08 April 2016

G is for Gravy, Good Gravy

Gravy was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn how to make.  Took me almost 10 years to learn the secret.  It wasn’t til I studied up on sauces in a cookbook at home one day whilst the kids were down for a nap.  Not sure how much flour I’ve ruined back then.  So I followed the recipe exactly.  One of the things I could never learn how to tell was the temperature-medium heat, high heat, low heat.  Don’t know about you but those terms were greek to me.  I was told to hold my hand near and check it by how hot it was.  Newsflash, by this time, I’d had scar tissue on my hands and arms that necessitated some rather drastic overhauling of my ability to gauge heat.  It was a thing I’d never mastered to begin with.  And of course, I never used a thermometer.

Thermometers were for taking kids temps to see how sick they were.  Not for cooking.  Isn’t it funny how much we pay attention to the advice given by those who surely know better and are doing their best to teach us something?

This day, I was determined to master the art of gravy.  I dutifully measured out what I needed, got out the pan, checked the flame under it and proceeded to burn the flour.  Rechecked the recipe and measured out the flour again.  Took three tries before I figured out that I was supposed to have the milk ready right away.  I finally got the sauce to look right and it was thick.  I set it aside and put the peas in it.

The main reason I wanted to learn that was my mother-in-law made creamed peas and my son liked it.  I didn’t see her make it so I didn’t know how.  That was the first time I’d ever seen creamed peas.  Heard of it, of course, in one or another of the many books I’d read.  Had no idea what it was til I saw her eating it one day.

I asked her what it was and she said “Creamed peas.”  I musta made a face cause she never made it again when I was there.  My son asked me to make it.  There was another one she made, browned oats, that I liked.  Again, I never asked her how she made it.  She always had them cooked whenever I came down to the kitchen.  And I’ve never come across it in any recipe and haven’t seen anyone make it.  Might try to look on the ‘Net sometime.

At any rate, that day of making Creamed peas was the turning point for my gravy.  Finally figured out what I was doing wrong.  I got so good at it that Mom never again made gravy.  Well, not never, she made it when I was off gallivanting round the country.

Oh! And my son said my Creamed Peas didn’t taste like Gramma’s.  All that work….


  1. Glad you conquered the gravy!

  2. Neat you learned! Too much heat too fast can ruin a sauce but glad my mom taught me without a cookbook.

    1. Our hands weren't the same size. Actually learning is whole 'nother story.


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