Cooking Breakfast Should Include Hazardous Duty Pay!

by Texas Homesteader ~

We typically don’t eat breakfast so enjoying it is a special occasion indeed. Usually either when we’re on a vacation or every year for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day when our tradition dictates that the honoree get homemade breakfast in bed.

I typically opt for fresh fruit, yogurt and homemade pancakes. RancherMan always (and I mean ALWAYS) requests bacon, fried eggs, jalapeno/cheese biscuits and gravy.

But as I crept around the house quietly to keep from waking him as I prepared his honoree breakfast, it almost seemed like a comedy. How in the world did our grandmothers do it??!!

I treated RancherMan to a hearty breakfast of Homemade biscuits, eggs, bacon and gravy. Good grief - how did our grandmothers do it?? #TexasHomesteader

Preplanning The Night Before

I’d planned out everything the night before as I always do. I typically make up my Jalapeno/Cheddar Biscuit dough the night before so the dough is good and chilled when it’s time to bake ’em up.

So that’s just what I did. Sounds like I’m organized and on the ball doesn’t it? Well that’s where it all goes south…

Getting Everything Staged

The next morning before beginning breakfast, and also banking upon my experience of ill-timed breakfasts in the past, I first organized everything I’d need.

The bacon was brought out of the fridge and unpackaged. The cast-iron skillet for the bacon was sat next to it. I also brought out my Grandmother’s Cast-Iron Skillet for the biscuits. (and try as I might, separating those cast-iron pans was louder than I thought) 

Vintage square cast-iron skillet. #TexasHomesteader

Of course I brought the cold biscuit dough out of the fridge and the flour canister for dusting the counter.

The eggs were brought out too. And the water & gravy mix were measured out, the pan to cook the gravy placed on the stove.

Yeah, yeah – I know gravy is easy to make, and I make brown & giblet gravy all the time with ease.  Why-o-why can I simply NOT make white gravy??!!

Rest assured this willingness of mine to use a cream gravy mix instead of homemade is one of the ways I show my love to RancherMan – at least he won’t have to cut his gravy with a knife!  LOL

Feeling Confident

OK, now all is ready. This year is gonna be different. This year everything will go like clockwork. No more leaving the bacon to bring the biscuits from the oven. Or eggs burning because I’m working on another part of breakfast at the same time.

Perhaps I won’t have to wait so long for the biscuits to be cooked that the rest of the meal gets cold this year. Oh yeah, it’ll go smoothly this time. Here’s my tidy-as-can-be checklist:

  • Preheat oven, roll out the biscuits and put them in the oven.
  • While the biscuits are cooking, fry the bacon.
  • When bacon is done, butter tops of biscuits and return them to the oven.
  • Turn on burner for gravy’s water to come to a boil while eggs are cooking.
  • Fry 2 eggs.
  • Bring biscuits out of the oven.
  • Cook gravy 2 minutes.
  • Plate everything attractively (mom was right: Presentation is half the meal!)
  • Serve my handsome, much-deserving RancherMan his special breakfast with my hair tied up in a flowing ribbon, a dance in my step and a cheery song on my lips.

That’s where the illusion ends, my friends. Yes I was much more organized this year so that at least helped the breakfast prep go smoothly. Do I get brownie points for that? #pleasethrowmeabone

New Biscuit-Cutting Tool

First I put the cast-iron skillet in the oven so it could heat up while the oven was preheating. I started rolling out and cutting the biscuits.

Oh, and by the bye – I’ve now discovered and 8-oz pilsner glass is the PERFECT biscuit cutter. 

The hourglass shape is easy to grip, the lip is nice & thin and the diameter cuts the dough into jumbo size biscuits, which RancherMan prefers.

I treated RancherMan to a hearty breakfast of Homemade biscuits, eggs, bacon and gravy. Good grief - how did our grandmothers do it?? #TexasHomesteader

Dancing With A Hot Skillet

When the oven was heated I used a skillet-handle hot pad to bring out the hot skillet.

Now past experience tells me that if cast iron smokes even a tiny almost imperceptible amount, it will set off our smoke alarms.

Smoke from a toaster? Fine. Smoke from over-broiled charred veggies? No problem. Burnt spaghetti? Nary a sound. But the tiniest bit of smoke from a hot cast-iron skillet? Oh man, those smoke alarms will blare!

So as I held the hot skillet I inspected it carefully. Wait – is that smoke? No? Maybe! Now how awful would it be for me to be tiptoeing around trying to keep from awaking RancherMan and then have all the smoke alarms in the house blaring!

Worst. Gift. Ever!

So I quickly sprinted for the back door and stepped outside holding the hot the skillet. Of course by opening the door our security system sent out a loud double beep indicating such. (sigh…) Hopefully it didn’t wake him.

Now I’m standing outside with a very hot skillet in my hands, the padded skillet handle cover is keeping it from burning me… but just barely.

