Lumpy Gravy

Hey Matt:

What makes sauce lumpy? Or better yet, what is a guaranteed way to mix something like flour and water and never have lumps?

-- Jerry in San Diego

Grandma is teary eyed. Someone out there actually makes gravy from scratch instead of buying that crap-in-a-bag powder or wimping out with mushroom soup! Between sobs, Grandma sez when hot liquid hits flour, the little flour molecules burst free and form a gooey web that congeals into lumps. A mixture of fat and flour will help prevent this. Try flour smooshed with butter dabs and added a few at a time to hot liquid. Or add flour to pan drippings, cook and stir until they're smooth, then add liquid. Or use Grandma's technique. Find a jar, put in your flour, add cold water, screw on the lid, shake the heck out of it until the flour's suspended, then pour it into the pan. Make sure you cook away the raw flour taste, though. Grandma sends kisses.

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