Crazy Charlsie Part Part 15

Charley never spoke of Marzell’s visit.  Coming down early the next morning, he sat down to breakfast with his father and Cora.  He buttered a couple of biscuits and poured syrup over them. “I’m starving!  Can I get some eggs and bacon, too?”

”Why, shore, Honey.  You need to put some meat back on them bones.”  She grinned putting a cup of coffee with lots of cream before him.  “Them eggs will be ready in just a minute.”  In no time, a plate of grits, eggs and bacon sat in front of him.

Charles was delighted to see Charley downstairs and hungry, but was careful not to overdo it.”Good to see you up and about so early.  I guess you’re back trying to eat me out of house and home like your brothers.”

“I feel good, Dad.  Do you think you could take me out to the farm? I want to work with Robert and Bobby.  Farm work will make a man of me if anything will.”  Charley was clearly ready to get on with life.

“Let me make a quick call.  It’s my half-day and I only have two appointments.  Dr. Jones can pick them up for me.  He owes me, anyway.  He just got back off vacation and ought to be plenty rested.”  In just a minute he was back.  “We’re all set.  Cora, can you give Bessie a call and let her know we’d love some of her fried chicken for lunch if she has a fat chicken penned up.”

“Dr. Charles, could you bring me back some eggs, fresh cream, buttermilk, and greens.  If the dewberries are ready, could Freddy pick me some?  Oh, and if possible, could you bring me a rooster.  Bessie done tol’ me she was gonna git  Robert to fasten one up when I talked to her last week.  It sure would be handy if you could bring it.  I got to make some chicken and dumplings and chicken and dressing for my church’s Sunday Dinner on the grounds? You know I’ll make plenty for y’all, too.  Ginny has been beggin’ to go to services with me ever’ since she found out we gonna have baptizin’ this Sunday.  She never wants to miss that.  I sure hope they’s enough dewberries for me to make cobbler and put some up.  Y’all seem like you can’t never git enough dewberry jam.

After the weeks of languishing about, Charley welcomed the normalcy of the morning.  He knew he’d always held a special place in Charles’s heart and Cora was simply, Cora, the only mother he’d ever known and his soft place to fall.

Just then, Ginny came banging down the stairs.  “Cora!  Charley ate all the bacon and grits! That ain’t right!  You know bacon and grits are my favorite!”

“Don’t you go startin’ nothing with Charley.  If you hadn’t been so lazy, you’d a got yore share.  Sit down and drink this milk and eat a biscuit while I make you some bacon and eggs, but grits takes a while.  Are you gonna still want some if I fix’em?”

“Since Charley got all the grits, can you make me some chocolate gravy? That don’t take long.   I love that.”  In a bargaining mood, felt she might have an advantage.

“How would know how long it takes to make chocolate gravy, young miss?  I ain’t never caught you cookin’ none.”  Cora was already getting out the pan and the cocoa.

“Ooh, thank you, Cora.  I love you.”  She leaned against Cora, always ready for a hug.

“Huh, you loves chocolate gravy.  You’d hug a hobo if he made you chocolate gravy.”  Her smile belied her gruff words.

Charles pushed out his chair and leaned back in his chair.  “Can I get another cup of coffee!”  obviously, basking in the wonder of a happy morning.  They’d survived many hard times in the past and would face challenges in the future, but today was a good day.


Chocolate Gravy (Serve over hot biscuits)

1/4 c. cocoa

3 tbs flour (can sub 1 1/2 tbs corn starch for 1 1/2 tbs flour for ease in getting rid of lumps if desired)

3/4 c. white sugar

12 ounce can evaporated milk.  (not sweetened, condensed milk)  Add 4 ounces water to bring up to 2 cups.  Can use fat-free if desired.(Ha!!)

1 tbs softened butter

2 tsp vanilla

Whisk cocoa, flour and sugar in dry sauce pan together till smooth.  Stir in milk and whisk till well-mixed.  (corn starch makes this easier)  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 7-10 minutes till it reaches consistency of gravy.  Off course it will scorch if not stirred constantly.  Add vanilla and butter and stir till well-mixed.

Get all you want before you serve it.  It goes quickly.  I used to make this for my kids for rainy days and holidays.






Great Food

imageFor a hearty, satisfying breakfast, give this a try, homemade biscuits and sausage gravy.  Please note, I made no claims about calorie count or fat content, I just said hearty and delicious!  I simplified instructions for new cooks.

Linda’s Sausage Milk Gravy

Scramble one pound of breakfast sausage in skillet and brown slightly.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup flour.  Stir and smooth as it browns.  When sausage is not quite brown enough to serve, stir in 1 cup water to stop browning.  Stir until even consistency about like yogurt.  Stir in enough canned evaporated milk to get slightly thinner than gravy consistency.  Simmer 5-10 minutes, scraping skillet periodically to avoid burning until biscuits come out of oven.  It will get thicker as it simmers.  Taste before you season.  May be seasoned well enough from sausage.  If too thick, stir in a little more milk.  If you get it too thin, simmering will thicken.  Serve over hot biscuits.

Substitution:  Can make this gravy in bacon drippings.  Stir flour in hot (not flaming drippings.) Lower setting to medium.  Scrape bottom of skillet constantly with metal spatula as mix browns to mix well.  When the mix is smooth and slightly darker than mocha stir in about 1 cup cold water, stirring and scraping constantly.  Will steam and thicken quickly.  Add water or milk to dilute to gravy consistency. Whisk frequently and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes for smooth gravy. Season to taste.  May not need much salt.  Bacon is salty.  I like bacon gravy brown.  Adding milk to dilute makes gravy white, but you always need use water to gravy first to preventing scalding and curdling of milk.

