Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Gravy!

There are many lessons my mom taught that I take for granted that everyone knows. It still surprises me when things I learned as a small child are not common knowledge. Especially the ones related to cooking.

If you asked me when I learned how to make pan gravy, I can't tell you. It's one of those things that I always watched my mom do and picked up like anything else a child would. drippings, flour, cold water, salt, pepper, boil and then voila, it's gravy. Simple, right?

Apparently not.

Donna, Joyce and other friends of long standing here can tell you I've always cooked, and that's just one of those things that was a given, if I was roasting a turkey, chicken or beef, there was a gravy boat of yummy stuff.

I think the first hint that it was not normal is when I traveled to New York in '94. My friend Joe had just lost his Mom a few months before, I was newly separated and headed to my high school reunion that Thanksgiving weekend. We decided I'd cook the turkey and the trimmings at his apartment.

It was a good way to spend the holiday - we both skipped the traditional festivities in favor of something that didn't make it so clear that things had changed. I think for both of us, it was a lot less painful.

When you cook a 15 pound bird, there are a lot of pan drippings with which to make gravy. As a result, I think I left Joe with about a quart and a half of the stuff-which to me, wasn't out of the ordinary. However, his roommate came home from her Thanksgiving with family and proceeded to enjoy the plentiful leftovers and kept raving about the gravy. For months afterwards, Joe would tell me that K LOVED that gravy.

We'll be spending Thanksgiving with Bob, Maureen and Coaster Kid. In planning the menu because we're splitting the cooking duties, Maureen asked about the gravy. I detected a little excitement when I said I'd make from scratch gravy and it reminded me all over again that hey, not everyone learned how to make it.

It also reminded me that it's one of those things that I haven't taught Chef Jr to make. We talked about it today, how I learned to make gravy from Granny, that it was something that I found easy to do because I'd been watching for years. It excites him to know we'll be doing it Granny's way, mainly because it means he will always know how to make some to cover his stuffing.

Thanks Mom.

2 People talked back:

daysgoby said...

Oh, I love this - food is best when you can share the generations....

Hee. When I moved here, I made sausage gravy and biscuits for my work (it's nice to eat breakfast when you're called in for an early meeting) and one lady could NOT believe I made the gravy.
Jess? What's IN this? It tastes so good!It's not like any gravy I've ever had!

Me: Um, sausage?

Suzanne said...

Mmmm, Sausage gravy! Perfect stick to your ribs breakfast on a cold morning!