My whole family makes a big deal out of birthdays and we have been known to celebrate Birthday weekends, weeks and even whole months. We have traditions that are followed every year like a special breakfast of waffles, whipped cream and strawberries and opening gifts at the exact moment you were born. Of course my sister who was born in the wee hours of dawn follows this rule while I fudge a little considering my evening arrival time.
When Roem and I first started dating, I think he was a little overwhelmed at my birthday ardor. I asked him weeks beforehand what he wanted to do and what special meals we would celebrate his birthday with. He would wrinkle his brow and say, “Uh whatever you
want to make; I don’t really care”. Confused, I would make him the infamous waffles with strawberries and wake him up at 6am to open presents. He never really seemed to embrace these traditions as he picked at the waffles he later told me, “seemed like dessert” and blearily unwrapped gifts he was barely awake enough to appreciate.
This year, I decided to try to be more laid back about the whole affair. When he told me he didn’t really care what we did, I gave him a choice between two of his favorite bars where we could meet up with some friends. I made reservations at a cool restaurant he had mentioned wanting to try and slept in after he rolled out of bed to go on a run. We’re working out our own traditions and it seems to center around good food and drink, elaborate cupcakes, homemade cards, the company of great friends and a general gratitude we are celebrating another year of life together.
The one thing Roem has weighed in on this year, has been his birthday breakfast. He said, in no uncertain terms, he would like to enter this new year of life with biscuits and gravy in his belly. We usually eat pretty healthy diets over here at the WPP household but special occasions require the occasional treat. And really, there is nothing better than Southern breakfast to celebrate being yet another year older and wiser.
I love making breakfast at home because it’s an economical alternative to a restaurant, especially when I know my breakfast will be just as good. Maybe even better, when you count in my Blue Bottle coffee brewed with my new Chemex, which runs about $4 a cup elsewhere in the city. Plus it’s an excuse to stay in your pajamas a little longer, open a few birthday presents and share an illicit cupcake.
Happy Birthday my love!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently turn dough over itself a few times until the dough holds together and the dough is about 1 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter each biscuit, cut biscuit rounds and place onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.
- One 12-ounce tube bulk pork sausage
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks into small pieces until well browned about 7 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the sausage and cook until flour is completely incorporated, about 4 minutes.
Pour the milk into the skillet and bring the gravy to a boil while stirring gently. Lower the heat and simmer for about 2 minutes and season with pepper.
If you cooked the gravy while the biscuits were cooling then everything should be ready around the same time. I usually scramble a few eggs to serve with the already decadent breakfast. Split the biscuits in half and top each biscuit with some of the gravy and serve immediately.