Friday, June 16, 2006

B&G Is What's for Breakfast Today

Some years ago, while breakfasting at the Skull Valley Cafe, I heard a local young woman comment about her recent trip to a Big City -- Chicago or St. Louis or some such. "I didn't see any pick-up trucks," she said, querulously, wondering what the heck was wrong with city folk.

My experience with things country and western is similar, in the opposite direction: until I moved to these parts, I had never heard of biscuits and gravy. Honest.

This despite the fact that I was an editor/writer on the biggest of the restaurant trade magazines in the country. For over 30 years. In all those years, we never ran an article that involved--or even mentioned --biscuits and gravy.

As a kid, I learned about grits when the family moved to the South. "Aren't yuh gonna eat yer grits, honey?" was the standard question in the cafes back then. And, no, I wasn't. Grits struck me as a tasteless, unnecessary side dish. Like rice. I never did eat my grits, honey.

But once I landed up in the hills here, I quickly discovered that B&G is another matter. Tasty! Especially when it is cold and you are about to climb down a little canyon as the morning's exercise. Besides, I always did like breakfast sausage.

When we moved West, my late husband, another city sophisticate, drove some of our goods west, accompanied by his son and a couple of young stalwarts. Son, who had recently been in the army, not only was a connoisseur of B&G, but knew which parts of the country offered the best. He was looking forward to Missouri, in particular.

It turns out that in the Missouri countryside, a serving of biscuits & gravy is yeti-sized -- even bigger than the standard oval plate out at the Iron Horse in Chino Valley, where I always settled for a 1/4 size bowl. Today, my little walks in the city hardly exercise me enough for a hearty breakfast of B&G, but then we might have a real winter one of these days.

It's been 30 years since we moved West and times have changed. I suspect that with the emergence of down-home chic, you can get an upscale version of B&G in any Manhattan bistro that serves meat loaf made from premium Angus beef.


catalyst said...

I felt the same way you do about grits until about a week ago. My wife picked up some instant grits at the store and incorporated some sharp cheddar cheese and a few dashes of tabasco into them. Tasty!

Granny J said...

True -- I suppose you could add sausage gravy & it would also be tasty ...however the best bet is to do the same cheese/tabasco treatment to potatoes & get the added benefit of a potassium zap, thereby helping to avoid leg cramps!

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