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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Breakfast gravy

Gravy is the basic component of many meals. Composed of grease, milk and flour it is easy and cheap to prepare. The original appeal to cooks was surely the inexpensive ingredients and quick preparation time.
Cooking is chemistry and chemistry is cooking. All good cooks would be good chemist. Making crystal meth in the bathtub is about the same as cooking gravy in the kitchen. Mix ingredients, stir then add a specific amount of heat for a specific amount of time and something new is created. A little caution about the crystal meth, it can explode during preparation and you should wear extensive personal protection equipment with fire extinguishers close. Of course all kitchens should also have fire extinguishers quickly available.
Now back to the gravy. Start with bacon and fry, this produces grease drippings as a byproduct. I use the grease to complete the bacon frying, draining off (and saving) the grease towards the end before completing the cooking of the bacon. I like my bacon dry and crispy but not burnt. Burning the bacon turns the hydrocarbon molecules into charcoal, charcoal may be healthy but I don’t like the taste. You can always burn the toast if you want some charcoal. Most of the authoritative comments I have received from female cooks is that gravy is unhealthy, causing issues with heart, body weight, water retention and ingrown toenails. As near as I can tell, everything I like to cook and eat is bad for me. Now let the bacon drippings cool and pour back into the frying pan, slowly add the flour and stir while thinning with milk. Do not add the flour too fast or it will become lumpy gravy. Lumpy gravy is bad chemistry. The cooking temperature is lower than for the bacon frying. The cooking time is about the same. Add spices to suit your taste, salt and pepper are the standard choices and I like a large dash of paprika for breakfast gravy. I also like to crumble some of the crispy bacon into the finished gravy. In the time taken to cook the bacon and gravy the biscuits will be finished in the oven.
Cook two eggs over easy and a hardy breakfast is now ready.

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