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Abrazos! xox Penny

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sunny Friday...It's Gravy

I am not into Black Friday.The day after Thanksgiving used to be the day we had our family Thanksgiving and so I have never gotten into the madness of rushing out to go shopping. Nor do I even think about Christmas decorations. I hold fast to the "one holiday at a time" theory and don't let one overstep the other. Today is still the "day after" ...Thanksgiving gravy.

Speaking of gravy, I can count on one hand the times I have ever made it. Max almost 50  years of cooking and two of those times it has been Chocolate Gravy that I made in a cooking class. But for yesterday's dinner, I felt the urge and had some wonderful looking mushrooms just waiting.

And, the mushrooms will help me answer another question some of you asked, why I referred to my great-grandmother as "Aunty" Co. In a word: mushrooms.

Aunty Co was my "real" great aunt. Her sister, Stella, was my "real" great-grandmother. She and Papa Barnett lived on a lovely, seaside farm near Virginia Beach, Virginia. One afternoon Stella took a ride out to gather some goodies for dinner. Her horse came back. She didn't. Sampling her treasures, she ate a wild mushroom and died of mushroom poisoning.

Per the custom of the times, the 1890's, as the unwed sister, Aunty Co was called upon to become my great-grandfather's next wife and mom to the three little ones-Gram Jean and her two brothers. However, adventuress that she was, she was in India when her sister died, hot off the trail she had blazed living in Hawaii, Japan, China and other places.

I have the letter she wrote back to my great-grandfather, accepting his proposal. She mourns not only her sister but what she knows is the loss of her footloose, fancy-free existence. She tells him she "is making my way home to you and the dear children." What she forgot to tell him was "when". On her way home, she traveled the rest of the world and many months later, settled and settled well into her new role. She was a corker.

Here are some pictures of my first veggie Thanksgiving, starting with a peek inside the Stuffed Pumpkin ( see November 22 post)...and then, it's on to the Safely Wild Mushroom Gravy recipe. 

I am really getting into tarts. This is my Pumpkin Tart.
It was a dreary day here and so I kept things bright, casual and playful.

Stewed Lima Beans, Spiced Beans, Corn Pudding, Tangerine Cranberry Sauce, Stuffed Pumpkin, Rio Rancho Dressing with Safely Wild Mushroom Gravy

Safely Wild Mushroom Gravy (I may be tweaking this. Son Christian called this morning and said he made a fab vegetarian gravy yesterday...I will try to get his recipe!)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake, baby bellas and chanterelles)
1/3 cup brown rice flour (Oddly enough I had some...not a lump anywhere. I am sure any flour would work.)
1/4 cup shoyu or tamari soy sauce
1-1/2 cups water, veggie broth or wine combo
3/4 teaspoon dried sage
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

In a skillet, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic. Add mushrooms and saute until softened, browned a little and having "sweat" out their liquid. Add flour to make a roux and brown flour mix for a few minutes. Stir in soy sauce, liquids of choice and herbs. Simmer until thickened, thinning with a little extra liquid if gravy gets too thick. Makes about 2 cups.

Now, tomorrow, I will have some hair-raising shopping news!!!

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