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1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add buttermilk all at once. Using a fork, stir just until moistened.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing it just until dough holds together. Pat or lightly roll dough until 1 1/4 inches thick. Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2-inch round cutter. Dip cutter into flour between cuts and reroll scraps as necessary.
3. Place dough rounds 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove biscuits from baking sheet. Cool slightly.
4. To serve, split biscuits and place on six serving plates. Spoon Sausage Gravy over split biscuits. If desired, sprinkle with chives.
1. In a very large skillet cook bulk pork sausage and chopped onion over medium-high heat until meat is brown and onion is tender, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Do not drain. Sprinkle all-purpose flour over meat mixture; stir into the meat mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in snipped fresh thyme, if desired. Makes about 5 cups.