There are certain things in life that just make us feel good. They launch us into our comfort zone; and in spite of whatever trials we might be facing in life, they form a pleasant escape. Usually it is the simplest of events or situations that take us there. A nice cool breeze on a sweltering day, the laughter of children playing without a care in the world, and the warmth of a hug from a loved one; they all form those fleeting moments in life where everything just seems right!
I like to dabble in the kitchen whenever I have the opportunity. You will not be seeing me on the “Iron Chef” anytime soon, but I do enjoy those adventurous moments in pursuit of my own culinary excellence. One thing I have discovered is that there is no such thing as a bad meal if you place a bowl of gravy on the middle of the table. It can be a delightful brown sauce, rich in the flavors of beef stock. It might be a delightful cream gravy, complete with luscious chunks of sausage floating at the top. It can even be a simple chicken gravy, ready to adorn a steaming heap of stuffing. The content does not matter so much as the concept does!
Think back to the last large family gathering that you attended; perhaps Thanksgiving last year. There was a plethora of dishes lining the long banquet table. Every kind of imaginable meat, vegetable, and garnish was awaiting your plate. What was the first thing you smelled? Naturally, it was the gravy. What was the last bowl that your reached for? It was the gravy bowl, holding that rich and tasty liquid that was going to crown your meal. What was the first dish that had to be replenished? You guessed it; the gravy!
What is it about this meat-flavored saucy concoction that allures us so? A warm and silky texture, rolled around on the palate, is bound to calm and soothe us. The boldness of the flavor takes what might otherwise be drab and gives it a new life. The gravy also allows us to customize the portions of the meal that we like. We are suddenly masters of our own gastronomical fate by rendering the sauce on just those items we desire and in a proportion that suits our specific taste.
Life comes with more than its rightful heaping portion of the drab and dreary. Our plates are filled to the very edge with the tasteless and unappealing. We can fall into mindless routines as we merely sleepwalk through the daily events that face us. In essence, the banquet that life has set out for us can transform itself into a tasteless offering of filler and extender. Over time, our taste buds lose their desire to experience new adventures.
What if you carried your own personal bowl of gravy everywhere you ventured? Just pick your favorite blend; be it brown, cream, chicken, or turkey. Every time you found yourself staring down at your life’s plate, your appetite uninspired; you could ladle out a generous helping of that tangy and warm sauce! Would you find that your mundane meal takes on a new appeal? Would the daily little irritants of your day seem to melt away in the meaty stock? Would your apathetic outlook on existence become smothered in a new light? Would you suddenly find yourself just waiting to share that ladle full of meaty richness with everyone you meet?
You already carry that secret gravy recipe within you and it is ready to be shared with others. Care to borrow my stock pot and whisk?