Man shares special family recipe

Norwalk resident's truck-driving stories are legendary.
Scott Seitz
Feb 22, 2014


(EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of the comments in this story and recipe ingredients were intended to be humorous, so don't take this too seriously.)

Norwalk resident Cliff Cannon appears to be a man of many talents.

Cannon is a gifted writer, truck driver, nature enthusiast, Maple City supporter and softball player.

His truck-driving stories are legendary.

He’s visited 48 of the states and has a pin-board which indicates all the cities he’s been to in his travels.

So, after all that, who knew Cannon, at 57 years of age, could also cook?

Just doesn’t seem fair.

Cannon, with a solid arsenal of cooking skills and knowledge, probably could have whipped up any dish on a moment’s notice.

But, for today’s featured recipe, he went back in time.

“This is an old family favorite,” the 1974 Norwalk High School graduate said.

Cannon was referring to a dish that has been in the family for decades.

That’s right — Elly May biscuits.

“Granny taught us a long time ago to love stuffed possum,” Cannon said.

Just for clarification, in North America, “possum” is short for “opossum,” though, in reality, the two animals are different.

“And, just like Uncle Jed always said, stuffed possum is just as good as leftovers,” Cannon said.

“But, we needed something to do with the tail,” he added. “So, we came up with possum-tail gravy.”

Cannon, who currently works for Pat Riley Trucking, spent 24 years driving 18-wheelers for Norwalk Furniture.

Prior to that, Cannon was employed nine years at Fanny Farmer.

His wife, Ann, also participates in the cooking process.

“She gets the possums,” Cannon said. “She is a wonderful possum hunter.

“We’ve also trained our cat, Fanny, to chase possum,” he said.

Cannon has five grown children, Stacia, Tom, Emily, Kristin and Jake. He has one grandchild, Skyeler.

Cannon is a native of Royal Oak, Mich.

He’s also a master at making french toast and popcorn.

When he’s not cooking, he enjoys playing in the winter weather, hiking and softball.

* * *

Elly May biscuits

4 buzzard eggs
As much flour as you need
Same with the water
5 ground-up goose gizzards for extra taste

Baste with gopher grease
Bake until hard. If too hard, break them up with hammer



Not a single lot lizard mentioned??? Hmm


What? No greasy grimy gopher guts, or butterfly bones, or tanglegut? **

Hmmmfffph ! ;]

**Yes, there really is tanglegut ( goes by other names) and it's good ,, but it's not what ya'll may think it is.


Although I've never been invited to have his biscuits, I've known Cliff for a long time. I can attest to his softball prowess, too. He has a heck of a glove, and great wheels. He has (had) the ability to play most any position he wanted to when I played on his team. He really is a nice guy, so cut him some slack, even if his recipe DOESN'T call for other staples of a good country kitchen!

Cliff Cannon

@ Scooter58 : We must have been teammates a along time ago, as I am only on the ball club now because my son runs it and he doesn't want kicked out of my will.

Being extremely grateful for your kind words, I do owe you a beer. So shall we meet, for reintroduction in the beer tent at the St. Alphonsus tournament next summer ? Hope so. Thanks again for your kindness.

P.S. I'll try to get better with my 'country cooking ' might even try 'starryeyes 83' idea of 'tanglegut'


Here's another one for ya:

I made it Sat. night and numerous times before - delicious AND easy!

While in TX, I happened to notice a recipe for cooked tumbleweeds. I think I'll leave THAT one alone.

However, I wanna try barbequed armadillo someday.


I know how to cook armadillo. Learned it from a Florida guy. You just catch a armadillo, nail it to a post out in the field, no shade. When the meat falls out of the shell it is done. Apply BBQ sauce to taste. Yeehaaaa.

swiss family

I did NOT know that he was so funny.... I wish he could write at least one article for the paper per week, it would be so much better to hear some humor from a local, instead of reading about things that happen in Bowling Green or Columbus, in my opinion.I can not wait until march 15th to travel to Hinkley OH to get some Buzzard eggs, and I still have some turkey gizzards in my freezer from Thanksgiving.. I hope that, they will be close enough to what the recipe calls for..

Cliff Cannon

@ Swiss family : I too agree Neil's ( Who I think is one awesome man ) recipe was far better than mine. For the simplest of reason's ---he can really cook.

When Scott Seitz first asked me to be 'cook of the week' ( they are always looking for someone to do it, if you want to or know anyone who does ) I only agreed to do it as long as I could do the " Beverly Hillbillies " theme.

Because even to this day the " Hillbillies " are about the only T.V. show I will watch. The episode I stole this possum thing from is hilarious. The Hillbillies had a possum parade for "Possum day " complete with possum jugglers and a possum queen in front of the bank all arranged by Mr.Drysdale of course

So since, our beloved city has taken it on the chin from winter as well as business & industry closing's. My wife & I thought our community could use a laugh and since, I've made a career out making a fool of myself.....

Trying to sound like Jed Clampett ( who I think is about the neatest man ever invented ) was easy. Very grateful, you enjoyed it.


