Have I mentioned that I spent my whole life carefully living with people who could cook? That as a kid I tried to cook a can of Campbell’s bean soup (add water,heat), and was so stupefied by the lump of soup sitting in a puddle of water (does it SAY stir??) that I dumped the whole pot out the window onto the decorative balcony, where it stayed as long as we lived there? That when I was a teenager home alone, the only thing I could think to feed my sister and myself was hash browns? Every meal? Except for the egg noodles with nothing on them?
So you’ll understand what an undertaking it was when I took on the cooking chores in our home a mere five years ago. prompted partly by a desire to challenge my own conception of myself, partly to be sure all those damned veggies from the CSA got used up, and mainly because my husband was so tired of making dinner, we were eating spaghetti every night. I have been working at it diligently, and have applied my own obsessive organizational touch. I create a menu spreadsheet for the fridge door every few weeks, where I note what is leftover, what vegetables are in danger of going bad, and what recipes will combine these two into the most number of meals. Not sure how I would have done this without the internet-what cookbook combines “rutabega” and “bean casserole” into one recipe?-but I do have cookbooks for the days I want to expand my knowledge base. Which is what I had to do today in a big way, when I taught myself (with the help of Joy of Cooking, Martha Stewart, and my daughter laughing hysterically while she read the instructions).
How did it go? Pretty unappetizingly scarily. Maybe it would have helped to have a sharper knife, or the right kind (working on that “how to” lesson now), but in the end it cooked up as food, and the next day the following recipe is so close to my mom’s fabulous gravy that it made it all new.
Giblet Gravy Makes 3 cups
-Diana Rattray Southern Food.com
giblets from 1 turkey or chicken
4 cups cold water
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups pan drippings or chicken broth
1/2 cup milk or half and half
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
Remove liver from giblets and refrigerate. Place giblets in saucepan, cover with 4 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. Now add the liver and simmer for another 30 minutes. Drain in a colander, allow to cool, chop and set aside. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until butter barely begins to turn golden. Slowly stir in drippings or chicken broth and milk or half and half. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in hard-cooked eggs and chopped giblets and serve.