Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 22:07:32 -0800
From: "J.Russell King" jrking[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IX.NETCOM.COM
Subject: Re: Oklahoma Red-Eye Gravy -
Mr. Joseph Jones' statement is almost exactly what I experienced
with red-eye gravy in Oklahoma, back in the 1930's. Fried country
ham first, them some water added to the meat-grease residue, and,
by golly!, red-eye gravy for those big baking-powder biscuits.
I always make red-eye gravy with left-over coffee rather than water.
The red-eye gravy that my mother made in Oklahoma in the 1960's and
70's was as described, with simply water (and perhaps a touch of
flour?) in the residue of a ham steak. I was surprised (or is it
astonished) some years later to find in "standard" Southern cookbooks
(the collections of the ladies' sewing circle of the Maranatha Baptist
Church and such) that a key ingredient was coffee. That didn't fit with
my experience. In recent years, on those rare occasions when I found
myself with a hankering for same, I've made it both Mom's way, with
water, and the official way, with coffee. And the fact is, it's hard to
tell much difference.
This is hardly a discussion of linguistics or American dialects, I
fear, so I apologize.