White Gravy

When I was a kid growing up we knew white gravy as cream gravy.  I ask for cream gravy in a restaurant now and they look at me like I’m crazy and don’t know what I’m talking about.  I think it has something to do with being raised by my single parent dad who was old enough to be my grandfather when I was born (he was 42).  He lived on a farm as a young man raising his first family (in the 1930’s) and I think back then they called it cream gravy because they used fresh milk straight out of the cow.

I’ve experimented with different types of milk and the type of milk you use does indeed make a difference flavor wise.  It also makes a difference calorie wise too.  My late husband and I preferred our white gravy made with half and half.  It’s just richer tasting than gravy made with whole or any other reduced fat milk.  I never tried to make it with cream, we like gravy but at $4 a half-pint for cream we just weren’t willing to try it.  Also, half and half gives it a richer taste and smoother texture.

A good rule of thumb for making white gravy is for every cup of liquid you use 1 tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon of oil.  If you like your gravy thicker increase your flour slightly, if you like your gravy thinner increase you milk slightly.  This is the recipe for how we preferred our gravy, some people like it on the thin side but we preferred a gravy that was “gonna stick to your ribs”.

Some so called experts say that you have to use a whisk to keep gravy from forming lumps.  I’ve never used a whisk to make gravy, I was taught to use a tablespoon and to make sure that I kept stirring.  The only time my gravy comes out lumpy is if I have to walk off from stirring it while I’m cooking it.  So, I say just use what you are comfortable using.  Hubby used a fork, his mother used a slotted spoon.  There isn’t one way that is absolutely better than the other.  What is best is whatever works for you.


2 cups half and half

3 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons oil

Salt to taste

Black Pepper

Measure oil into cold skillet (sauce pans can be used but take longer due to the increased depth).  Add flour and stir until completely dissolved (flour not being completely dissolved can cause lumps), add salt.   You can add a tab bit more oil if you need to do so to dissolve your flour, just go easy as you do it because a little drip goes a long ways.  Pour milk into flour/oil mixture and place skillet onto stove burner.  Cook over medium heat making sure you continue to stir until gravy boils into bubbles that you can’t stir out.  Failure to constantly stir will cause lumps.  Remove from heat and pour up into serving bowl and serve.  Adding pepper after your gravy is done cooking helps from turning the gravy an off white or grayish color. Gravy will thicken upon standing so you might want to take that into consideration too.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica Kelly
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 23:38:11

    Hi Granny,

    I hope you don’t mind me calling you Granny. I happened across your blog yesterday through a google search for homemade biscuits, and as I read through your entries I was especially touched by the slightly personal ones.

    You see, I have a Granny whom I love dearly and you sound so much like my own Granny that your sadness made my heart hurt & ache for you. I am so sorry for your loss and I hope that you find great happiness in those that are around you. My Granny has done much the same – she lost her husband as well, though not to cancer, it was to heart disease. I hope that the people around you love you and cherish you as much as I cherish my own Granny, because Grannies are some of the most wonderful, amazing, sweetest people on Earth. God doubly blesses the person who has an awesome Granny like you and like my own Granny, so I hope your family recognizes that.

    I hope you are doing well. I noticed you haven’t done any new entries in a long while so I hope that means you are off living life and having fun. Please know I am enjoying the great recipes you were so gracious enough to share with all the internet. I can’t wait to make my kids some no-bake cookies and some homemade biscuits.

    Thank you again! 🙂


  2. Laura
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 05:20:17

    Love! Your Recipes. I Love your blog and the fact that you share your life with everyone who reads. Your a real person and its good to see real, sweet caring people are still out there in this world. I also use to hate to cook, but recently I have found that I don’t hate it as much as I thought and I am actually beginning to LOVE cooking. I don’t know what exactly triggered it, but, I actually think I am slowly becoming addicted to cooking.


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