Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homemade Gravy, Gluten Free

Sometimes when roasting meats you end up with more drippings and juices than you can use to make gravy for the meal. That is what happened with my Thanksgiving turkey meal. So I saved the remaining juices in the fridge until it was time to reheat the leftovers of the meal. This can be done with a Beef roast as well. More on this at the bottom.

The juices formed two layers, the top is fat and the bottom is broth. I removed the hardened fat and placed in a container to use later for frying potato pancakes in. 

The broth gels in the fridge but melts to a liquid fast.

While it is starting to simmer, mix one and a half Tablespoons of gluten free Corn Starch in a cup of Cold Water. Once the broth has reduced slightly, slowly pour the corn starch water mix into the broth and stir constantly. Bring back to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Stirring helps to keep it from getting lumpy.
When the gravy thickens remove from heat. It will thicken more as it cools.

When I have leftovers I try to package them up in single servings to either freeze or put in the fridge.
I used foil for these since I no longer have a microwave oven. The meal goes in the oven at 325 degrees F while I am making the gravy. I will have to invest in some single serving size glass bakeware to cut down on waste.
 Pour gravy over your meal and enjoy.
I like freshly made gravy over whipped potatoes and turkey.

You can either put this onto a plate or save the clean up time and eat it like a TV dinner.
Making your own gravy is not only easy and fresh, you know what is in it and often times it is healthier for you and it tastes great.

To get the most out of your roast drippings, pour all (if any) liquids into a container. There will most likely be some browned drippings stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan. These often times pack the most flavor. Pour a cup or two of hot water in the pan and use a spatula or fork to scrape the bottom of the pan and this will help to clean your roasting pan later. Once everything is off the bottom add this to the other liquids.

If you have used any oil or butter on the meat you are roasting the fat content will be higher which is why I will put it in the fridge and make gravy later. The fat is easier to remove once it firms up.

The gravy I have made is very simple and needs no other ingredients. However, there are some times that I will add different things like a red or white wine or sherry, Worchestershire sauce, cream and/or other flavorings. I never salt or pepper the gravy. More than enough comes off the meat while roasting and adding it to the gravy will take away from the natural flavorings not enhance it. When there is black pepper in a gravy it makes me wonder if the cook is trying to hide something. Salt and pepper are best left added by the person consuming since each person has different likes and dietary needs.

Many people use all purpose flour to thicken their gravy. Gravy made with flour can also be delicious but since my new son can not have gluten I will be using corn starch for gravies.
I also prefer using REAL instant potato flakes to make a gravy for pork roasts. Some people use the water from boiling potatoes as a thickener.

So my Dear ones, if you have broth or stock left over from cooking, please do not pour it down the drain. Put it in a jar or container and either freeze it or put it in the fridge and make gravy with it.
During the depression and WW2 our family would pour gravy over a slice of bread for a meal. They would make sure the gravy drippings had lots of meat chunks in it for protein. Cream was added as well, for calcium and protein, not to mention flavor. The gravy would help revive stale bread in those days. Those were the "shingle" days.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making Decorations For The Wedding Reception

My oldest daughter is getting married this Friday and I have volunteered to help with the decorations. Okay, it was more like I insisted.
I have been busy with this so I haven't had much time to blog lately.
For the reception hall I want to make two decorative trees that will have lights on them.
Since love is the theme here, my daughter helped me decide on making hearts.

I was thinking about making the hearts with paper mache but I realized I don't have enough time for that so I decided to use Sculpey clay. I had two of my dear friends come over and help me make the hearts. They rolled the clay to form two long "snakes" and then twisted them together, this represents two hearts as one.

 Then we shaped them into hearts and set on foil lined baking sheets. I poked a hole at the top of the heart for hanging them and to attach a crystal in the middle.
When we got them all done they when into the oven to bake and harden.
Here is what they looked like right from the oven.

Then I painted them white.
This next picture is with one unpainted next to one painted.

I used acrylic paint because it dries fast.
After I got both side of the hearts painted I brushed white glue on them with a small paint brush and sprinkled clear crystal glitter on them.

Now we are ready for the crystals.
The crystals are being recycled from an old chandelier that was no longer functional. Most of them are the squares with the rectangle prism. There were only three with the circle on top.

I separated the squares and removed the metal wire. Then I recycled old fishing line to hang the squares inside the hearts.

I have made 44 of these and they will hang on two small trees. I will post more on the trees and decorations after the wedding complete with photos.
Until then, thank you for stopping by.

Dee Dee