It gets hotter & hotter the longer I hold it. If the skillet is this hot, do I dare set it on the grass? No, I’ll kill a big square spot in the lawn.

What about the porch? Nuh-uh, a permanent burnt-in grease spot on the color-treated cement.

Maybe the porch swing? Oh no, it’s wood and would forever mark it.

So I stand there on the back porch shifting the hot skillet from hand-to-hand until I’m positive it’s not smoking.

Back inside I come, once again opening the door so our security system beeps loudly again.  (Poor RancherMan will never stay asleep through all of this!)

Trying To Keep Quiet

I place the cut biscuits into the skillet and pop them in the oven. But I don’t want to have Siri set my timer to cook them because she speaks the direction back to me.  Shhhh – Trying to be quiet here, Siri…

So I decide to set the timer on our microwave instead. But I haven’t used that timer in a long time – pre-Siri days of course. So it took a few tries. Each button I pressed (including the cancel button several times) included a nice sharp ‘BEEP’!  Now that’s not very quiet is it??

Bacon, Biscuits & More Noise

Now my attention was turned to the bacon. Oh how it sputtered and splattered. Each splatter strategically aimed at my bare arms and every square inch of my stove top! LOL

Finally the bacon was cooked and I zipped over to bring the biscuits out of the oven and butter the tops. Then I placed them back into the oven for the final 5 minutes to allow the tops to brown. \

Let’s see… set timer – time – 5 minutes – start  (4 more sharp beeps from the microwave timer.) Maybe Siri would have been quieter after all.

Back to that bacon. The slices that were cooking when I stepped away are now pretty crispy and a small almost-invisible thin line of smoke curls from the far end of the skillet.

Oh no – will that tiny bit of smoke set off the smoke alarms??! (flips exhaust fan switch – fan roars to life) Wow, cooking breakfast is noisy business!

I finally get the bacon finished as the timer beep sounds loudly. Biscuits are ready! I bring the skillet from the oven and cover the hot biscuits with a clean kitchen towel to keep them soft as they begin to cool. Attention back to the stove.

Cooking ‘Half-Raw’ Eggs

OK, let’s get that water boiling for the gravy and get those eggs cooked. Now RancherMan likes his eggs cooked sunny side up (AKA half raw!) I always struggle with this.

“So let me get this straight: you want the whites of the egg cooked but the yolk to stay raw? In other words, you want your eggs raw but not TOO raw?” How long do you cook an egg for raw but not too raw anyway??

Oh, now the water’s boiling – let’s get the gravy cooking. Pour-stir-stir-stir 2 minutes. Done. Back to those eggs. There’s already bacon grease in the pan so I crack 2 eggs into the skillet and they begin to sputter. Is that good for raw but not TOO raw eggs? No? Yes? I guess? We’ll see.

Using the spatula I splash some of the hot bacon grease over the yolks so it forms an opaque white topping as I’ve seen RancherMan do in the past. Then I cook them until I figure they’re still raw but not TOO raw – whatever that is. Onto a plate they’re placed.

Breakfast Is Served

I add his bacon, pour the gravy into a gravy boat, place the biscuits in a bowl with a cloth napkin to cover and top off his coffee cup with steaming-hot joe.

I treated RancherMan to a hearty breakfast of Homemade biscuits, eggs, bacon and gravy. Good grief - how did our grandmothers do it?? #TexasHomesteader

“Oh Honey, Breakfast is SERVED!”

Many oos and aaaahs were audible as he relished his special breakfast. But I couldn’t join him for breakfast. Heck I was too tired to eat now!

Then I looked around at my kitchen. I believe every utensil, skillet or pan we own is now dirty.  The counter tops are covered with dough & flour and the stove top is covered in bacon grease splatters. Oh and yeah, the sink is filled with piles of dirty dishes too. Sigh…

How did our grandmothers do it?? I swear, cooking breakfast should include hazardous-duty pay! But his tummy is happy, and so is my heart.


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15 thoughts on “Cooking Breakfast Should Include Hazardous Duty Pay!

  1. ColleenB.

    First thing I thought of as well was ‘the Lucy Show’ When Ricky and Fred was trying to fix breakfast for their wives and the whole kitchen was a complete mess once they finished. :}
    Breakfast looks delicious. I’m more of a sausage gravy person poured over my biscuits.

    Tip for frying bacon on top of the stove. Lay your bacon strips in cold pan, add water. By adding a little water ( enough to cover the bacon or less water if you so desire )to a pan of bacon would keep it from splattering fat as it cooked.
    The simmering water renders the fat, so by the time the water has boiled away and the bacon is crisping up, it won’t splatter at all or very little.

