced… never mind. Fill yourself up pre-kickoff.
I’m really hoping for Mac Jones to come out with the start tomorrow. It’s looking like that’s going to be the case so we can all send mystical and useless energy to Tua’s ankle. Heal, young man. Heal. Rather, heal young men. Heal. We are a triage unit right now.
As long as we are talking about breakfast, I’m looking for a trick to make hash browns that doesn’t end with me scrubbing burnt potato from the bottom of a skillet for an hour. I don’t mean home fries or any other pretenders. I want thin Julienned potatoes that get crunchy like they do at Waffle House. Any advice would be welcome.
Enjoy, no injuries (as if that little prayer has worked the last two seasons), and Roll Tide.