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Cooking American in Germany: Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy

Step one: Get a craving for biscuits and gravy because of course you do.

Step two: Too bad! It’s Sunday, no grocery store in the country is open.

 Step three: Troll through the hundreds of unique, southern, authentic buttermilk biscuit recipes by a southern grandma or the way uncle Joe used to make them or from somebody’s neighbor’s aunt during the civil war. Decide every recipe is identical, choose the one with the most readable font. Make a list of everything you’ll need because this time, you won’t have a cooking fail dangit.

Step four: Wallet? Check. Weekday? Check? Grocery list? Check. Cloth bag so you don’t have to pay for a bag at the register? Check. Off to the grocery store!

Ground breakfast sausage (a package worth)
Buttermilk (enough)
Shortening (in whatever size they sell it here?)
Milk (I’m out anyway. I also need more frosted flakes)
Flour (already have this)
Baking Powder and Soda (also already have this)

Step five: Forget your cell phone, and the German translation of shortening. Germany, why u no have crisco? Choose something that looks promising and hope for the best. (There’s pictures of sugar cookies on the container, this has to be it.)

Step six: Germany doesn’t sell ‘breakfast sausage crumbles’ either. Buy ground meat instead and prepare to season it yourself. (It won’t taste the same, but it’s still pretty good.)

Step seven: Get home, check the internet, you did not buy Crisco. Germans are monsters that use margarine to make Christmas cookies. Debate going back to the store, but the sun has set at AN HOUR AGO AT 4:30 IN THE AFTERNOON AND IT’S COLD DANGIT.

Step eight: Refine your ingredients list.

Ground breakfast sausage beef because the store was out of every other kind of meat at 5 o’clock in the afternoon
Buttermilk (one yogurt container because that is how Germans package buttermilk don’t ask me why)
Shortening Butter (a square package worth because apparently sticks are for barbarians/Americans)
Milk (like a splash of it)
Flour (about 2 cups and then some)
Baking Powder (the whole little package because you just read that German baking powder is weaker than American and that is probably why all three batches of cookies last week failed miserably. Or at least you’ll tell yourself that) and Baking Soda

Step nine: Make biscuit batter. Approximate 2 cups of flour by using a drinking glass, and mix with the package (yes, Germans sell baking powder in individual envelopes. So much for saving paper.) of baking powder, some undetermined amount of baking soda, a few shakes of salt, and cold butter cut up into pieces. Wonder why it doesn’t look right. Remember the buttermilk, manage not to pour too much in and this is actually looking promising for once, don’t jinx it.

Step ten: Recall that the recipe told you to knead the dough, but not too much, you might hurt its feelings and it won’t be flaky, just like a little bit of patting and folding.

Screw that. Press into vague rectangle shape on floured surface. Give up and break into ball-sized chunks. Put on baking sheet and put in oven. Turn up the oven temperature because you forgot how to convert to Celsius again you dolt.

Step eleven: Put meat in pan, add random seasonings. Lots of ground pepper. Throw in some bacon, because that sounds good and you have extra in the fridge. Remove meat but leave fat/grease. Mix with flour until thick, add milk and simmer for a while until it looks gravy-ish. Add meat back. You didn’t add enough milk so it’s not very saucy but WHATEVER IT WILL STILL TASTE GOOD.

Step twelve: Check biscuits every two minutes until right before they’re done, then forget for five minutes. Turn oven off in panic, remove over-browned biscuits. Hope everything at least tastes right, even if it doesn’t look right, because you promised your roommate food.

Step thirteen: Forget to take pictures for your blog.

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