Thanksgiving, gravy and me

If you thought you saw me coming out of Williams-Sonoma today clutching a brown jar – no, you didn’t. You didn’t see one single thing. You never saw me making my annual purchase of my Thanksgiving secret weapon.

I have been pretty successful in being little  like my mother, except in one way. (Well, two, if you count the hereditary Link-Shaw jowls.) The older I get, the more I believe, as she did, that if I don’t really enjoy  it, I shouldn’t have to cook it. This attitude causes a problem at Thanksgiving, because I am lukewarm on one of the holiday’s sacred cows: Turkey gravy.

I like gravy OK, but I don’t believe that a Thanksgiving meal without it is a prosecutable offense, as some seem to. And when I’m finishing up several dishes as hungry people are prowling around the kitchen like starving cats – well, gravy looks like a frill, to me. I can make it; I just don’t choose to.

I thought I’d be excused from the gravy requirement when we started deep-frying our turkey. No roast turkey, no drippings, no gravy, right? Oh, no. No matter how much, shall we say, natural moisture the fried bird has, people want to board the gravy boat. When I discovered that The Hub has a love of hot turkey sandwiches (a deeply rooted childhood thing) using the leftovers, I caved on turkey gravy.

Then, I found the jar. “Traditional Turkey Gravy Base,” it says. I ignore the directions to use milk (The Hub’s dairy allergy) and whisk it with some chicken broth. If I hide the jar, the gravy gobblers never know.

And you never heard it, either.