OK, so this is a very controversial topic among my friends at home and school. When I call the "red stuff" gravy everybody is quick to jump down my throat and tell me that gravy is brown. I disagree and I will tell you why.
When trying to figure out the logistical way to explain the difference between gravy and sauce I called up an expert, my grandma. The conversation went as follows:
"So Grandma, why do you call the red stuff gravy?"
"I call it gravy because that's what it is."
Well, ladies and gentlemen, there's your answer. The red stuff is called gravy because that's what it is. I asked my grandma to elaborate on the differences a little more and she mentioned that the red stuff is called sauce too but it tends to be watery and does not contain meat. Gravy tends to be a little thicker and is cooked with meat to add that amazing flavor.
I call the red stuff gravy for a variety of different reasons:
- I am half Italian and damn proud of it.
- Making homemade gravy with my grandma in the kitchen is one of my favorite childhood memories.
- Homemade gravy is so delicious and more people should experience the amazing taste.
- Gravy is one thing that never fails to bring my family together.
I am half Italian, a quarter Polish and a quarter German. The Italian side of my family is larger and a lot louder. When we attend a family party, it is very time consuming to make sure you give everyone a hello and goodbye hug and kiss. If you happen to forget someone, low key grudges will form. One goodbye could last 6 to 10 minutes because us Italians love to talk. I am proud of my mixed heritage and the ability to participate in so many different traditions.
Gravy was a major part of my childhood. Every Sunday my extended family would get together and enjoy Grandma's amazing cooking. I remember leaving Grandma's house with a pant button unbuckled because the food is always too good to turn away even when you are full. When I was younger, I would assist my grandma in the kitchen Saturday night to prepare for the Sunday feast. I would stand on a chair and squish my hands in the meat to make the meatballs and roll them into disproportional sizes (my grandma always corrected me because that was the only way I learned). My favorite memory was when I helped my grandma make homemade green spaghetti. This will forever be my best work in the kitchen. I plan on passing this tradition to my future children and grandchildren.
Growing up I did not know anything different than calling the red stuff gravy. That is what my family called it, and I thought that's what everyone else called it. When I came to college, I was shocked when people did not refer to the red stuff as gravy. My friends look at me like I have three heads and continue to judge me hardcore. At this point, I just say let's agree to disagree. I know for a fact that if they spent a Sunday dinner at my grandma's house they would start calling it gravy too. For me, gravy has its roots in family traditions and memories.
Sunday dinner at Grandma's always brings my family together. Even though life is crazy and people are busy we always try and find time for Sunday. It gets tough because we are all getting older and have a lot of different responsibilities. Food is something that never fails to bring my family together. The dinner table is where stories are told, memories are made and gravy is stained on your shirt.