Growing Up Leota: And Then There Was Gravy
And then there was gravy. Every meal or it least so it seems in my memory.
My Mom is gone now, has been for some 15 years or so. But she still lives in my heart and in my memory. And a lot of those warm memories of Mom are ladled with...
Mom wasn't big on diets, nutrition, or menus. It just wasn't that way, not back then on those 80 acres of rented farmland a mile south of Leota, Minnesota. We didn't count calories, didn't have some fancy book to make sure a meal was 'balanced'. 'Balanced' for us was a slab of roast on one side of the plate balanced nicely with mashed potatoes on the other.
The pork and beans? Well, you just sort of plopped them somewhere in between. And the entire thing, from side to side, up and down, was covered with gravy. Always gravy.
Mom was a magician when it came to gravy. She could seemingly make it out of anything and everything. Mostly, I suppose, what she used was fixin's. What exactly are fixin's? Well, if you don't know, I'm not sure I can explain it. I guess it was essentially anything that was, uh, leftover while cooking. Best I can say is, if you haven't had gravy made up from fixin's, well...you've missed out on something extra special.
We'd have that gravy for dessert with just about every meal. Dessert? Yep. You'd take a slice of white bread (wheat bread? Never heard of it back then on the farm) and ladle it with gravy. Voila! Dessert.
The dog? He'd get the scraps leftover on the table covered with...gravy. Kind of Mom's version of Gravy Train before there was such a thing. And I know, I know, you're not supposed to feed the dog table scraps, you're supposed to buy the vitamin-filled dog food at the store. I get it. But somehow our dog Sarge loved this and seemed to survive plum fine.
And I also know that gravy isn't the best for you health-wise. It'll clog arteries and make you fat. Well, apparently that wasn't taken into much consideration 'back in the day'.
Mom's gone now and so is gravy to a large degree. Now we eat healthier, we have a big 'ol delicious garden salad.
Hmmm...I wonder how that salad would taste with a big ladle of warm gravy on it?