Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yes, I have a lot to be thankful for...

I've got a lot to be thankful for, but don't get me wrong - I've lost a lot to get to this point.  The holidays are always a tough time for me because I always struggle with the pain of my mother's absence.  In some respects it feels like just yesterday that she lost her battle with Lung Cancer, but in other respects it feels like a lifetime ago.  She's never met my children, but she has had far more direct impact on their lives than they will ever know.  I am the mother that I am because of her.  I love that.  I am thankful for that.  I am thankful for the years I had with her.  There aren't words to express the gift that her final months were to me - being able to care for her and "give back" for all that she had given to me.  In many ways she is directly responsible for me starting this blog- to help other moms find fun activities to do with their kids.  To help build as many fun memories as possible with their kids.

The last Thanksgiving I spent with her, cooking for her after all the Thanksgiving dinners she cooked was almost like passing the batton.  I realize that now.

So, it seems like an appropriate time to share one of my most treasured recipes from my Mom - her world famous gravy.  No, no one makes gravy like she did (although my husband claims I am coming pretty close and I can't tell you how proud I am of that).  It's rather simple, but there are a few tricks that she taught me that seem to make the gravy just amazing.  My apologies if this recipe is a bit jumbled, but I am doing it completely by memory because it isn't written down anywhere except for here now.  Enjoy and tell me if you try it!

(this can easily be adapted for meat gravy by swapping out the chicken base with beef base)

Juice from canned veggies (I use the green bean juice, corn would be great also)
Milk (skim is fine)
Flour (couple tablespoons)
Chicken Base (I use "Better Than Bouillon - Chicken Base")

In the used dripping pan from cooking the Turkey or Chicken - whisk in enough flour to absorb all the residual oil (you can add butter or olive oil if you didn't have much left in the pan).  Keep over low heat.  Then add a cup or so of milk (you can use milk later if it begins to thicken too  fast).  Doesn't have to be a set amount and I always use skim milk since the meal already contains enough fat! 

At this point I always add the Chicken Base to taste.  The amount you use will vary depending on how much gravy you are making.  (Tip:  You can add lots of liquid to this to increase the amount of gravy you make, just be sure to slowly add it and allow it to simmer to thicken enough).  Add salt & pepper to taste also.

Allow it to simmer over low heat to thicken.  Add the remaining juice from canned green beans or other vegetables to thin out the gravy if it thickens too much.



Debi November 29, 2009 at 8:06 PM  

This is a very special post -- thanks for sharing something so near & dear to you. I lost my dad this year & chose to celebrate his life lessons in my Thanksgiving post, too. I strive every day to share his lessons with my kids. I think both our parents would be proud ... :)

Michele - @OCPlayParks December 1, 2009 at 12:04 PM  

I've never made gravy with those ingredients. It sounds incredible. We ate Thanksgiving out - and your recipe makes me want to have a 2nd Thanksgiving at home.

Julie December 1, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

I can't make gravy for crap, but I think it's because I keep using the same "crap" recipe every year. I'm adding your mother's (bless her heart) to my holiday recipes. Thanks so much for sharing!

Mimi N December 23, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

Thank you for sharing your heart about your mom. Sweet post!

Merry Christmas,
Mimi from MBC round up

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