Bud’s Biscuits(12 biscuits recipe can be easily doubled or tripled)

Get these in oven before you start gravy.

We use self-rising flour, but if you have all purpose, stir in 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt for each cup flour and mix well.

2 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

8-10 ounces evaporated canned milk dilute or concentrated to your taste.(save remainder of can for gravy.)

Pre-heat oven to 400 and grease baking pan. Cut shortening into flour.  You can use spoon or pastry blender.  When it is well-mixed and you don’t see big, separate lumps of shortening.  Mix in about 7-8 ounces of the canned milk, if you need to, add just a bit more till mix resembles stiff mashed potatoes. Mix will not be smooth.  Be sure to mix in extra milk a bit at a time if you must.  Dough has to be stiff enough to roll out.  Dust flour over top of biscuit dough and turn onto lightly floured surface. A clean smooth dishtowel, wax paper, or bread board work well.  Knead three or for times till dough well-dusted.  You can get ready to bake one of two ways.  Either roll dough out about 1/2 inches thick, with rolling pin, folding about four times to make layered biscuits and then roll to 1/2 inch thick, cut and bake.  The other option is flour your hands, pinch off dough about 3/4 quarters the size of your palm, dip in a bit of flour dust and roll three or four times.  Put in pan smooth side up.  Butter tops and bake at 400 degrees on middle rack till tops are starting to brown.

After biscuits cool, save left-overs in ziplock bag.  They are great for about three days.  The gravy reheats well, too.


Breakfast With Barbie

BreakfastMother’s house was bedlam the morning after Daddy died.  Someone made a quick trip to the store for breakfast fixings for Cox’s Army while the rest of us pulled the house back together.  The term “quick trip” was relative, since the nearest grocery store was twenty-two miles away. It was a mess since we’d had to find beds for fourteen the night before, Continue reading

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Child and His Puppy Have a Satisfying Morning

  1. Let your kid eat in front of the TV.
  2.  Forget to put Vaseline on the doorknob so kid can open door.
  3.  Make sure your kid has a puppy.
  4.  Make sure your kid’s stomach and puppy’s digestive tract are both full.
  5.  Go to bathroom for a little quality time.
                                             John and Buster on a Better Day
John and Blackie

We’ve all seen articles by organized people enumerating methods to keep out lives well-organized, tidy, and rational.  Well, this is not one of those.  I’d be far more successful at writing “How to Mess Up Everything You Touch.”  My kids were always right ahead of me, making sure nothing was missed.  When John was three, I settled him on the floor on a big towel in front of the television with his breakfast on a tray to watch “Sesame Street.  Never a slacker in the appetite department, he always wanted milk, eggs, bacon, toast, and grits.  I always watched with him, ready to pick up his tray and cuddle him in his blanket after he finished eating. This worked well for months.

One sad day, I had to excuse myself for just a minute.  Naturally, I told John to sit tight till I got back.  Everything would have been fine, except the Buster the Dog wanted in.  No three-year-old could have resisted.  Buster surely thought he’d gone to Doggy Heaven when he found breakfast waiting for him, set right at puppy level.  Making quick work of my tidy layout, he spilled the milk, gobbled the eggs and bacon, and smeared the grits as far as they’d go.  In fact, it was so altogether satisfying and filling, he pooped his gratitude out on the carpet.  Sickened by the smell, John vomited on top of the whole mess. By the time I’d finished my business and got back to the living room, John was bawling at the top of his lungs and Buster was happily burrowed into the sofa, licking the jam off the toast.

I scraped up the worst of the mess and fixed John another breakfast, not because I thought he deserved it, but because it was the only way to assuage his loud and continuous grief.  Buster went back to the yard and I spent the next couple of hours catching up on some unplanned cleaning.

As a footnote, I noticed fruit flies buzzing around John’s toy box later that morning.  Digging deep, I found a rotten banana right at the bottom, but that’s a story for another day.  Just so you know, later that week I pulled a peanut butter and jelly sandwich out of the VCR.

Breakfast With Barbie

BreakfastMother’s house was bedlam the morning after Daddy died.  Someone made a quick trip to the store for breakfast fixings for Cox’s Army while the rest of us pulled the house back together.  The term “quick trip” was relative, since the nearest grocery store was twenty-two miles away. It was a mess since we’d had to find beds for fourteen the night before, Continue reading

She Ain’t Got on No Panties!

First Grade School Picture

First Grade School Picture


I just loved Katie, Mother’s first cousin, though she only visited once, even naming my only daughter for her. Maybe that will make up for this horrible story I’m about to tell. Katie and Glenn came by for a few days after visiting my grandparents in Texas. Like all three-year-olds, I assumed they were my exclusive guests. Glenn was overshadowed by the lovely, Continue reading

Order Anything You Like, Chubby!

Mother at BreakfastI took Mother for her routine checkup this morning.  Her heart, lungs, vital signs, and weight were perfect.  In fact, at one hundred twenty-seven pounds, she weighs one pound less than when she married.  She’s in great shape for a sixty-year-old, absolutely phenomenal for a lady well-past eighty.  She’d had to fast for her lab, so she was ravenously hungry.  I pulled in to the nearest restaurant to get her some breakfast, in the interest of survival.  I think I have mentioned before, she is very tight, as well as Continue reading