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How Old Were You When You Learned to Make Gravy?


JEL
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my german grandmother taught me around age 10........

that was almost 40 years ago....

we started with bacon/drippings/flour/milk/salt........

why do people struggle so much with the creation of a roux/stew/gravy, etc.....

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my german grandmother taught me around age 10........

that was almost 40 years ago....

we started with bacon/drippings/flour/milk/salt........

why do people struggle so much with the creation of a roux/stew/gravy, etc.....

My mom showed me when I was around 24 or so you know the drill married and missing mom's and grandmother's daily food. Same as you with bacon dripping etc.. She also showed me how to do sawmill gravy and red-eye gravy.

My mom made the best gravy when she cooked cubed steaks which were a treat in the 70's. Something I craved when I was carrying my son.

Never really did well on my own till my second marraige and became a stay at home mom - I practiced over and over again with different types roux before I got it right.

Now all is right with the world in our house! :smile:

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I think I was about seven. It was soon after the end of the war and I had to stand on a kitchen chair to stir the gravy in the pan on the kitchen range (with the back of the chair turned toward the range so I had something to lean on). It was my grandpa's cook, who must have had a world of patience to put up with a child that was forever underfoot in the kitchen.

There were different types of gravy and my favorite was milk gravy. The range top had an extension at one end that held a small earthenware pitcher of milk to be added to the pan.

A small copper pan that had a wooden handle, held strong black coffee for "red-eye" ham gravy.

Thanks for posting this topic, it brings back wonderful memories.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Let's see, I think I was about 40. I'd invited my adopted extended family over for Thanksgiving at my house: 670 square feet of house, 17 people for Thanksgiving dinner, no problem! I was elated. Until I realized, the day of the feast, that I knew how to cook a turkey but hadn't a clue how to make gravy. Fortunately, Joan and Kate were first to arrive. "Quick!" I urged, "help!" They came in, showed me their tried-and-true flour and water slurry method, and it worked like a charm. I love the slurry method and use it to this day.

Oh, and the dinner? We had a great time. Folks sat on the couch, the piano bench, at the table, at a card table...afterward, we chatted and played piano and sang while the kids played in a bedroom, and the dog kept making the rounds to be petted.

After everyone left, I found small-child handprints in unlikely places: on the walls below the bed level, and on the ceiling above the bed. Clearly, the kids had a great time as well.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I am only talking poultry gravy here. I still look with longing and envy at Marlene's beef gravy :wub: .

That said, I learned to make gravy before I left for college - don't remember exactly when. I learned how to make GOOD gravy after I got married about 25 years ago - from my MIL. I had the whole equal parts fat and flour + stock down, but somehow it never worked for me. She taught me to use an iron skillet and to take my time and suddenly, I was making good gravy. Then about 15 years ago, after I started getting really serious about cooking, I taught myself (with lots of recipe reading influence) how to make very, very good gravy. Most people who taste it say that it is the best gravy they ever tasted:blush: . I am very humble about my abilities - when I see what others accomplish, I realize that I am a pretty good home cook, nothing spectacular. But I make seriously fabulous gravy :laugh: . I don't trust it, though. I am convinced everytime that it won't 'work' this time. Does anyone else have this issue?

Kim

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I still don't know and by the looks of the recipe section I might have to wait until someone posts a recipe.

It's not so much the recipe as it is in the doing or watching it up close and personal :smile:

I make it several ways depending on what I am making from turkey to chicken to beef and pork. I sometimes use the roux method and sometimes use the slurry method.

Right now I use Wondra and it makes for the best results. For turkey gravy I made a simple turkey stock - I use mirepoix, trukey neck and cover with water and seasoning. I let it simmer until I have a dark broth. I then strain and add a little Wondra until it thickness.

Gravies are like bellybuttons - everyone has one and everybodies is better than the next! :laugh:

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I was 29 years old. I just married Ky hubby and he taught me how to make roux, red eye gravy and milk gravy ( a hit with my Filipino family).

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

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I don't think I learned to make gravy till junior high school in home ec. class. It wasn't something we often had in our (naturalized-Canadian of Asian ethnicity) household--maybe once or twice a year at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, if that.

