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Lump-free gravy easy as a few shakes

By on June 15, 2008

photo by talekinker

Homemade gravy is far superior to what you can buy in the store. It’s cheaper, too. It’s oil, liquid, such as stock, and a thickener. Seems simple enough. Yet how often have you bought a can, jar or packet? The trick to making gravy without lumps is to make a slurry by using the first reader’s tip.

NO LUMPS: I never have lumpy gravy because I shake my flour and broth in a glass jar before adding it to my drippings. Try it. You have to shake it vigorously and keep cooking your gravy so it doesn’t taste like flour. Lumpy gravy happens because the flour clumps and cooks. — Cynthia T., e-mail
NOTE FROM SARA: Other “lump-free” gravy options are to use quick-cooking tapioca or a wire whisk when using flour, cornstarch or instant mashed-potato flakes.

MOIST QUICK BREAD: I used to have a problem with dry banana bread. Now I substitute applesauce for the butter or margarine, and it’s moist. If I don’t have applesauce, I add a small grated apple, 1/2 cup sour cream or an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained to my regular recipe. — Julianne, e-mail

BAKED VERSUS FRIED: I hated getting burned when frying bacon for breakfast. Now I bake it at 400 F in my oven for about 15 minutes. This works great when you have a lot of people over for breakfast. — Paula H., e-mail

FRESH MARSHMALLOWS: My son loves mini-marshmallows, but they’d harden before he could eat them all. I store them in the freezer now, and it solved the problem. — Chrissy, Florida

I’m sure that there’s someone out there like me who runs out of money and then realizes she forgot to buy something when it’s too late. I figured out on average how many days a box of diapers, a can of formula, package of wipes, etc., lasts me. Then I write when I’ll need to buy them on the calendar. When I’m planning my purchases, I know when something will need to come out of the current paycheck and what can wait until the next one. — EdgyBlue, e-mail

SHOP AROUND: Get more and it’s cheaper! I have been buying yeast at the grocery store, 4 ounces for $4.28, and I have been using a lot because I’m making things from scratch. Try the health-food store. I got 1 pound for $3.66. The store’s spices, flavored teas, dried beans and steel-cut oats are cheaper, too, so check it out. — Candy, Ohio

TASTY FILLER: To make your scrambled eggs stretch, add bread crumbs. You’ll be able to serve larger helpings, and it tastes great. — Claire R., e-mail

CURE HICCUPS: Eat a spoonful of peanut butter or sugar. Works for me. — Felicia D., Pennsylvania

LONGER-LASTING FRUIT: Put ripe bananas into a paper bag and then into the refrigerator. The skins do turn brown, but the taste and consistency are not affected. When I’m going to eat them whole, I set them out to warm up a bit before eating. They are great! Thus, there is no need to rush to make a bread or dessert to keep from “losing” the bananas. — Pat P, Washington

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Monroe on a Budget » Sara Noel: frugal ideas for the kitchen

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