A few weeks ago, I was making gravy for Sunday dinner.
I make a mean Sunday roast. I always purchase a rump roast for my Sunday gatherings. No other cut of meat will do.
I begin by browning the roast in butter, for 30 minutes, before I put it in the oven.
While preparing the roast, I flashed back to my mom’s gravy and her Sunday dinners. Oh, mom was the best cook.
She had this roasting pan, which must have come over on the Mayflower.
Mom’s roaster was extremely thin. It had a square lid. The lid knob had fallen off, years ago. So there was a small hole where the knob had been attached.
I often wondered if that was why her roast was so tender, and so delicious.
Either way, my mom could have competed on the food network with her roast and gravy.
Anyway, in order to come close to mom’s scrumptious gravy, I have to add beef bouillon cubes. And it seems that there was never enough beef bouillon for Sunday gravy.
I don’t know about you but opening a bouillon cube is hard to do.
Either McCormick, Tone’s, or Knorr bouillon cubes, whichever was on sale, are wrapped in these foil papers. I swear, those small foil papers would not have opened when the water hit the Titanic kitchen. They are tough to get off.
When I am in a hurry, it takes time to peel the foil off the darn cube. I honestly get angry when I can’t open one.
If Sunday guests come knocking at the door, I don’t have a lot of time to “doctor” up the gravy.
I particularly don’t want my guests to know I use bouillon to flavor my gravy.
Anyway, I opened a new bottle of beef bouillon cubes and guess what? The cubes had these little pull tabs, right in the middle of the cubes.
Opening the cube was so easy. One quick pull, and voila, the cube is foil-less.
Where was this invention when I had kids at home?
Back in those days, when in a hurry, I’d try smashing a cube, with a meat cleaver.
Either I knocked one of those little suckers, across the room, almost putting the dog’s eye out, or I’d simply hit one with such force that I smashed it to “smithereens.”
Such a simple invention, which I needed so badly years ago, but one that leaves me encouraged, and humbled, that my life is just a little bit easier, with a pull tab.
And the gravy is great.
Diane Mack is the coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at Director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.