As I sit with my beautiful little girls while the Boss is out of town, Ive been reminiscing about my childhood. The one thought that stuck out in my mind was “Parkers Sausage”.
When I was a kid, my family would travel to our Grandaddy’s house for Thanksgiving, Christmas and during our summer vacations. At the end of the driveway to Grandaddy’s house was a convenience store named Parker’s Grocery. (Sadly it is now closed) It was owned by Mr Parker and he was always there to greet us and ring up our 3 items that my Grandaddy would let us get. When we were older and could drive ourselves Mr Parker would always answer the phone in the store and yell to us everything that our Aunt or my Mom forgot to tell us to get upon our departure to Parkers.
The most important item on our shopping list no matter the time of year was Parker’s Sausage. That is at least the name we knew them by at that time of my life. I would later find out that they were the Smoked Surry Sausages from Edward of Surry which was located just 20 minutes past my Grandaddy’s farm.
These sausages were present at every breakfast we had at my Grandaddy’s from before I can even remember. I was younger than Grace the first time I ate them. During Thanksgiving, before we would go out on goose hunts, we would eat a full breakfast with Scrambled Egg, Bacon and Surry Sausages. I would fill up, savoring every bite, on sausage. We would then make our way out to the pit blinds fueled for the chilly mornings ahead.
During Christmas my mother would give Surry Sausages as part of her gifts to the neighbors. One time she did not put them in the gift bag and EVERYONE asked where they were.
In my teen years when I was just starting to be self sufficient; my go to dish was Spaghetti with pasta sauce that I put rendered Surry Sausage in. It was the only way I would eat spaghetti and tomato sauce.
Smoked Surry sausage was, and still is, the only breakfast sausage that I will eat. To me they are perfect. The texture of the casing and filling together are amazing. The snap followed by the perfectly emulsified filling is only the start of this sausage experience. You are then hit with a sublime blend of Smoke, Pork and Seasoning that to me can’t be matched. Perfection in a bite.
As I grew up, Surry Sausage was omnipresent.
When we opened Brookville I knew that these sausages needed to be a part of the menu. To my surprise, The Local Food Hub had partnered with Edwards and I could get the Smoked Surry Sausage! The best part about this partnership was that not only could I get the sausage but almost all their items. Whether it was Va Ham, Surryano or Bacon I tried it all. Thanks to the Surry Sausage I was introduced to the products who’s flavors are so ingrained into my life and to who I am as a chef because they were the bacon and ham that my Grandaddy ate.
Edward’s of Surry is and will always be one of the core building blocks of my food foundation and for that I could never thank them enough.