Monday, November 12, 2007

Manic Monday - Gravy

Good gravy! It's Monday again already and that means it's time for The Magnificent Morgen's Manic Monday Word of the Day which is -- GRAVY! For those of you who might be wondering how on earth that became the word of the day allow me to quickly explain ... the other evening Morgen, Claire, and myself were playing a game of Scrabulous online and having a lovely Yahoo! Instant Messenger chat at the same time. Mo mentioned that he had yet to pick a word for Manic Monday and asked Claire and I if we had any suggestions. Well, with it being close to Thanksgiving and all, my mind immediately went to all of the good things about Thanksgiving and settled on gravy because you can't have turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing without having gravy. Gravy is the thing that ties it all together - much like friendship is the thing that ties life together. Hence, the word of the day is "gravy"! Makes sense, right?

I wasn't sure what direction I was going to go with "gravy" but while debating options I had an epiphany of sorts what with it also being Veterans Day this weekend and I was recalling some of my time in the military. I was in the Air Force and after my six weeks of Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas I was transferred to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi for eight months of electronics schooling. Keesler was known to have some of the best chow halls in the Air Force and had actually won quite a few awards. For the eight months that I was stationed there, I never once complained about the food as it was very good and very plentiful and if you couldn't find something you liked then you were way too picky and should never have joined the military to begin with!

One of my very favorite things to have for breakfast was ground hamburg in a white gravy sauce served over toast otherwise known as Sh*t on a Shingle. A lot of people get this particular delicacy confused with creamed chipped beef but true SOS is made with ground beef and I can't remember ever going to the chow hall and having them serve up SOS made with chipped beef. It just wouldn't have been the same.

Say what you want about it but it was stick-to-your-ribs food and was absolutely delicious. I liked to have mine put on my hash browns or even my scrambled eggs for a variation once in awhile and my mouth is watering just sitting here thinking about it now!

SOS was also one of my Dad's favorites and being a 20-year career man I can certainly see that happening! My Mom used to make creamed chip beef a lot when I was younger but it wasn't the same so I eventually found a recipe of sorts and learned to make true SOS myself. The few times I made it for my Dad, he gave it high points and said it tasted just as good as anything he'd ever eaten in a chow hall. My youngest brother who spent some time in the Army National Guard also gave it a big thumbs-up so I have military experts backing me on this!

I don't have an exact recipe written down as SOS is something you basically make for taste but I can give you the basics should you ever wish to try it yourself. Oh, and don't even think about the calories because they are plentiful but an Army can't run on carrots and celery sticks!

First off, get a pound of bacon and fry it up placing the bacon to the side and reserving the bacon fat; in the same skillet you just friend the bacon in, add enough flour to the bacon fat to make a nice gravy base along with salt and pepper for seasoning; add milk until you have a nice thick sauce; stir in one pound of already-cooked scrambled ground beef; and when it's good and hot serve over toast or potatoes. Yummy! Some people like to add Tabasco sauce or other condiments but I like just the basics. I'm going to have to make this again sometime soon now that I think about it!

Everyone have a great Monday and may all your gravy be good!


  1. Anonymous11:56 PM EST

    With Thanksgiving coming up, all I can say is I am not looking forward to the gravy, again! Sometimes I sneak a little can over to the inlaws house, and nuke it in the micro in case the gravy doesnt pass! UGH. I hope you had a great weekend. Come visit my blog if you can!


  2. Anonymous1:38 AM EST

    gravy is like a great friendship, I like that one!! Great word you guys chose, now come teach me how to make a great gravy because I suck at that :) Have a great Monday, Linda.

  3. That sounds like an interesting recipe Linda.

    I am known for my gravy recipe - we like it thick and tasty!

  4. My waistline is expanding as I read...

  5. Anonymous7:25 AM EST

    Yumm-o! I'll hop on a plane and head there. You get that bacon grease warmed up! *LOL*

    That sounds like a true southern dish...meat-n-gravy! :)

  6. This is the first time I've ever read ANYBODY fondly remembering Shit on a Shingle. LOL


  7. oh i am so overwhelmed. i did not do my mm yet and there are so many places to read and comment. i feel like an awful blogger! bear with me please!!!

    smiles, bee

  8. Gravy is king in my house.

  9. but what do you do with the bacon?


  10. :) Yup, I'm with Ian on this-first time I've ever heard anyone actually liking it! But, with bacon fat as your starter-how could it be bad!?!?

  11. Wow...why is it that something that tastes so good is always made with things that are so bad for us? If I were more courageous, I'd make that recipe of yours and to heck with the cholesterol.

  12. There's a big difference between chipped beef and true SOS. I am so with you on this. Have a great MM. :)

  13. Gravy turned out to be a good word for a well written post.

  14. hmmmm I wonder if it was generational. My WWII uncle always said it was chipped beef (maybe that had to do with keeping it preserved under combat conditions). Now hamburger in gravy was the three days before payday and now money food. You can really stretch a half pound of hamburger and then serve over mashed potatoes. No wonder low income people tend to be overweight!!

  15. just about anything that starts with bacon has got to be yummy! laughing!

  16. Ah--SOS. A fond memory indeed. I suspect your Dad took a moment from his present pursuits to grin a bit over that one!

    Our family was evenly divided on the chipped beef v.s. hamburger issue. Mom insisted on the former, Dad the latter. Either way, I consider the stuff a treat and so does my hubby. Now, the kids...well..

    Anyway, Happy Veteran's day to my personal favorite Vet. My thanks for your service and for that of every one out there who has had the guts to serve in the Armed Forces. I also thank the families of all who serve, for they give their all as well. You are each and all my heroes!

  17. I thought it was creamed beef on toast, my mom made this quite well. She also made creamed chicken. I guess that she mastered the art of a 'white' gravy. I have been trying for years to make a perfect gravy, and it's easier with fat from the roast, but I'm a bit afraid with butter, flower and milk. I have to try some more. Mom used to make a cheese sauce for broccoli, perhaps its base was the same white gravy...

    I do like the results obtained so far with Wondra flour, it is very fine and doesn't seem to lump up. All I remember is that the toast has to be really crunchy. Nothing seemed to beat that combination...

  18. Now my Marine Corps buddies tell me that SOS has gotten a bum rap from film. They also said that it was best with ground beef, although they would wolf it down with chipped beef too.

    Happy MM!

  19. I can actually make gravy, believe it or not.
    OK. Don't believe it.

  20. The best recipe for a basic white sauce is in the red and white Betty Crocker cook book, in the inside cover...smiles.
    My mom used to "dress-up" SOS (using chipped beef) with button 'shrooms and pimientos. I hated it as a kid, used to poke it around on my plate. And today? I love it!
    And I love it with hamburger, too. It's wonderful with mashed 'taters. They served that in grade school - some sort of "shepherds pie."
    And since I haven't eaten and it's 8:15, I'm gonna go scarf around the kitchen and see what I can find...

  21. Anonymous11:33 PM EST

    That sounds yummy. I can't eat anything like that today. And I didn't know that was different from creamed beef. That's yummy too.

  22. oooo I'll have to make that for Subvet!! thanks!


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