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.