Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Old Fashioned Country Breakfast.

A Country Style Breakfast for Two.
Now I have never lived, nor worked, on a farm, so cannot truly attest to farm life.  I have gone to Amish homesteads that served family style meals, and the money paid was highly worth it.  Another reason I miss living in PA, the variety of foods, not found here in Utah.  Oh, the attached links, or long loops, of country sausages filled with beef, pork, or a combination of both.  Some containing apple, sage or others types of fruits and herbs; grilled or pan fried, they were always sought after.  Closest we get out here is from the local, or super, markets; way overpriced and just not right; the taste and texture are just not right. Oh, then there were the farmers markets, the butchers who sold those sausages, also sold thick cut, yet lean, bacon.  I have tried so many brands that are packaged, but, once again, nothing seems to come close to the taste and texture of bacon from the butcher.

Country Sausage, King's Meat Market, Green Dragon Farmers Market, Ephrata, PA
Bacon, Lancaster Farmers Market, Lancaster, PA

Recently I tried a new brand of bacon, Buckley Farms, and their price was pretty reasonable, compared to others.  It wasn't until I began preparing it that I noticed, up in the far right corner, a rectangle red box with the words, "Gluten Free".  'cuse me, what!?!  Bacon is meat from a pig, there is no gluten in meat, poultry,'s from grain!

Oh, I just had to find out what the heck this was about.  Bacon is only made out of pork belly, pepper, salt, sugar, spices, smoke flavor, and nitrates: no gluten products.  However, some companies cannot make any guarantees, due to the potential of cross-contamination, between equipment used at processing facilities that also process products that do have gluten within.  You know, sort of like buying a product that has a warning of, "equipment used may also be used for peanuts, nuts and soy".  It's not in the product you purchased, as an ingredient, but might have slipped in during processing, due to the equipment having trace elements still within it.

Buckley Farms' marketing team is smart with this.  Now folks, especially those with a true allergy to gluten, will know, for a fact, that this product won't make them sick.  Those, of course, who jumped onto the gluten free bandwagon, will snatch up the product as well.  Buckley Farms guarantees there is no gluten, no how, no way, in their bacon.  The other brands?  Well, you'll just have to take your chances, right?

Me, I like packages that allow you to see exactly what you are buying.  If it has lots of meat, and little fat; that's what I want!  Some packages, you don't know till you get home, and it's often disappointing.

So all this leads me to my version of a country style breakfast...bacon, country sausage, eggs, toasted bread of some sort, or biscuits, and potatoes, hash browns or home fries.  In other words, the works!

While the coffee is brewing, I begin frying up the bacon; we like it crispy, not wimpy.

Then comes the shredded potatoes, diced green and red bell peppers, diced red onion (sweeter), and black pepper...into the bacon fat sitting in my skillet!  Five minutes on one side before flipping it over, five more minutes; another flip and then I just let it sit and brown away for 5 minutes; flip, another five minutes...20 minutes (on high heat) and the most awesome hash browns.  That's right, I am a kitchen doctor; I doctored those shredded potatoes until they were ready to jump out of the skillet and join a conga line.

Bread is a mood thing, maybe I want to make biscuits, and maybe I don't.  I'm the cook, my choice, so there.  I had some nice rolls that I cut in two, toasted and slathered with butter.  Sometimes I even splurge and serve breakfast with toasted bagels, again, slathered with butter.

Now while the biscuits might be baking, or bread item is toasting, the eggs take up residence in the skillet.  Could be scrambled, could be over easy; this day, it was over easy with a dash of ground black pepper over each.  In PA, they call these "dippy eggs", cause they are cooked just right to dip the toast into that yummy yolk.  So good!   We like to put the "dippy eggs" over the hash browns and then mix them in.  A diner we enjoyed going to called this, "Irish style" and served corned beef hash with it...drool!!!

A Country Style Breakfast fit for King and Queen Cokenour.
All cooked, plated and ready for eating; busy day ahead and we need to get stuffed as we're not sure when we'll have time for another meal.  Wow, I remember when folks would come over to help us with a project, and I think they volunteered just to get breakfast.  True friends still in Pennsylvania and we miss them a whole lot!

Mary Cokenour

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