I watched the delightful Nigella whipping up her easy-as-blinking Christmas Lunch over the weekend and felt greatly irritated that I can’t even master the art of gravy making, let alone the complete meal.
It’s so bad that a “friend” has on two occasions brought along their own gravy to one of my dinner functions. The first time, a packet of gravy requiring only boiling water to complete was slipped into my kitchen for use. While the second was more blatant, I was handed a pot of hot, fresh from the stove gravy as same “friend” crossed the threshold.
So after watching the ever-smiling Nigella and her simple gravy making method I thought I’d give it a go. I figured if she could smile her way through it, I could grin my way through it. But not having her recipe book, and only vaguely remembering her ingredients I decided to double check these, along with the method in Delia Smith’s book. Which I duly did.
I was thrilled to find I had the giblets, carrot, onion, water, fresh herbs and the required large enough pot at hand, to make the stock. I chucked everything in together and simmered for 2 hours. The smell permeating the house was divine, family members were impressed.
I took my completed stock, added my roast meat juices, a dollop of butter, some Worcestershire sauce, and tasted. It was disgusting! Bland, wishy-washy, whatever you want to call it, it was foul. I swear, if I hadn’t been in the kitchen the whole time, I would have accused my husband of replacing my pot with something from the river.
I reached for the red wine, gravy browning, salt and pepper, not to mention a tissue to mop my brow, before it began to taste even vaguely like a gravy.
What a letdown, I was gutted. Nigella and Delia must surely have left out some or other ingredient when compiling their books and or TV shows, or they too ended up with a foul liquid and didn’t have the heart to spit it out and reach for a packet.
Note to self: bulk-buy readymade gravy packs then lie through my teeth that yes I did make it and no you can’t have the recipe…it’s a family secret after all!