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.