Monday, August 19, 2013

Cookng wiith family

Mikey, my 12-year old son, wants to be a chef. We watch Master Chef together. He has his favorite contestant and I have mine. We'll see which want-to-be Master Chef wins. This weekend he asked to learn how to make a gravy. I'm Sicilian so the thing in the picture above isn't tomato sauce, it's gravy. Okay, now that we have that squared away, I can continue.

The recipe for gravy is a loosely guarded secret. I learned from my Mom, who learned from her Mom, and so on and so on. I say the secret is "loosely guarded" because there aren't any real measurements that go with it. It's a pinch of this, a palm full of that. You know. One of those good old fashioned recipes.

Mikey and I spent the early part of the afternoon chopping garlic, and putting together the gravy. The trick about a good gravy (that all those commercial companies forget) is that it has to simmer for hours to get the best blend of flavors. We did all the prep work, and then I had to leave to grocery shop.

We live on a horse farm. The closest grocery story is a 20 minute drive. Needless to say, a trip to the grocery story approaches an "event" and takes at least 2 hours. Since I was going to be gone during the simmer time, I told Mikey that he had to stir the gravy every 15 minutes (about once after each show ended), and to add water if the liquid level went down. To hedge my bet, I told my husband the same thing.

Imagine my surprise on my way hone when my husband called and asked if there was any premade sauce I would eat.

They had had several issues in my absence. They moved the sauce to a smaller burner on the stove so that it didn't boil quite so much. That was one issue well handled. The next one . .. not so much. Both of them failed to notice that the water had boiled off and what they had in the pot was really tomato paste and not gravy. Somehow when Matt went out to walk the dogs and feed the horses, the stove was turned up. When he came back the tomato paste was burnt. Hence the call to me.

Now, keep in mind that Matt has actually made gravy before. I taught him how when we were dating. When I asked him how he hadn't noticed that the gravy had turned to paste, he said (and I quote) "Have we met?" and blinked his baby blues at me.


The gravy couldn't be salvaged. We ordered pizza. Take 2 - next weekend.

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