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It’s all about the Biscuits and Gravy!

May 11, 2010

Photo by Gerik Parmele

Fried Trout, Biscuits and Gravy with Chunky Applesauce

Summers at “the lake” were glorious.  My parents had a summer cabin on Lake Wallowa located on the high dessert of the Wallowa Mountains and the little town of Joseph, Oregon.  Old Chief Joseph is buried near the shores and the area is rich with Indian lore and modern day cowboys.

The cabin had only two bedrooms but that didn’t matter.  The whole family came, summer after summer,  knowing we would be sleeping on any available flat surface including outside on the porch.  The nights were always very cool so we snuggled under the layers of homemade quilts watching the shooting stars and listening to the raccoons and skunks rattle through the garbage can and everything else they could find that was of interest.

Dad loved to fish and Mother went along to make sure he didn’t fall in the lake or some other silly excuse.  Truth be told, she loved to fish as well.

Most early mornings were disturbed by the putter of the fishing boat as it pulled away from the dock.  We snuggled back into the warm covers knowing that “yanks” would grace our breakfast table when they returned.  “Yanks” are really little land locked salmon which the Department of Fish and Game kept stocked along with trout in the lake.  The rainbow trout were much heartier and while still tasty, were generally everyone’s second choice.

As much as we loved the fish, breakfast on those beautiful summer mornings were all about the biscuits and gravy. Mom also made fresh chunky applesauce to go along and we even served the applesauce on top of the biscuits and gravy.  So important was this particular family food tradition, we would measure a prospective new husband or wife by how quickly they could be talked into trying the sweet and creamy concoction.  The keepers were the ones who ended up loving it as much as we did.

Now that my husband and I live in the Midwest, we have switched to salmon fillets because of availability. Our friend, Ken Scott, who knows how much we’ve missed the taste of fresh trout and who loves to fish, caught a mess of fresh trout. Bringing it by, it begged for an old fashioned breakfast just like we had at Lake Wallowa.  Thanks Ken!

Fried Trout (or any other fish of choice)

Mom seasoned flour really well with salt and pepper on a large dinner plate

Dredge the cleaned trout in the flour mix

Melt real butter in a skillet, usually 1 stick for 4 nice sized trout

Fry until the flesh flakes easily and the fish is crispy golden brown

Mom’s Sinkers (another name for her biscuits!)

Photo by Pat

4 large 3” biscuits

2 cups white flour

½ tsp soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp  salt

1/3 cup shortening

2/3-1 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Rub the shortening and flour together just using the tips of your fingers.  It makes thin flakes of the shortening and it’s those thin flakes that make the biscuits so flaky.  Stir in the buttermilk.  Just stir until it comes together into a soft ball.  Place the dough on a floured surface and lightly fold the dough over its self a couple of times.  Roll out to about 1 inch thick.  Cut with a large empty but clean tuna can so the biscuits are really big.  Pour enough oil in a 9×13 glass baking dish, enough to coat the top and bottoms of the biscuits.  Place a cut biscuit in the oil and turn it over in the oil and push it in place.  Follow with the other biscuits.  Bake 15 or so minutes or until the bottoms are golden and the centers are done.  Serve while warm.

Southern Cream Gravy

Makes 4 cups

1 stick of butter

½  cup flour

1 qt. milk

1 tsp. salt

½ cup sour cream

Melt the butter in a medium sized skillet

Add the flour to the melted butter, stir and cook a few minutes

Add the milk and stir until gravy has thickened

Season with salt, adding more if needed

Stir in the sour cream just before serving

Some people like pepper added, most of us didn’t care for it.

Chunky Applesauce

Makes 4 servings

4 large red delicious apples, peeled, sectioned and cored

(The best apples for applesauce are Transparent and Gravenstein apples if you can find


½ cup sugar or more for taste, we like it sweet

water for the bottom of the pan

Put about ½ cup or more of water in a medium sauce pan.  Water needs to cover the bottom.  Pour in the apple pieces and sprinkle with sugar.

Cover and let simmer until the apples soften, stir and mash occasionally.

The apples may be pureed in a food processor or left slightly chunky.

Serve warm or cold nestled right up there with the biscuit and gravy.

Published in the Columbia Daily Tribune May 12, 2010

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