Thursday, November 13, 2008

What in the World is Chocolate Gravy?

Thanks, I'm glad you asked.

My dear sweet husband is a Southern boy through and through, and he likes to tell tales about his Grandma who would cook for her husband and all her boys. She'd get up at the crack of stupid every morning (I would have made a horrible farm wife. God in His infinite wisdom knew this.) She'd light the 8-burner cast iron stove to get breakfast goin' for all the Sowells before they started working in the fields. She'd fry up bacon, eggs, roll biscuits, and get the gravies cooking. You name it. She didn't have just white gravy seasoned with pepper for SOS. She'd also make chocolate gravy.

The first time CJ said, "Chocolate gravy," I stopped him.

"Whoa, honey, back up. Chocolate gravy?" The imaginary flavor of chocolate and gravy made my stomach turn. "Ewww."

"Oh, Baby, if you've never had chocolate gravy on biscuits, you just don't know what you're missing."

Yes, I did. I thought it sounded tremendously weird. Hey, you can take a Yankee girl out of the North, but she's still a Yankee.

So a few years ago we ventured to Tennessee (where I ended up setting my mystery series) and I sat at my mother-in-law's table and to have my first bite of chocolate gravy smothered over hot buttermilk biscuits. I may have been a skeptic, but I was a polite skeptic. And I love chocolate.

With the first warm bite, a heavenly choir woke up on my tastebuds and sang. Oh, wow. I definitely brought the recipe home with me.

When I discovered the fictitious town of Greenburg, Tennessee, I knew my heroine needed to have a love of chocolate gravy, so the yummy treat made it into A Suspicion of Strawberries.

Here's the gen-you-wine recipe I brought home:

Chocolate Gravy

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (approximately)

Combine all the above in a saucepan over medium heat. Don't walk away from it. Keep stirring until the mixture gets thick. Serve immediately over hot biscuits. Leftover gravy can be put in the fridge and eaten later as pudding. Yum!

Now I have this craving for chocolate. . .and biscuits. . .