Sausage from Scratch, Buttermilk Biscuits & how I went from a size 4 to 8 in one day.

I wonder sometimes how other food bloggers are coming up with ideas of what they want to make. Is it lined out on a chalkboard? On the ‘plan your blog’ app? Or is it a day to day decision? I wonder sometimes what I might create and share next… for about 3 minutes… because frankly, I’m under the impression that there are not enough hours, days, months or years to complete all the thoughts I have about food. So really, it’s a matter of focus, organization and lots of real time little notebooks and computer stickies. How do you decide?

The latest thought pattern went like this. Having just returned from Atlanta, I’ve had Southern Food on the brain. I innocently took a pic of Sara Foster’s most recent book, Southern Kitchen. I wasn’t really familiar with it, but the cover caught my eye and it popped up  as I perused my photos. Then yesterday I made pork chops and mushroom sauce. Then there was leftover sauce, which led me to biscuits and gravy. Thinking, thinking…..Despite the mass consumption of pork in Germany, I’ve not found proper italian/breakfast sausage. Possibly only for lack of knowing where to find it. Thinking then…. Why not make my own sausage? I don’t need it in casings. So I did. Because we are still in a bit of a healthy pause, I compromised by making small portions. Don’t laugh.

So pleased with the sausage, I was glad I hadn’t found it yet or I probably would not have tried it myself. This won’t be the last time either. It takes a little effort with the fresh herbs but you could also substitute dried herbs if you don’t have the time or desire.

I did some recipe research and came up with this: Don’t be shy with your teaspoons of fresh herbs…

{Print Recipes}

Simple herbed sausage: a little spicy

  • 1 # ground pork shoulder/butt
  • 1 T fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh marjoram
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of clove
  • 1½ tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar

I asked my butcher for ground pork with a little fat. Something like the butt or shoulder is good. Combine all the ingredients and if you have time let it chill for an hour. I used half in the gravy and put the other half in the fridge for patties. The sausage stood out nicely in my gravy. I’ll let you know if sitting over night made it that much better.

Then I got on with the gravy. My primary goal was the sausage. You can use your favorite gravy here or take a look at what I did. I start with a basic thin to medium roux (flour, butter, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg) and I’ve been adding soft goat cheese or sometimes feta. It started one night when I was making a white sauce for pasta and was out of parmesan. I had a soft chevre spread and used that. Then one night I tried feta… all salty and tangy. Wonderful.

Next I found Sara Foster and Simply Recipes shared a pretty similar biscuit recipe as did Joy of Cooking but they used less butter, so I went with the first two of course. Click on Simply Recipes and you’ll also find their sausage and gravy recipes. From them, I took what I deemed useful.

Biscuits: Adapted from Simply Recipes and Sara Foster’s (1/2 amount- made 8 small biscuits)

  •  1¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 8 T cold butter
  • ½ cup chilled and shaken buttermilk

Simply combine the dry ingredients, cut in the butter till crumbly then add the chilled buttermilk. The key is minimal handling so mix till just combined and form a 3/4 inch disk on a lightly floured board. Cut out biscuits with 1 1/2 -2  inch cutter. I used a 1/2 cup measure cup as my biscuit cutters haven’t moved to Germany yet. The last bits I mushed together… you can see which on it was too. Place in a 450°preheated oven for about 15 minutes, rotating once during baking.

Here are a few pics from our time in Atlanta.
First the food…Sara Foster’s latest book. I’ll buy it for sure this summer.
Breakfast one morning at Java Jive in midtown.
Great food, fun atmosphere… vintage small and large appliances.
Couldn’t leave town without fried eggs and grits and biscuits with my butter…
O had pumpkin ginger waffles- good taste, could have been crispier…and an interesting choice of lemon curd on the side. He was fascinated with the idea of sweets for breakfast.
And this is why I literally had to buy a new pair of shorts at the outlet mall to drive home in. My pants, already a wee bit binding were not willing to button post The Smith House.
Our last day, we made a trip to Dahlonega, a little touristy town, north of Atlanta. All you can eat… O went to town. So did my mom! Ok, we all did. This wasn’t going to be happening again for a very, very long time… like ever.
Fried Chicken, fried okra, flat beans,collards, stewed apples, sweet potatoes, boiled ham… and tea.
Followed by all you could eat shortcake… could only manage one.
Stay tuned for more Atlanta….
Happy Sausage making.
And this one was for you DAD!

29 responses

  1. Welcome home … and back to us. Make your own sausages – you’re some woman.
    Some journey food wise you have been on. Looking forward to more of Atlanta.


    • Hi Viveka… I did it the really easy way. I don’t think I eat enough to have a meat grinding attachment but it was fun to know how to just get it tasting like sausage. Although I fried up the extra as patties and they totally fell apart without something to bind it or the casing…. always learning.


      • Yes, life is a learning curve – always helped grandma with her sausage making for Christmas. She did liversausage. It was fun, but what a work up it seams to be. I still have her old grinder – but I don’t think I ever used it.


    • You got me thinking Marti… Gravy…Gimme Lean patties? Soy milk in the roux, margarine, mushrooms… would all work. As for the biscuits you could also use margarine or maybe an organic butter spread like Earth Balance…
      Maybe I’ll try something in the summer. I still don’t know the alternative ingredients so well here in Germany. I’m always up for experimenting but sometimes there are things that either just plain don’t taste as good or end up even less healthy with funky trans fats. I’ll let you know.


