Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

The Simple Life: Biscuits & Gravy Sandwiches

A hard rain drummed over the tent fly, and the tempest howled through the pines. Rain, and a good amount of it, beat over the land in aafterfocus_1378088476699_edit0 relentless onslaught, like pitch forks and hammer handles, and then, after reconsidering, up and went side-ways for a while, courtesy of the gales. My camping crony and I were held up in the tent, as if we had anyplace else to cower at such times, trapped deep in the wilderness. The lightning cracked through the heavens, and exploded like warheads all around us. And the thunder rattled the very earth upon which we hunkered. It was getting a little sporty out there.   Just another day camping in Minnesota’s Canoe Country. It wasn’t always like this though. Why, in point of fact, just a few minutes ago, we were enjoying a rather lovely supper over a crackling, jack pine, fire. It was pretty good too, by camp fire standards. So grab yourself a manly beverage, get comfy, and let me tell you about it.

It started as a simple respite, fire-side, frying up a pound of Jimmy Deans Italian Sausage. You can do it in a frying pan, or even wrap it in foil, and place it in the coals to cook. Whilst the sausage was arriving on the gastronomic front, we started up the biscuits over the campfire. It’s real easy to do too. As any camp fire gourmet knows, you do not need an oven to bake a biscuit. For reasons of simplicity, and patron to the lazy-camping arts, we procured one of them cans of biscuit dough from town. You know the kind. The kind that you peel open a bit, waiting for it to suddenly pop into submission. And we packed the frying pan full of them, and put it over direct heat.  Mean while on the camp stove, we set on two cups of water to boil. I looked up from the fire pit, and the lake reached like glass for the furthest shores. A pair of loons floated serenely out there, and wailed a lonesome, eerie song, which echoed through the forest prime evil, not to mention the very chambers of our souls. This was living. This day, this camp fire, this lake in the woods – pristine, and untouched by the wages of man. Glory!

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Time to flip the biscuits. All of which were done with a flip of the wrist, like a fine French chef, sending all six biscuits up into the air simultaneously, rotating in amber shafts of sunlight, and remarkably all landing as they ought to, back in the frying pan. My eye brow raised. I was expecting one or two maybe to exile for the ground, and roll happy-go-lucky through the forest duff, and topple on down into the lake, but every once in a while, we are mistaken for food ninjas. And we keep our mouths shut when we are, and nonchalance is at once or closest ally.

Sunbeams suddenly faded, like the turn of a dimmer switch on the dining room wall. Like the man upstairs was standing at the light board of life, pulling the sliders down, and raising some others, queuing the thickening clouds. A wisp of wind curled through the campfire. Thunder bellowed in the West. The water on the camp stove was boiling now. Time to add the gravy mix.  The easy kind of gravy you get from a packet.  One cup of water per packet. Nothing fancy in the hinter regions today, leastwise when a brooding storm gathers in the distance. Why must it always happen at supper time. Anyways, in short order, it all came together well enough. The sausage, the biscuits, and the gravy. And here is the trick to save on washing some dishes. Forego the plates and forks altogether, and instead, split a biscuit, lay some Italian sausage in there, and spoon in a couple globs of savory gravy, just because. A sandwich fit for a hobo. Or a king.

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Glory be, but they were tasty! We gobbled them all down, like hungry lions to a fallen wildebeest.  Each sandwich inhaled progressively swifter, as the rain drops began tapping like Beethoven over the land and the lake.  A hot-white lightning bolt suddenly splits the sky in two, and the rain increased, dousing our cooking fire, mercifully after the deed was done. We dash for cover of the tent, tucked into the forest hollow. And the tempest commences. But we are content. Well, as content as two fellows caught in severe weather in a little tent in the middle of the woods can be I guess.  For our bellies are at least full, having done that which we fiercely love. And if we were going to perish by lightening bolt today, we figured,  at least we would be well fed.

The storm eventually passed, like all storms do. We emerged from our little tent like two, unassuming ground hogs to assess our world. And it was beautiful. Washed clean, and renewed. The lake was like glass again, with a deep reflection of its wild shores. Rain drops tenderly cling from fragrant pine needles, and the loons serenade again, from across the bay. I wanted to mutter something profound, but that would only spoil the tranquility.

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Biscuits and Gravy Sandwiches, made over the open fire, under wild skies, patron to paradise. Man! The simple life, people. And how I long to be there once again. Amen.

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47 responses

  1. I am truly amazed, those biscuits look wonderful and on the grill no less. There is really little that can compare to biscuits and gravy. Delicious!!

    September 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    • Yeah, turned out good, and stuck to the ribs, as they say. Hard to beat.

      Thanks!

      September 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm

  2. Wow, The two of us are sat here reading the article drooling.
    Bang goes the diet and we haven’t eaten one yet!
    A cholesterol (Whoops) celestial master piece.
    Keep up the good work,

    September 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm

  3. debbeedoodles

    Great, now I want a sausage biscuit.

    September 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    • Hey, you do the same to us!

      September 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      • debbeedoodles

        Touché! 😉

        September 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm

  4. Reblogged this on Outdoor Living in New England and commented:
    I get so hungry whenever I look at this terrific blog.

    September 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm

  5. Clever twist on a classic. 🙂

    September 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm

  6. meg

    Yum, I’ll have to bring biscuit dough next time I go camping!

