As The Moomins has gotten older and I acquired my own place, I have taken on the responsibility of Thanksgiving in order to alleviate her stress. She does a myriad of other holidays, so taking one off her plate doesn’t deprive her of festivities. I make the turkey, green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes and some desserts, and The Moomins makes a few things and the requisite Jell-O mold that is at every Eastern-European Jew’s holiday dinner. “Oh, is it a holiday? I shall boil some gristle and tendons in celebration!” But I’ve never made gravy. It seems daunting with many opportunities for greasy disgusting failure. Then, I was in CVS in October and I saw the latest Martha Stewart Living magazine on the rack.
Lookit there! “Foolproof Gravy,” it says! That sounds not-scary. I opened to the table of contents, where I was pleasantly greeted with this:
I can shake a jar! And she said, “Promise!” Martha wouldn’t lie to me. So I bought the magazine and went home.
A couple days before Thanksgiving, I actually took a glance at page 82 with the gravy instructions, expecting them to be relatively simple and uncomplicated. What greeted me was, sadly, quite the opposite.
What the hell, Martha? I thought we were cool! I don’t have seventeen hours and a staff of ten to make frikkin’ gravy! I don’t even own a whisk! You suck so hard, Martha.
However, I would not let this gravy situation ruin my Thanksgiving. I took out a bunch of steps that I found unnecessary, and sho’ nuff, my gravy was delish and everyone was thrilled. Here’s my recipe.
1. Buy a box of organic chicken stock from Costco’s. Make sure you get stock, not broth. Also, get organic stock because otherwise they add secret naughty things into it, like dextrose and MSG.
2. Put about a two cups in a clean take-out soup container from a Chinese restaurant. Add about 1/2 cup of flour to it. Put the lid on tightly and shake like hell until there are no lumps of any kind. Your arms will feel like Rosie the Riveter. This is a good thing.
3. Take the turkey drippings and pour them into one of those gravy-separator thingies. Wait about ten minutes. The grease will rise to the top. Pour as much of the non-grease-juices as you can into a small pot on the stove (about three cups). Add the contents of the Chinese soup container. Slowly low-boil the mixture over the stove, stirring constantly until it reaches your desired thickness. For me it took about seven to ten minutes of boiling until it got to a pleasantly festive viscous consistency.
4. Add a tiny bit of pepper maybe. Don’t add salt. Some people don’t like too much salt. Some people have high blood pressure. Let people add their own salt. Serve. Done.
It was delicious, everyone was happy, and I didn’t have to interact with giblets. A win-win, I think.
Addendum: A few hours after I wrote this, I saw a pertinent blog entry on mimismartypants.
Thanksgiving at my house was awesome, except for the part where Martha Stewart was a lying skank. That thing about soaking the cheesecloth in butter and wine and draping it over the turkey breast results in nothing but a shrieking fire alarm, frightened cats, and an oven full of smoke. Luckily this all happened before any guests arrived, so LT just pulled the whole cheesecloth mess off with barbecue tongs and threw it in the sink. Quit trolling, Martha. People (me) actually believed that cheesecloth nonsense. I’ma gonna get you back, lady.