Thursday, June 4

Tracking the "Good Gravy".

When I was growing up, my Grandmother was the "Chief Cook".

My earliest memories, were of my mother, cooking over a coal range, but those memories were short lived, & soon blurred into our later, everyday life, of living with my Grandparents, where my Grandmother did most of the cooking.

My Grandmother was a very good cook, & had been sent out to 'Service' when she was a young girl, in England.

Her new employer, asked her name, & upon being told it was Christiana, declared they could not possibly have such a fancy name for a 'servant', & she renamed her "Tina".

Understandably, my grandmother was incensed, & resented, & loathed this name, for the duration of her employ.

As her granddaughter, I say, "How bloody dare she!!" But those were the times, & those were the lumps they dealt out to employees.

Upon emgiration to New Zealand, with her family, my Grandmother was able to

find employment with far nicer people.

In fact an Anglican Minister, & his family. She was cook, but also carer for their disabled son. This child loved her to the point where they were unsure if he would survive, once she married, & moved away. He became a part of her marriage ceremony. He was devastated at the thought that she was leaving.

I am not sure what became of that poor child, but my Grandmother & her new husband, my Grandfather moved away, to begin their new life together, which was far away from the city, where she had been employed.

However, I digress, in the story.

Which is, after all, about Gravy.

I was lucky enough to learn the art of gravy making from my Grandmother first, then my mother, whose skill, was equal to her mother's.

My MIL made a fair gravy, but on a scale of Great Gravies, it was just not comparable with my Grandmother's or my Mother's.

My Gravy, is something I am very proud of. I was once complimented by an Uncle- brother to my mother. He declared I was "As good a cook as your mother!"

I held that in high esteem.

I valued his judgement, as his wife was a fine cook, & took some beating.

Over the years, I have recieved compliments from all sorts of quarters. I still consider one of the finest, the fact that my Daughter in law felt so moved by my gravy, as to ask could she have a gravy sandwich for breakfast, the morning after we had had the meal with said gravy!

Of course the Gravy had required a special vessel to serve the 'nectar'.

One son gifted me the black gravy boat, with matching saucer.

I am happy to report it has done many years of service, with no damage. It has one drawback, it is not suitable for the microwave, to reheat the gravy.

The second Gravy Boat, is a design made by Crown Lynn, for export.

I am not sure how this came to be in my possession, but it had long been a favourite for gravy. It is quite large, therefore holds a substantial amount. It cam also be reheated in the microwave.

Somehow, sleek & sneaky~ featured on my 'hot cinnamon' bench top!


We have been having more of the RS weather.

It has been lightened by a gift of "Soup to Die For" from Mrs Nice Neighbour.

Bacon Hock & Barley.

So nice, & I know she could make a fortune on worksites, selling it!! We loved it, & it was so delicious!

The perfect food for nasty rainy days, with no sunlight & little warmth.

Warmed the cockles of the heart!

Here is to Delicious Soup & Great Gravy!!


Selina Kingston said...

What is it about grandmothers' cooking. My mother lives with us and my two much prefer her cooking to mine and rightly so - she always gets it sooo right...especially gravy !

Mary said...

I'm a fairly decent cook but my gravy's never been all that great so once my son Adam went to culinary school he was always the designated gravy maker and it was excellent. I should have had him teach me...

ancient one said...

And at the end....

I thought sure I'd find the gravy directions...

....didn't happen....LOL

Anonymous said...

And it's always best to remember: "Gravy ain't wavy."

I utterly adored my grandmother, but she was a really terrible 'English' cook. When in doubt, boil it until it's grey.

lovelyprism said...

That was a great story. I love Grandma stories. My Grandmother is an incredible baker, but not such a good cook. mrwriteon said... when in doubt, boil it until it's grey... maybe our Grandmother's were related!

meggie said...

Hi All. No idea why Blogger decided to do the triple space tango! The whole post vanished at one stage. I found it in drafts.

The way I make gravy is to use the drippings from the meat after it is roasted. I use the roux method, stirring flour into the drippings, having removed excess fat. I let this brown, & then being careful to keep stirring, I gradually add the liquid. I sometimes use plain water, or water & wine. The water from cooking vegetables is really nice. Check for seasonings, such as salt & pepper. If the gravy lacks a little zing, I use a bit of Soy Sauce or Kecap Manis to help the taste along.
We like ours quite thick, but thin it down to your preferred thick or thinness.
It is not a diet food, nor is it a beverage! LOL.

The Sagittarian said...

Meggie, that is exactly how we made gravy when we were kids. My brothers used to insist on adding the flour but were too impatient to stand about stirring it wonder then that I became the stirrer of the family!

ancient one said...

I'm glad I came back... we make gravy 'kinda the same way... though I've never added wine... and I'm going to try the vege water... I just use plain water... tonight we had pork chop in gravey..

Emma said...

Gravy is a skill my family treasures. All us girls learnt in Mum's kitchen, and my brother grew up to be a chef, so he probably makes the best gravy of all of us :) I treasure my gravy boat, a wedding gift purchased to match my first fancy plates.

Warty Mammal said...

Well? Now you've tempted and enticed and seduced us - what's the secret to your gravy?!

Marja said...

Hi Meggie What a great story. Would love to try your gravy and I love the gravy boats
I am not a star in these things nor was my mum

Jennifer said...


That's how I always made gravy too! Haven't made it for ages, though.

Veronica said...

Good gravy is definitely a rare thing - save some for me please Meggie - I'll be over in a flash!!! Hugs to you my friend, Vxx

Anonymous said...

I have tasted this gravy my very self and can certainly attest to its singular magnificence.
None better!!!!!!
Bert Reeto

Jeanette said...

Gday Meggie, Mum always made the Gravy in the Roasting Oven dish after the roast was removed and always added the water from the boiled Pea and bean water was So Delish, But Alas mine never tastes as nice as Mum used to make...

Anonymous said...

I too have tasted all of the mentioned Gravies , Our Grandmothers , Mothers and yours as well Meggie , You have started my mouth watering at the memories ,
Did you get a matching saucer with the Crown Lynn Gravy Boat ??
Say Hello to Bert !

Ali Honey said...

Hi Gravy Queen! That's exactly how I make it too - pea water is so good in it.( which brings me to my 2nd point )

I'm going to be very naughty now and say I think the 2nd gravy boat above looks like it could be used for something else - just something about the design - no offence intended.

Anonymous said...

You make gravy the same way I do. Or I do the same way you do. Whatever. NOTHING is as good as old fashoined, real gravy. Yum.

Rosie said...

i love the way you digress!

Pauline said...

I always wondered why my mother's gravy for Sunday roast tasted so much better than mine. Then I realized she always baked a fruit pie on the shelf above the roast and the sweet drippings were stirred into the gravy as it was made in the roasting pan after the meat had been removed. Digress on, Meggie. It always makes your posts so interesting.

persiflage said...

I never thought I'd read a blog on gravy making! Wot larks! I make gravy the same way, having learned it from my mother and her mother. Although they didn't add wine - which I do, if some is handy, as well as the juices from the meat's resting period.