Many years ago, when I was a teenager, I decided to give up gravy- for health reasons of course. You know, that fat laden sauce that is made from the bits in the bottom of a roaster after the beef or chicken has been cooked. I wasn’t vegan then, so I wasn’t tuned in at all to what the poor beings went through only to end their lives in such an ignominious state in someone’s roaster, in someone’s oven.
But, I did decide that gravy was not for me anymore. Never mind that my mother was a fantastic cook and made dynamite gravy. Never mind that I replaced the gravy with butter on the potatoes that went along with the roast. Not healthy at all, but what did I know? I was a kid. And it was the sixties. No one seemed to be worried about saturated fat way back then .
In any case, I stuck to my decision. I haven’t had any kind of gravy in nearly fifty years. But I still remember what it tastes like. I mean, I used to kinda like it, but the thought of it now kinda turns me off. It looks pasty to me and way too rich and of course, not plant based. But hey, no loss! I don’t eat roasted beings anymore anyway.
Yesterday, I was searching around for something to make for supper. I must say, I felt a bit like Old Mother Hubbard, for my cupboard was really bare-the fridge too! But, I had an abundance of vegetables that needed using up. A soup came to mind. A leek, tomato, potato and bean soup. I had three cans of beans left in the pantry, a tetra pack of veggie broth, some tomatoes, (cherry and not), three leeks and some potatoes that were starting to look a bit wrinkly. Yes sir-eee! This was going to be one good soup. I happily started about the business of providing food for the family-well for my husband and me. The cats don’t like soup.
Fast forward to my whirred (blended), cooked soup. I tasted it. It seemed a bit bland, so I added some salt-not too much. I am cutting back on added salt. Then I added some curry. It is a little better, but not great. Okay, I said to myself, it will be better once I add the cherry tomatoes and the beans. It won’t look so much like gravy. So, I added the beans and cherry tomatoes and was looking down into a pot of soup that looked like lumpy gravy with some red and brown bits in it.
Okay, I said, not to worry. I will let it sit for a bit. Everything gets better with age-I know I did. LOL! A couple of hours later I sit down to have a bowl of that yummy soup with some corn bread (sadly, with no plant based butter) on the side. Yum,Yum!-that is me trying to convince myself that it will be okay. The first bite is a bit iffy, but I persist. Let’s have a second bite. I am starting to recall something from my youth. I am a bit suspicious, but willing to give it another go. The third bite was the kicker. There is no doubt about it, this soup tastes like gravy and that is not a good thing.
Now, you remember, there was nothing else in the house to eat, so I gave it the old college try. But, I had to put it aside before the bowl was half empty. I cut myself a whack of cornbread and called it a day. The soup is sitting in the fridge, in the pot, not yet nine days old. I have decided that I will package it into one serving portions that I will freeze for my husband to enjoy at his leisure. He likes gravy, even though he doesn’t eat it anymore.
People often tell me that cooking, using only plant foods must be difficult. Well, you know there is an adjustment period for most things in this life. Living and eating as a vegan is no different. I consider myself to be a pretty good cook and I still make mistakes. Sometimes stuff just doesn’t turn out. Is it more work than throwing a potato in the microwave and a steak on the BBQ? It definitely is. But it is so worth it to me. Even when I make soup that tastes like gravy.
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
Using up bits and pieces of food in one’s kitchen is a good thing.
Turning these bits and pieces into Gravy Soup is not a good thing.
Forgive yourself for the error and be thankful if someone else in your home does like the taste of gravy and doesn’t mind having it in a soup.
Keep on turning out the plant based foods.
Everybody wins, starting with the beings with whom we share this earth.
May all beings be happy and free.