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Roxanne's Famous Thanksgiving Gravy


Note:  1 recipe makes 2 cups of roux; 20 cups (1 ¼ gal.) of gravy. On Thanksgiving, I make about 15 gallons of gravy for the community dinner, and it is a big hit.



2 cup butter
2 cup flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
2 rounded teaspoons herbes de Provence


14 cups stock, broth, or pan drippings with fat separated off and discarded
2 cups dry white wine (chardonnay)
2 - 3 tablespoons browning sauce – or more for desired color



Measure dry ingredients – add seasonings to flour.
Melt butter over medium heat.
When butter foams, set it off the flame.
Whisk flour in a little at a time, making a smooth paste.
Return pan to medium heat and whisk constantly until the flour and butter mixture bubbles and foams for three minutes.
If making ahead of time, cool and refrigerate until ready to use. 
Warm the roux to room temperature.  (It gets rock hard in the refrigerator.)


Bring roux back to gentle bubbling stage.  (2 cups of roux at a time.)
Slowly, whisking constantly, add 16 cups defatted hot broth, stock, or pan drippings.
Raise heat to medium – high, and bring to simmer.
Add 2 cups wine and browning sauce.
Simmer 3 – 5 minutes, lowering heat as needed and whisking constantly.
Thin with a little more stock if desired.
Taste. Correct seasoning. 
Add chopped, hot giblets if desired.


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Mary Watson's Irish Soda Bread

Note:  Mary cautions me to insist on using buttermilk.  To substitute, add 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice per cup of regular milk.  Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, then stir before using. 


4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
one egg, slightly beaten

1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 ½ tablespoons sour cream (light or regular, not nonfat)
¾ cup raisins, currents, nuts, or dried cranberries.



Preheat oven to 200 Celsius / 400 Fahrenheit degrees.
Before measuring the flour, sift it or fluff it by stirring with a whisk or fork.  Then spoon it gently into the measuring cup and level the top. 
Stir all the dry ingredients together, using a whisk if you have one.
Cut cold butter into the dry ingredients until only tiny bits of it remain.
Stir in dried fruit if using.
Whisk the wet ingredients together or mix well with a fork.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into the well.
Mix with a fork, starting in the middle and gradually incorporating all the flour mixture.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board, silpat, or counter top and knead for about one minute.  (It will be moist and sticky.)
Shape into a round a little smaller than a cake pan.
Place on a baking sheet or buttered cake pan.
With a sharp knife, cut a shallow cross in the surface.
Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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