Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Thoughts & Turkey Gravy Instructions

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving Day this year. I will be cooking a traditional dinner. My menu includes roasted stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, sweet potatoes with pecan topping, peas, rolls, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls, olives, and apple and pumpkin pies. In the past I have added fruit salad but that never seems to be very popular so why bother.

When I was younger I was intimidated by the thought of making gravy. For some reason I did not think I could do it, and usually invited over a mature, gravy-making woman to all of my dinners that involved gravy, or else I bought canned or instant gravy. But with the advent of a small mayonnaise jar and Wondra flour the process has become simplicity itself. To make gravy, pour all of the meat drippings and juice into a saucepan. Fill a small jar 2/3 full of water. Slowly stir in Wondra flour with a fork until you have a thick liquid consistency. Screw the lid on the jar tightly and shake vigorously until lumps are gone. Gradually pour the water & flour into the meat juices, stirring constantly. Heat the mixture over fairly high heat, continuing to stir. Bring to a boil, adding more flour or water until the desired consistency is reached. Constant stirring is the key to successful gravy. You can also add as much pepper as you want. By my calculations, you can never have too much pepper.

There is nothing "gourmet" about my Thanksgiving menu. My only reward is the cessation of conversation as my guests consume and are consumed by the delicious, mild flavors and textures of a traditional turkey dinner. As always, I am overwhelmed by the blessing conferred by the company of friends and family, and the almost incomprehensible bounty of food available abundantly and cheaply to American citizens. Thanksgiving indeed!

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