People Who Make B&G
Chuck Green’s “Drinking Man’s Biscuits & Gravy”
In a world where heroes have fallen, in a world where media events are objects of daily worship and religion is relegated to holidays which bow to commercial obeisance; where Y2K lurks eerily around the millennial corner and sports stars refuse to play until they get more pay (and all the old values seemingly crumble around us) -- where do we look for good, wholesome, old fashioned heroes? Where do we look for fortitude and for a tradition with the flavor of generations? One simple answer: people who make B&G.
When role models are scarce, B&G cooks are steadfast and sure, providing true blue vittles that taste just like they did when your granny was born on the homestead. Never mind about heart disease and lactose intolerance, B&G provides a road to the past on a well trod path that will take us safely into the future. Think about it: all its dangers are known. We know we’re ingesting potentially deadly manna, and we know how to avoid its deleterious effects; it's a sure fire winner. No Y2K bogie men, no untested side effects.
With the world gone so wild, the safest bets are close to home, and likely you’ve got a Chuck Green not far from your own. Chuck Green is an everyman, a father, a grand father, an American patriot who joined the military in 1942 at a tender, idealistic age to fight the good fight. He’s the story teller, the man with a calm hand and an easy laugh with a keen skill for frying vittles and cutting the Thanksgiving turkey. But more than that, Chuck took his military chef experience and turned it into a penchant for slinging dough and concocting heavenly gravy.
Chuck makes his gravy much like any chuck wagon cook would -- and he calls it “the drinking man’s B&G.” I call it “gravy in a cup.”
Well, let me back-up a bit -- there was a big fight on, and Chuck was going to be in town. He’s read the B&GQ since the first issue and we’d talked several times about the art of B&G. Let’s just say it’s been three years talking about a B&G rendezvous, and it culminated one evening with pizza, beer, boxing and B&G.
That’s a witches brew of entertainment, no doubt, and a break with breakfast tradition, and though complainers and raised eyebrows abounded, when the gravy was done and the biscuits served, I’m telling you pizza and beer were passed over and the hum of “good gravy” came from every embiber, while hoots for the boxer’s blows were followed by a one-two-chew and swallow of B&G.
Now, there’s something just slightly odd about B&G at night, and on fight night no less; but when those boxing mavens finished their first serving, the weirdest damn thing I’d ever seen began to take place: the revelers put their plates in the sink, and even though the Texas-sized biscuits were browned to tasty satisfaction, on second serving people passed right by the biscuits, spooned the gravy into a cup and then into their mouths with tablespoon tenacity. Among the big hits that night in the boxing ring, none was bigger than Chuck Green’s gravy in the kitchen.
Though Chuck made a heapin’ pot, there was barely enough for this critic to take home for the next morning’s biscuits. And I'll be damned if over night that gravy didn't gain more flavor, and this hombre sat at the table savoring every bite.
In the year of double zeros, where our heroes and traditions have lost their once unsullied character, in a time the when Heavy Weight Champ is no longer the unquestionable champ, in a time when everything once unquestioned has been upended, to grasp a moment of tradition, one often has to be untraditional. That night, so went B&G with boxing and gravy in a cup.
Chuck and I had our B&G and I’m still mouth watering crazy over that gravy. So’s you can have your own fix, follow Chuck’s recipe and take a stroll down memory lane to an era when food that stuck with you was a good thing. Then, if you're feeling really rambunctious, stretch out on the couch, nurse the remote with a lazy thumb, and fall off to a nice, long, ignorant nap with a smile on your mug. Now that's good stuff.