When I play "country boy" for "city folks," I tell 'em that it took me a few yrs. to realize that "Green Acres" was not a reality show.

IMO, Paul Henning was a comedy genius.

Cliff Cannon

@ Contango : " Paul Henning was a comedy genius " Yes he was and America was a better place for it in the 1960's.

The thing, I don't understand since the Beverly Hillbillies was the number one T.V. show in the nation for years with " Petticoat Junction " and " Green Acres " in hot pursuit.

Is why that simple, family oriented type comedy has left us ? My guess it is because the afore mentioned shows needed really talented writers, with extremely creative imaginations. While anyone can write the sex jokes that pass for comedy in todays world.

Look in your Atlas at the area around Branson, Mo. You will find the " Ruth & Paul Henning State Forest " Paul Henning never forgot where he came from and as such donated this large tract of land for public use. They don't make 'em like that in Hollywood anymore


Re: "America was a better place for it in the 1960's."

Everyone's recollection is different.

Carly Simon: "These are the good ol' days."

Or, as a late, best friend once told me: You can never go home again.

But, best to remember: Where there's Crosby there's Hope.

swiss family

I think you are absolutely right, and everyone perception is different especially when talking about the "good old days".I think that when "we" refer to those days, one of the things that made them so good, was our lack of responsibility and commitment. We didn't have to worry about a job, or a mortgage, or car payment and insurance.we could take our meager allowance or paper route money and go to the candy store and walk out with a virtual "mother lode" of goodies..whereas, at that same time. our parents had all of the responsibilities and commitments. I wonder if they would think of those same times as "the good old days??"or if they would go back to a time, like we did, where they played all day , with neighbor kids, and meals were always ready and laundry was always taken care of too??


Excellent points.

Cliff Cannon

@ Swiss Family : I certainly agree with you here on the fun we had as kids, while our parents bore the weight for us.

Then I add thank God for my fun childhood as we all know way to many people, sad to say,who did not have great child hoods.

I conclude that every day, as soon as tomorrow get's here, will be a " good old day " so we better make the most of this day, while we can.

Great day to you


Read through this nonsense, hoping for a recipe.

Here's a REAL recipe that I've been usin' for yrs:

Southern Biscuits

Mix together -

2 C self-rising flour
1/2 C mayonnaise
1 C whole milk or buttermilk

Heat oven to 400º

Grease a standard muffin pan and add about 1 T into each of the cups.

Bake for 12 - 14 mins. or until lightly brown on top.

If making drop biscuits: Bake 8-10 mins.


I hope this is a real recipe ... I will be making them for dinner tonite. Thanks!!!

Mayor Cochran

Good ol Cliff.

Cliff Cannon

@ Mayor Cochran : As I loved the man, I love your user name ! Great day to you


GEEz cliff , how do you stay slim driving & eating? That's a secret you nEEd to share!

Cliff Cannon

@ kURTje : Here's how one stay's slim. Two choices; Chase possum all day or be born hyper, which means you can not sit still :)

Kottage Kat

Your a hoot. A friend great to debate with over coffee.
God Bless you Annie.

Cliff Cannon

@ K.K. Thank-you my friend. Ann who is now going to compete for " Possum Queen " at next years " Possum Festival ". Say's prayer does in deed help her maintain her sanity,but thinks advil or beer work even better. :)

I must ask though: Since Ann can dig like a gopher and climb like a monkey. Most possums just surrender, when they see her and our cat Fanny coming. Don't you think that alone should propel her to 'Possum Queen ' victory ?


Good ol biscuits :)

Cliff Cannon

@ onegirlarmy : If you break your teeth trying these biscuit's. Please don't tell your dentist,how it happened :)


Cliff's on my "top 5 favorite non-relative" all-time list!! He's made so many years of my life enjoyable with his competitive spirit and genuine care and concern for my family..... At the toughest time of my life his words helped guide me through, and he's always been someone I've looked up to! He may not even know these things lol, but I wanted everyone else to know that he is as kind as he is funny and as intelligent as he is competitive! This article, though satirical, embodies Cliff Cannon... Thanks for everything Cliffy,
You're friend,

Cliff Cannon

@ 14 : Being overwhelmed, after reading your kind words all I can say is: The honor is humbling, the feelings mutual, the pleasure mine.

Thank-you,my friend. Please give my best to your family


@ CC:

Do we need to take up a collection to buy you some blades or a new razor? :)

Cliff Cannon

@ Contango : Must I teach you everything about " Mother Nature " ? Animals that can, grow as much fur as possible in the winter for protection. :)

P.S. The beard is gone, albeit a bit to early. The 70's length hair is still here for a bit longer.



While pokin' around in my father's medicine cabinet, I discovered his old single blade, double edged safety razor.

I tried it and liked it.

He's an electric shaver man, said he couldn't remember the last time that he had used it, so he let me take it.

Who knew that ya didn't need to buy and maintain one of those expensive 15 bladed razors in order to get a close shave?

Kottage Kat

You said it all.
I admire cLiFF, he just over looks the negativity and keeps on keeping on.