Marlene--the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, it seems! :smile:

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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Whats to make....just like grandmas...open packet mix with cold water and heat, it goes on the Potato Buds right?

our world was tomato based

I think I learned gravy in culinary school, but most gravy consumption was in the diner on french fries

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I don't have any memory of learning how, but I'm sure it would have been somewhere between ages 5 to 8. And I expect it would have been a Sunday - that was roast day.

I was always allowed to help out in the kitchen.

Gravy was pan drippings made into a roux with flour, a touch of vinegar and the water from the potatoes. Salt and pepper. From whence I also learned to start everything so it finished at the right time so the potato water was waiting when the roux was ready.

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Sunday gravy: Seven. (we also called it "Sauce.")

Beef, pan, chicken gravy: Poorly, from age 15. Better, when I started working with good chefs. Most expertly, in culinary school. At age 44.

Edited by FabulousFoodBabe (log)
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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I don't think I learned to make gravy till junior high school in home ec. class.  It wasn't something we often had in our (naturalized-Canadian of Asian ethnicity) household--maybe once or twice a year at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, if that.

Marlene--the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, it seems!  :smile:

:biggrin: It's the one thing she taught me. My dad did most of the cooking, but gravy was always Mom's department. She had three things she made really well. Gravy, pie crust, and potato salad. It's taken me years to master pie crust, and I've never been able to completely replicate her potato salad, but gravy yes. :biggrin: Speaking of which, there will be pork roast and gravy for tomorrow night's dinner. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I learned how to make gravy from my mom, over several years' worth of helping with Thanksgiving dinners when I was a kid growing up. Thanksgiving was the only time she ever made any kind of gravy or roux-based sauce, but her giblet gravy did not suffer from the lack of practice--it was fabulous. At first my duty was merely to prepare the giblets and broth, but somewhere in there--I forget exactly when--I graduated to doing the whole gravy job. I really dug it, and still do.

Meanwhile, in high school home ec, we were taught how to make a white sauce, but as with everything else we made in that class, it was presented without rhyme or reason--no background on the importance of such sauces to Western cuisines, no notion of what you could do with it other than the mediocre macaroni and cheese we used it in. So of course, being a teenager I went "why bother?" and forgot about it. It wasn't until my early twenties, when I fell in with some real foodies, that I caught a clue about the whole wonderful world of roux-based sauces, and realized that my mom's giblet gravy belonged to that world.

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Whats to make....just like grandmas...open packet mix with cold water and heat, it goes on the Potato Buds right?

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

I think I learned gravy in culinary school, but most gravy consumption was in the diner on french fries

Oh, no, the infamous "disco fries"!

I think we determined these are a North Jersey phenomenon. I don't recall seeing them on the menu at any of the diners on South Jersey's once-numerous traffic circles, now intersections with jug handles.

I learned to make a good white sauce in a high school mini-course on French cooking when I was 13. I don't remember having the significance of a basic white sauce explained to me then, either. But from there, gravy was a snap.

I've gone from the roux-based method largely to a cornstarch-and-water slurry. My gravies tend to be on the very thick side, so thick they turn gelatinous in the fridge. (As did this year's turkey stock, btw.)

But I can still make a roux. I think this must be some deep genetic encoding by way of the relatives in Louisiana I never met.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Pre-puberty, not sure exactly when. My mother was smart enough (and busy enough) to delegate. For example, on our 12th birthdays we got an detailed lesson on how to iron a dress shirt, whether daughter or son. We were masters of our own pressing from that day on.

One Sunday dinner she said: "Muffie, this is how to make gravy " She poured all but a few tablespoons of fat from the roast, showed me how to eyeball an equal amount of flour, and how to stir up the lovely brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add liquid, stir.

When she gave me the bechamel lesson a few years later, it all made perfect sense.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

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Gravy was only at Thanksgiving, though a lovely giblet gravy it was. For some strange reason, that was also the only time we had rice (MINUTE RICE) to soak up the gravy. Grandmama used Wondra. The first time I tried it on my own I used a flour slurry, which was my first year in grad school, so must have been 21 or 22 It worked out well, and I've schooled some friends on lumps since. I still like the giblets, I buy extra at Thanksgiving. Hard boiled eggs too, if I remember!

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