Have you ever heard of Scorched Gravy? It doesn't sound like much, but it's tasty. I fix it now, even when there are meat drippings for flavor. Scorched Gravy is another recipe from my childhood. Mother made it often during the Great Depression. We always had potatoes to build a meal around. Meat was another thing. With no refrigeration, fresh meat was a delicacy, not often on our table. Potatoes and gravy were.
I remember the time my husband's cousin and her husband stopped by one Sunday morning. Our families were not church-going people so our Sundays were built around the midday dinnertime. Mother did her best. I tried to do the same.
In those days, relatives would arrive, uninvited and unannounced, about ten a.m. At least they did in our neighborhood. That gave you time to prepare a larger meal, put more water in the soup, so to speak. I don't remember any of them bringing anything for the dinner, just their appetites and conversation. They would entertain us with the latest family gossip and opinions on current events. We seldom had visitors, so they would be welcome.
The time I am referring to was a time of an almost empty cupboard. I did have potatoes, so I could make gravy. As we sat around the kitchen talking over cups of coffee, the husband said, "I hope you are not going to make Scorched Gravy. I can't stand Scorched Gravy." I just smiled. Yes, he was going to get Scorched Gravy. It was all I had. To make a long story short, he loved it. I make a mean Scorched gravy. Here it is:
1/2 cup lard, shortening or meat drippings
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup minced onions
2 cups cold water
Salt and pepper to taste
In deep heavy skillet, over medium heat, melt the lard. Stir in flour. Stirring constantly, cook onion and flour to a bubbly medium brown color. Don't burn. Add water, all at once, stirring constantly, to thicken. If gravy is too thick, add more water. If too thin, cook longer to reduce and thicken. Season with salt and pepper. I have no idea why this gravy turns out so good but it does. Makes a great gravy during hard times or any time.