  2. Nancy

    Hey Tammy,
    I don’t make bacon much, but when I do I can’t stand the popping grease everywhere. Then my son told me, he never fries bacon anymore. He puts it on his cooling racks, on a cookie sheet in the oven. I tried it and it’s great.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Ya know Nancy, I have a family member that uses the oven too but I’ve always been afraid to do that. I hate to clean the cook-top but I’d think bacon-grease splatters in the oven would be much harder to clean. Does it not mess up the oven? ~TxH~

  3. Geni

    Thanks for starting my day with your humorous recounting of preparing a special breakfast! I can totally identify with your attempts at morning organization! Great post.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I was so frustrated at the whole breakfast-making-ordeal Geni that afterward I found it so tremendously funny. How could I not write about such craziness?? Glad y’all enjoyed it too. ~TxH~

  4. Sondra Langle

    You are a special young woman. I loved your post and your willingness to please your husband. I hope you are that way for the rest of your life. It’s hot here in Northern California today,but NO humidity. I don’t know how you live in that. Breakfast I can handle but not the humidity. Thanks for sharing about your husband’s special day. I don’t know his name, I don’t think you ever share it, but if I ever meet him, he will be rancher man, for sure. Hugs for this beautiful Lord’s Day. Sondra

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      The humidity is a challenge for sure Sondra. I’ve lived in Texas almost all my life so it’s just part of life here, but the humidity is especially intense when your job takes you outside most of the day as ours does. We’re careful to protect our skin from the sun and to keep hydrated by drinking icy-cold water as we take frequent breaks on the porch swing beneath the shade of the porch. At an outdoor wedding recently I had many people tell me how ‘lucky’ we are that we’re used to the heat & humidity because we work outside. I’m not sure you ever get used to it, you just learn to deal with it. And yeah, that outdoor wedding included high humidity, 100-degree temps and a full-length beaded formal gown. WHEW! ~TxH~

  5. Patti

    I had visions of an “I Love Lucy” show. You had me at running out the back door with the cast iron skillet. (I set a brand new toaster oven on fire once and that’s the last time I’ve ever used one). Everything looked soo good, hope you finally had a bite. Hope the clean-up wasn’t too bad. Have a great week, xoPatti

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      OMGosh Patti, EXACTLY! Your comment made me laugh out loud but you don’t know how close to the truth you really are with the ‘I Love Lucy’ show! I even had to cut so much out of this piece because it was already longer than I like, but it’s safe to say there are many other humorous incidents that took place during the cooking of his breakfast. When recounting to him, my dad laughed so hard that he couldn’t catch his breath. LOL! ~TxH~

  6. Greg Hill

    Good morning Tammy,
    Great post … I know your feelings about every little sound when you are trying to keep things quite and be a great servant to your sweetie so not to wake them. Been there. Cooking breakfast is an art of timing for sure. When I was in my late teens some 45 plus years ago I was a breakfast cook at a truck stop in Montana. I enjoyed this job because of the great timing it took to juggle 4 to 6 breakfast at a time. It tough me a lot about the art of breakfast timing.
    If you have ever been to a Waffle House in the south it a wonderful place to get entertained while waiting for your breakfast at the bar watching the cooks.
    I thoroughly enjoyed your post about you cooking this special breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy with LOVE too for your Rancher man. I could picture every thing happening while you were trying to keep things quite and not waking him.
    You have a great since of humor about yourself Tammy and I hope you always can look at these kind of things as another way to show your love for him. Even if he has no clue what you are going through to show him this I know.
    Thanks for sharing your love with us to please him, through your special breakfast for him.
    I’m not into over easy eggs, but know how to make them it’s an art that starts with room temperature eggs and a willingness to please as I see you have.
    Your friend ,

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      What a sweet comment Greg – thanks. And thanks for your tips on cooking over-easy eggs. Ya know, RancherMan would never complain and he always exclaims the eggs are perfect. But, you know, that could very well be him just showing his love for me… I’ll use your tips next time. But you’re so right about timing being everything. I just knew I’d nail it this year and to be honest I got much closer, but smoking skillets & fear of our smoke detectors all going off threw things a little behind. Now wouldn’t it be the Worst. Father’s. Day. Gift. EVER. to be awakened thusly?? LOL! ~TxH~

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Well Dawn, the end product ended up being just dandy but I must admit, the oh-so-crooked trail to get there was certainly a comedy! 🙂 Sometimes I’m just glad that no one has a camera rolling during those crazy kitchen comedies – and there are way too many than I’d like to admit! ~TxH~

  7. Cynthia D

    Part of Grandma’s breakfast was to get everyone up. By the time breakfast was ready, everyone was dressed and sitting at the table. Grandma did this every day, not just when the grandkids were there. She didn’t have a kitchen timer of any kind she just knew. Miss that breakfast, eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes. My grandmother didn’t make biscuits for breakfast though.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Oh Cynthia, this post was getting so long I couldn’t even share ALL of the noise-inducing things I did while trying to be quiet! But bless his heart, RancherMan stayed in bed ‘pretending’ to be asleep until breakfast was done (how much do I love him for that??) I was recounting this story to my dad (but in its entirety of course) and he was in stitches! But breakfast was good, it did all come together relatively at the same time and RancherMan loved it, so all’s well that ends well. ~TxH~


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