I don’t know why I love Nashville . . .

. . . but I do. Yes, it’s touristy, hillbilly, hokey, and I’m sure, filled with a lot of shattered country dreams. It is reminiscent of Las Vegas, New Orleans and even worse … Branson. Don’t get me wrong here, I love New Orleans but it most certainly has a dangerous perverseness about it just as Vegas does. Bourbon Street and the Las Vegas Strip make me feel dirty and naughty. When I leave those streets I feel like I need a shower. Branson is just tourist trap where the beautiful landscape has been raped for money. I grew up in Branson so I speak from experience. Yes, I am opinionated. Nashville doesn’t make me feel any of that.

Nashville feels focused and intentional. By that I mean, it really is about the music. The people there are serious about making and preserving music. I love that at noon I can walk into a “honky tonk” and hear talented musicians perform and sing. I don’t know much about country music because well … I’ve never been a big fan of most of it. I can honestly say I wouldn’t know at George Strait song from Randy Travis or Tim McGraw or Brad Paisley. I have a fondness for country songs from my youth. I love Don Williams and Ronny Millsap and with age I have learned to love Hank Williams Sr., Allison Krause, The Dixie Chicks and even Garth Brooks.

So I spent the day in Nashville yesterday. I toured the Country Music Hall of Fame which made me realize I know more about old country than I thought. I took some pictures of things that made me feel nostalgic. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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I was impressed by all of the memorabilia they had. My appreciation for bluegrass started when I saw the film, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”. It introduced me to Allison Krause and a desire to hear more. Plus I spent some time in a church choir where I had to learn to harmonize. Bluegrass and gospel have amazing harmonies and are the perfect instructor for anyone wanting to learn how.

In keeping with my southern indoctrination I finally bought hat to go along with my boots. Here it is . . .

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What do you think?

My maiden name is Bruton. So I was surprised to find this in Nashville.

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It’s nice to know someone in the family is an entrepreneur even if it is with a cancer causing agent.

I also learned that more than one president is from Tennessee.

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So, after my second trip I learned a few things. James Polk is buried there. The Ryman Theater was in fact the Grand Ole Opry for years but has an even more illustrious history than just country music. The list of performers, actors and productions that have performed there is very impressive. Mostly, I want to go back and I’m thankful that such a vibrant and beautiful city is just two hours away.

Being spoiled is nice …

. . . and I am very good at spoiling, especially when it comes to food. I have been feeding my husband all his favorites this weekend, not because I want anything but because I have a strong need to be pleasing.

This morning we had biscuits and gravy. Turkey-sausage gravy that is, made with skim milk. It was tasty. I have to say, I make some mean biscuits. Buttermilk biscuits. Yum.

Perfect every time!

Here are the keys to making perfect biscuits every time. You’ll need:

2 cups of unbleached white flour.
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsp extremely cold butter
2 tbsp cold Crisco
1 cup buttermilk

Have your oven very hot. 425 is ideal.

First: mix all your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Second: Grate your butter into the flour using a large cheese grater and add in the Crisco in little bits. Mix GENTLY with your fingertips untilĀ it’s coarsely blended. Grab a rubber spatula and mix in the buttermilk. The dough will be slightly sticky but one cohesive ball.

Third: Flour the countertop and place the dough in the flour and gently knead into a flat disc. Press the dough flat and fold repeat this process no less than four times. Using an empty can (I used a tuna can) cut your biscuits out and bake in a greased (dark metal) baking pan.

Fourth: Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Check them at 15 for brownness.

Fifth: Eat with gravy
or peanut butter and honey
or honey-butter
or lemon curd
or homemade preserves.
or just a shmeer of butter
or what ever trips your trigger.

The real challenge is not eating them all and this is NOT a low calorie biscuit.