For me, Thanksgiving is all about the gravy. Sure the rest of the food is good, but it is just an excuse for the gravy. When my Thanksgiving dinner is served, you can hardly tell what else is on my plate, because it is not just covered, but swimming in gravy.
The first time anyone eats Thanksgiving dinner with me they are always surprised when I arrive at the table with my plate. I am greeted with wide eye looks and comments like, “Wow you do like gravy.” And then they see my Mom’s plate. The only difference between us is she will put gravy on her salad and I draw the line at gravy soaked lettuce. In case you are wondering, yes it goes on the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, but that is usually pretty standard. Mine also goes on the veggies, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes (if I choose them, not my favorite) and cranberry sauce — pretty much everything except the salad and the roll. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
As with anything you grow up with you love your Mom’s recipe the best. Mom has taught me her flawless technique and now we are always in charge of the gravy, except for one time.
The year Jim and I were first dating we stayed in Seattle for Thanksgiving and attended dinner at a friend’s house. Now this friend was a great cook and I am sure the meal was otherwise amazing, but the gravy was not. If I remember correctly even he admitted it wasn’t up to his standards. The only thing I remember about the food that day was the gross, chunky gravy (sorry if that turned your stomach, but there isn’t a better way to describe it).
From then on when anyone invites us to Thanksgiving, my first response is we would love to come, but I have to do the gravy. So far a host has not refused my request. I always show up with tools in hand, my ingredients, wire ring, pot, thickening agent, fat separator and the gravy boat that my mother gave me as a wedding shower gift, appropriate I would say. Tomorrow will not be any different, since we are staying in Seattle for Thanksgiving this year and the rest of my family will be in Lodi.
I will miss meeting my Mom at the gravy pot after filling our plates, since there is no point in us using the draining the gravy boat. So we opt to go straight to the source. We usually end up laughing about having enough for everyone else.
So as all of you dip into that gravy boat tomorrow think of me and try adding it as a topping to one of your other side dishes and see what you think. You could end up with a plate like mine, swimming in gravy.