Strangely Coincidental Or Movie Influenced?

It’s already Wednesday, it’s predicted and expected to be a mild day here in Michigan.  I hesitate to say “nice” because although the temperature is expected to rise to about 60 degrees, it’s wet and rainy.  I’m not going to get too excited about the temperature today after all we do live in Michigan and the weather here is temperamental and fickle, tomorrow it’ll plunge back into the low 30’s.

As I get closer to my weekly grocery shopping day, trying to figure out what to make next week based on what’s going on, what we have a taste for, a new recipe to try and so on, I began to give some thought about how I set up my meal planner.  Generally I like to have a variety, Italian, Mexican, etc….however Walt jokingly pointed out that our meals are influenced by what I’ve watched, read, or even eaten in the previous week.  It did give me something to think about and I did wonder if he was right which made me remember something that occurred last week.

One night early last week I was the first one to call it a night.  Sleepy but not really, I turned on the TV in our room and “Open Range” with Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall just so happened to be on the channel that came on.  I had caught bits and pieces of the movie a few times, really just a few seconds at the time, but long enough to know it was a western with Costner and Duvall, two actors that I actually like so when it appeared on the screen I decided to leave the movie on since it had just started.

Not long after I settled in for the night Walt followed.  He looked at the TV, chuckled and said “What are you watching?”  I told him it was “Open Range” and he laughed, thinking it was an odd choice for me, the die-hard love story movie fan (Titanic, The Holiday, The Ugly Truth, shall I go on?).  I asked Walt if he wanted to watch the movie with me, he said no but laid down on the bed and turned on his side.  A few minutes passed, he lifted his head toward the TV, within minutes he was on his back, within seconds he found his glasses on the headboard and put them on, just a few minutes more passed and pillows were being propped up behind him.  When I questioned him about watching he “shhh’d” me and it was my turn to chuckle.  Before the end of the movie I was asleep, Walt watched the movie and turned the TV off when it ended.

Thinking back on that night I laugh out loud for two reasons.  One because Walt insisted he had no interest in the movie, he is generally not a Costner fan except for a few and they all revolve around baseball in some way and two because the day after I watched the movie, or at least I watched a good portion of the movie, I started my menu plan and grocery list for the following week.  I laugh because whether the movie influenced me or not this week’s meal planner includes beef stew, an old fashion chocolate cake as well as biscuits and gravy.  Is it strangely coincidental that they are all foods of that era and of that time period or did the movie influence my thought process while I was making up my lists?

There is a scene at the beginning of the movie where Costner and Duvall and two other cowboys are sitting around a big pot over an open fire, you could assume that it’s some type of stew in there.  Later in the movie, although you don’t actually see what he makes, Costner offers “let an old cowpoke fix you some breakfast” and it is implied that he makes breakfast for Annette Bening’s character who stayed up all night caring for Duvall and Costner’s friend who was severely beaten up.  So let’s see, we have a big old pot on an open fire which could have been stew and Costner, an old cowpoke making breakfast…so of course biscuits and gravy comes to mind.

We already know that “Under The Tuscan Sun” brings out the closet Italian in me and I cook up an Italian food storm after watching it.  So is, or can my meal planning be based on what movies I watch?  Is it intentional or coincidental??  Those are the probing question of the day.  I guess I should make sure that I don’t watch movies like “Beethoven,” or “Marley & Me”  before I start putting my weekly meal plan in place, Walt could end up with dog food hash or a soup bone casserole on his plate!

Today the old cowpoke is coming out to share a Sausage Gravy recipe with you.  I don’t know where I found this recipe, I’ve made others but this one is so easy make…tasty and mistake proof.  If I recall, I think one of the reasons why I looked for an easier sausage gravy recipe was because of Nikki and John, at the time I wanted something that they could easily follow and put together, they had graduated and were starting to venture out on their own.  This recipe has been Nikki and John’s favorite sausage and gravy recipe, Walt’s too once I made it for him after we were married.  This is yet again, another one of my “put away and forgotten recipes,” which has been replaced with new breakfast casserole type dishes.

Just a little side note I want to share (I know, I can’t help it).  This recipe does not call for the addition of any additional grease, however, I always have  bacon frying when I make this, Walt likes bacon on the side, so always add some of the bacon grease (just the grease from one batch) to the onions and sausage then I begin to brown the sausage with the onions in the bacon grease.  You don’t have to, it’s delicious without it, it’s just what I do.

I have this recipe written down and stored in my memory, I couldn’t remember where I found it so that I could share the source with you.  After doing an internet search I did discover that it was indeed a Nestle’s recipe so I’ve included the link below.  Here is the recipe for a delicious and easy sausage gravy.  I cheated, I did not make my own biscuits, I used “Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits”   If you love sausage and gravy give this a try, let us know how you liked it.


Sausage Gravy

What You’ll Need:

1 16 oz pkg            Bulk breakfast sausage (I use Bob Evans Maple, you can use any)

1                              Small onion – chopped

6 tbsp.                    Flour

2 – 12 oz. cans       Nestles Carnation Evaporated Milk

1 Cup                      Water

1/4 tsp.                   Salt

Hot pepper sauce to taste (Start with 1/8 tsp – increase to taste)

Hot Biscuits

**Couple tablespoons of bacon grease – optional**


  • Cook sausage and chopped onions, stirring and breaking up the meat until sausage is cooked through
  • Add flour – mix well
  • Stir in evaporated milk, water, salt and hot sauce
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil
  • Reduce heat to medium low; cook for about 5 minutes until mixture becomes thick
  • Serve over hot biscuits



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