July 29, 2008 at 10:57 pm (Family and Friends) (, )

One year ago today, my Grandma passed away from leukemia. So obviously, I’ve been thinking about her a fair bit today. It’s funny, but she must have fit the stereotypical image of a Grandma pretty well, because many of my memories of her revolve around food

Grandma teaching me and Sis to make chicken noodle soup

Grandma teaching me and Sis to make chicken noodle soup

Not that I don’t have lots of other memories too. My Mom is an only child, so my Grandma and Grandpa have just my sister and I for grandkids. I can remember going bowling with the two of them. I know that I learned to knit from my Grandma, but I never really took to knitting that much. I’m more a cross-stitch girl. I do remember playing the Strawberry Shortcake board game with her, and hide and seek in the basement. I remember her really awesome collection of dress up clothes for my sister and I to use.

But when I think about Grandma, it’s the food related memories that jump to mind. Going down to the basement in the morning on Thanksgiving day, Grandma would have a turkey roaster sitting on the table, a loaf of wonderbread, and a big bowl. My job would be to tear up the bread while she did all the other stuffing prep. Then we’d both dig in with our hands. I can also remember helping her make buns, and all kinds of other things.

In fact, every time I make gravy I end up thinking of Grandma. I don’t remember exactly when she decided it was time that I learn to make gravy, but I would guess that I was about 12 or 13. And so it started that every time we were together for a turkey dinner, Grandma and I made the gravy together. At first, I just watched. Then I took control of the spoon, while she added the flour and water in the correct amounts. And finally, in the last few years I had taken over all gravy making at our house, even when Grandma wasn’t there.

I’ve been told that we make gravy the hard way. I take the meat juices, still in the roaster, and add the correct amount of flour directly to them. Once that’s mixed to about the right colour I then add water. Usually I use the water that the vegetable for dinner were cooked in, but if necessary boil some in the kettle. I know that it’s apparently easier to mix the flour and water first,. But honestly, I’ve tried that because I need to do it when making pot roast gravy (water already mixed with juices so I can’t add the flour straight) and I find it so much harder to get it lump free. So I stick to my way. It’s easy for me, and frankly, although I know I’m biased, I think it makes better gravy.

Hubby wasn’t feeling well today, so I made soup for dinner. But I’m kind of wishing I had roasted a chicken, so that I could have made gravy just the way my Grandma showed me.


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