That's how my mother taught me to make the best gravy this side of Tennessee. It's a southern staple, or at least used to be, and was always a private joy of mine to think I could make something so delicious out of absolutely nothing: flour, butter, and milk--or water in a pinch.
I started by hoisting my 10 inch cast iron skillet out of the oven and melting half a stick of butter in a rocket-hot pan. A little flour, and the whole house began to smell like my mother's early-morning kitchen. The biscuits were rising in the oven and adding their own farm-like aroma to the mix. Tucker the Dog raised his head from the couch to see what all the excitement was about.
The eggs weren't far behind the gravy, both of them heavily peppered and steaming hot. When we sat down at the table I felt like I should be sitting on a long bench with several other children, as I remembered doing at my aunt's house so long ago, with chickens in the yard and a gray/white horse with a rope around his neck.
Aside from my mother's biscuits and gravy, that's the place where I can best recall the smell of country breakfasts. The long trip there only increased our hunger. Several gates blocked the dirt road we had to travel to reach my aunt's farmhouse. My dad had to get out of the car at each gate to open it, then latch it shut after we drove past. The dusty, quiet road always felt so isolated, and I was anxious for our humble destination. The white horse standing alone in an open field was the first sign of life. When we finally got to the small clapboard home, everything inside was alive and smelled like fresh eggs, bacon and biscuits with gravy.