  2. My posts begin with a word.. for the poetry or thinking I write.. then the food or the reverse.. I think of an ingredient I love then start dreaming.. and something pops up:) I love new cookbooks as well, this looks to be an excellent one! I love that diner… my next home needs to have one of those little old stoves, or at least I’d love a cabin with one, I love the retro vibe!


    • Thanks for your input. It is an interesting process. I’ve really stopped planning because life seems to do a better job at delivering ideas. I found I was trying to fit the planned posts into the spontaneous ones or vice a versa. I think it is mostly a natural flow when you let it happen.


  3. Well … You sure know how to make your Daddy’s mouth water. Boy, do I miss those Cracker Barrel breakafts in Florida, not to mention the biscuits and sausage gravy at the West Sound Restaurant on Sunday mornings. That seems like another life now. I still make my instant grits with bacon grease and fried eggs every Sunday morning … to eat alone! Tsk … Tsk … (alone is good)


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  5. Coming up with food ideas worth blogging about can be challenging at times… For me at the moment it’s like half-baked ideas or even single ingredients popping into my head throughout the day, and I either jot them down on sticky notes or send emails to myself so I won’t forget. Then I try to review my collected thoughts and make something from them. There are times, though, when I get worried I have nothing worth blogging about. Those times I always remind myself that I’m blogging because it’s fun for me, and no one forces me to put a post out there, then I relax and an idea usually presents itself 🙂


    • Ha… I send emails to myself all the time too. Or on my calendar for the day we are back in the states… I have a long list. But my lists seem to constantly compound. They never get shorter. And ditto- why are we doing this? Because we want to and it’s fun. The only pressure I have is from me.
      Congrats on another versatile blogger award! wt


  6. Mmm….yummy looking biscuits!!! I live about a mile from Java Jive(!) Haven’t been in awhile, but I like how they put vanilla in their maple syrup. So simple and yet a nice addition. I want to start blogging about simple stuff like that, like macerating strawberries. etal…

    I’m having so much fun with my camera lately that my posts have been photo driven. I’ve had my eye on that cookbook too! Let me know if you get it how you like it. Instead I just bought “the food stylist’s handbook” (denise vivaldo), on a whim. I’m kind of curious what those folks are doing to food. I’m sure there will be a few takeways for us home cooks…will let you know if anything blows my mind 🙂 Love your posts, your ‘voice’ always makes it very easy to follow along with your mindset and sequence of events.


    • I probably passed you in Piedmont park or at Virginia Highlands one of the 3 times we got frozen yogurt. I hear you on the photo driven. Did you ever check out the little videos I did… talk about obsessed- but they were so much fun to make. And can you please look at the herb photo I just added. It really grinds my grill when I forget to put up a photo I really liked… and I’m sure the post is past it’s viewing prime 🙂
      That looks like a good book you got. I’ll check it out this summer. I need an updated photography book. And I’ll let you know about Southern Food. I’m pretty positive it will be a good one. Have you checked out Helen Dujardin’s book? Her workshops sell out in like 3 minutes but she’s based in Charleston- not so so far from you.
      The one I’m doing in Sussex is Plate to Page. The travel hasn’t been quite as easy as I had hoped but I think it will be a good one.


      • Ooh. love the herb photos. and I was tickled (I giggled) when I watched your slideshows) I get it. 🙂 So yes, you probably did pass me! I live in VaHi( morningside). I will check up Helen Dujardin. Sussex sounds like a great weekend…


  7. I am sure that sausage with fresh herbs was divine. If I could make a suggestion: next time throw one egg in to help it bind. Since I have been living overseas (25 years and counting!) I have had to make my own in many places. It’s cheating but I bring back Breakfast Sausage and Italian Sausage Seasoning from Penzeys Spices. Mix with some pork and an egg or two, depending on your amount. So easy and delicious! I make up a batch and freeze the patties so it is easy to take just a few out at a time for a weekend breakfast. Which helps with your portion control. 🙂


    • Hi Stacy,
      Thanks- it worked fine for the sausage gravy but I made patties the next day and sat there eating crumbles thinking right… casings… or binders. Egg is a great answer. And freezing for portion control-good. Although living overseas, have you had one of those under counter fridges? My freezer is the size of a very large bread box. Really I can’t believe I’ve lived with it for this long. Definitely keeps me buying fresh!
      Where are you from originally?


      • We had a pretty small refrigerator in Paris but have been fortunate in the other locations. I also must confess to buying a separate deep freezer which has been hauled around with us, sometimes having to live outside in a covered carport when the house doesn’t have enough room. I am particularly grateful for it here in our current location – Cairo, Egypt – because I am not allowed to drive the company car and it would make me crazy to have to go to the store every other day for dinner supplies – with no wheels of my own. You can read all about me here: And thanks for asking because I suddenly realized that that page was somehow stuck in Edit mode and wasn’t showing up on my blog. Who knows for how long! This blog stuff – I’m still learning.


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  9. Beautiful sausage mince with that creamy gravy and I love the biscuits (what we call scones!) I have so many of those Travelling and eating holidays, far too many which I’ve enjoyed, but I figure that’s what a holiday is for. You get away from regular life and habits and for a little while get to enjoy someone else’s habits… 😉


    • I love them both… My scones are usually a little sweeter and very slightly denser. I had fun realizing I could do sausage tasting pork without the casing. Don’t know what took me so long. I’ve wanted to make since then cheddar jalepeño bacon biscuits… Yum.


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