    September 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm

  7. You know, we’ve done biscuits, and we’ve done sausage, but we’ve never done gravy! That’s just brilliant!

    September 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    • Thanks. It was a last minute, culinary improvisation sort of thing. Really worked good. Least wise for camping it made sense.

      Thanks!

      September 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

  8. I know what I’m fixin’ for breakfast tomorrow! Not to upstage you or anything, but I’ll be adding maple wild pork sausage to my biscuits.

    September 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    • Of course you will! We expect nothing less from the deer slayer’s wife!

      September 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm

  9. These look soooooo good!

    September 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm

  10. Oh yeah! Oh, where’s the grits?

    September 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    • My apologies, none were on hand. Good is good tho!
      Thanks TJ!

      September 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm

  11. As always, you trigger food memories that are hard to replicate here in Ecuador. (No Jimmy Dean sausage, no poppin’ fresh dough, no instant gravy mix) But, my wife found a way to make her own Bisquick type mix and I keep discovering new places to get various types of sausages. I still remember the sausage section of Rainbow food stores in MN was fifteen or twenty feet long with scores of types of sausage! MMMMmmmm good!

    I may not get my selection of sausage, but I can get fresh lobster all year and shrimp the size of turkey legs! One of life’s trade-offs.

    September 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    • Shrimp the size of turkey legs! OK I see now why it is you moved down there. Wow!

      Great comment, John. Thanks

      September 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm

  12. As always a feast for the senses, both the reading and the eating.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

    September 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

  13. Liz

    Glad you enjoyed despite the rain. That gravy takes the sandwich over the top 🙂

    September 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    • Oh yes. Anything camping is usually better than not camping at all.

      Thanks Liz!

      September 6, 2013 at 8:58 am

  14. the sandwich looks good as does the rain. envy! 🙂

    September 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm

  15. Great post! There are fewer simple pleasures in life than enjoying the fruits of a wilderness cook fire. It’s usually a precursor to some quality contemplation time.

    I am always on the lookout for good wilderness fish-cooking recipes; so if you haven’t already posted on this at some point, I’d be very interested in any ideas you may have.

    September 6, 2013 at 5:42 am

    • Thank you Jeremy.

      We will have to let you know when we do some fish in the bush. We’ve done some write-ups here on how to plank fish, and how to smoke them too. But not wilderness methods. Just type fish into the search bar in the blog here, and you ought to find them.

      September 6, 2013 at 9:04 am

  16. Amen, Reverends!
    I remember my first trip to the US, and been offered biscuits and sausages which I have thought with my European brains to be some sort of crackers with hot-dog shaped sausages, just to end up on my plate with some bread-roll like buns, with rather flat burger patties…
    Well, the sweet lady baked us biscuits freshly out of hand made dough, and the sausages were just awesome with a fresh cup of coffee…
    Thank you for reminding me of the taste, even though your biscuits baked on open fire, cannot be matched by anything else but another half a dozen:-D

    September 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    • Very cool. Your travels are many, sounds like. It’s always fun to sample the local cuisine too, where ever you are. Crackers and hot-dog shaped sausages sound good enough, I suppose!

      Anyways, always a pleasure to hear from you. Have an excellent day!

      -POTP

      September 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      • Was listening to Ozzy’s Dreamer when your reply came through, so I just thought to myself, what a wonderful way to understand life, “dream it away”… And dream it away the way you just describe it in your posts, sounds good enough for anyone not to wish anything better… Well, perhaps no rain…:-D

        September 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

  17. DAMN !!!
    You’ve done it to me again my Brother to the South (West). *Salivating*
    I usta live in California, where I was 1st introduced to Biscuits and Sausage gravy. *Salivating*
    My Marital equivalent just doesn’t get it, when I make them here at home in Canada. That’s ok though … more for me!
    Now … off to the store for some fixin’s … Honey! … guess what’s for dinner … 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Thx again … for the great read and … the memories!

    September 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    • Ah very cool. I know it, some folk just don’t get what good is!

      Here’s to tight tummies!

      September 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      • Here, here … 🙂 Stay hungry friend.

        September 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm

  18. loooove biscuits and gravy! one of my all time favs!

    September 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm

  19. One thing is grilled bread but biscuits over fire. Could use some of those right now.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:36 am

  20. Reblogged this on My Crazy Creative Kitchen and commented:
    It’s my birthday today and the only thing I’m making today is cupcakes from a mix! LOL But I just love these guys and their unique approach to manly-man-ness! Poetic is an understatement… Together, they are the Lord Byron of the Grill! I am still drooling after reading this particular entry, so I do hope you’ll enjoy.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm

  21. Man…you are a Food Ninja!! Suddenly, I find myself longing for cooler weather so that I too may grab the camping gear and escape the trappings of civilization if just for a brief time. Alas, camping in weather ranging near 100 degrees is not something I embark upon. Great post. Wish I had me one of them breakfast sammiches right now.

    September 11, 2013 at 7:04 am

    • Thanks Griff. Yes, nothing quite so fine as a fatty, carbo-ladened, breakfast sandwich on the shores of a wild, northern, lake.

      100 degrees. Good golly. You have my thermal pity!

      September 11, 2013 at 9:29 am

  22. pinkrunnergirl

    YUUUM! I’m going camping this weekend and these would be sooo delicious.

    September 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm

  23. We diddn’t eat anything like that when I was in the Boundary Waters! Guess that means I have to go back 🙂

    March 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm

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