Monday, November 23, 2009

Memory Monday

Today's memory is in honor of the upcoming holiday. May you all eat well with plenty of gravy!

Oh Good Gravy

First off you must know I come from a family of gourmands...we live to eat. Cooking is more than just a hobby it is a passion to us, particularly my father. Every year at Thanksgiving we try and up the ante. New dishes are researched, cookbooks scoured all in search of the next illustrious dish. We make so much food each year that it will not even fit on the dining room table, the buffet must serve as back-up. There can not be just one of anything, two stuffings and at least two types of potatoes are a requirement. One year we decided we would brine the turkey (I highly suggest this). It was difficult to convince my mother and grandmother to let go of the turkey reins but in the end they acquiesced. Due to it's salt content it is recommended that you do not use the pan drippings of a brined turkey to make your gravy. This led my father and I on a mission to unearth the worlds best gravy recipe. We discovered that the key to excellent gravy is good stock. After even more reading and Internet searching it was deduced that the best turkey stock comes from roasted turkey wings. We were now armed with our recipe, it was time to start cooking. We began the night before and lovingly roasted the wings until they were crispy and golden brown. In the morning the wings were added to the stock pot with an array of aromatics to transform into "the stock". We diligently watched the pot skimming off the excessive foam, gauging it's hue, and impatiently waiting for the final product. After four hours of preparation "the stock" was deemed finished. My father and I beamed, this was going to be our crowning moment, we were going to make the best gravy the world had ever tasted. The stock was pulled off the stove onto the counter to await it's transformation. The kitchen became filled with the hustle and bustle of the holiday as the stock patiently rested. The occasion finally arrived and my father and I entered the kitchen to begin the mission. We appeared just in time to see my mother haphazardly pouring the stock down the sink drain. We were to late to save our doomed stock and all are hard work literally went down the drain. My ever industrious mother had already begun cleaning the kitchen and had mistaken the stock for the juices left by the pearled onions. Crestfallen we stared at my mother in shock and disbelief. Our roux would never be, all our hopes were dashed. That year we had no gravy and my mother has been known ever thus as the "gravy killer".

Please don't let this happen to your own stock; guard it with your life this year. You never know what threats are lurking in your own home.