Sunday, December 24, 2006

Emergency Gravy

On this day before Christmas, I was reading a series of posts about making ham gravy. I have nothing to add to the discussion, but was reminded of a Christmas a few years ago when I discovered the wisdom of "Emergency Gravy".

Our holiday dinners are pretty much set. Christmas and Thanksgiving is turkey and stuffing with mashed potatoes, corn, peas and mushrooms, relish tray and of course, gravy. Easter is ham, etc. After years of preparing these feasts, it has become pretty standard and not a panic type meal as it was in the early days.

The Christmas I am remembering was going along smoothly. We had taken the perfectly roasted turkey from the oven and my husband was transferring it to a platter when I heard the fateful words, "Uh oh".

I turned to see the precious juices running from the disposable aluminum foil roaster that we have taken to using for this job (we have a perfectly good roasting pan, but this is much easier to clean up.) He had used two very sharp meat forks to lift the bird and one of them had somehow punctured the side of the pan.

I grabbed the pan and tilted it to save what was left, but there wasn't much and I despaired as to how I would ever get enough gravy to satisfy the gang. We need it for the stuffing and the mashed potatoes that pile high in the bowls and platters.

As I poured what was left into a separate pan to make the gravy, I suddenly remembered a packet of instant turkey gravy that I had stashed in the pantry - probably when I was planning (on some former holiday) to make extra gravy after the big meal for the hot turkey sandwiches my hubby loves.

I added the instant to the paltry drippings and made some really great gravy - enough for everyone. It really saved the day, so now I always make sure to have a few packets of the instant gravy around just in case.

Sometime later my son, the vegetarian, decided to help me clean the pantry and if you knew him, you would understand this. He demanded explanations for many of the odds and ends he found. The most vehement question was about the gravy packets. We never have turkey at any other time of the year and he wanted to know what in the world they were doing in the pantry.

I absentmindedly said, "Oh, that's the emergency gravy."

For some reason, this reply elicited a howl of laughter and (since I am, to him at this time, old and apparently brain addled) a round of mockery. I laughed along and whenever the pantry is stuffed these days and he is home, he will make remarks about the "Emergency Gravy" which sets us both into gales of laughter.

Funny the little things that make memories and inside jokes.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Big Grin here did you notice on the bottom of my gravy instructions, I give specific instuructions regarding emergeny gravy.
We always have that supply and I'm going to try putting it in the drippings, great idea. Thank you.
Merry Christmas