Wednesday, November 7, 2007

pen and paper

The Etsy shop is up!

Kind of.

There's nothing there right now - I'm, well, pretty freakin' swamped. I need to have final drafts of my UC essays by the twelfth, make slides of five solid pieces by the thirteenth, which means I need to have five solid pieces by the thirteenth when right now I kind of have jack squat, I have a twenty page paper on Iran after the second world war due on the fifteenth and you get the picture. There's a lot on my plate. There's so much on my plate, it could be a Thanksgiving plate.

Which reminds me, if you haven't checked out the November issue of Gourmet, you totally should. The recipes they featured have really whetted my appetite (no pun intended) for this year's feast. And yeah, I know Thanksgiving is sort of a big marketing ploy that glosses over the more horrific historical aspects of the season, but you know what? Right now I am feeling so stressed out of my mind that all I can think to say about that is, "Pilgrims bad, pass the gravy."

Country Gravy, or The Only Thing That Can Take My Stress Away Tonight


three tablespoons flour
three tablespoons of really good pan drippings, bacon grease or vegetable oil
a little less than two cups of milk
plenty of cracked black pepper, maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons
salt to taste

1. Make a roux of the fat and flour over medium or medium-high heat; stir constantly until the roux turns golden-dark.

2. Slowly add milk to the skillet using a wooden spoon or a whisk and making sure to press out any lumps as they form. Unless you're a heathen who likes lumpy gravy. I'm looking at you, Tom.

3. Turn down heat to low and stir until thickened to your liking. Country gravy is better thicker, in my experience, but if it thickens too much add a tablespoon of water at a time, stirring well in between each addition, until it thins out to your taste.

4. Salt to taste.

Serve with fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, biscuits, grits, shrimp or any ungodly combination thereof. A good (if not terribly pretty; notice there is no photo accompaniment for this recipe) remedy for academic maladies.

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