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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Our Thanksgiving celebrates the harvest and the blessings of the past year. Canadian Thanksgiving has nothing to do with the pilgrims or with Columbus Day. Canada does NOT celebrate the colonization of her indigenous people. Weather you celebrate today or tomorrow I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving Day!  

Gravy gives the life back to mashed potatoes and turkey. Hungarians serve carved meats with an au juice called rozsdás lé. The roasts are brined with salt and are juicy and flavourful already. Here in North America we pour gravy over the meat during Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Gravy is a sauce made from the juices that run during roasting large pieces of meat. For extra gravy, it is useful to roast turkey giblets in a small pan beside the turkey. For added flavour use the potato water and the water from the vegetables, excluding the yams and the beets. These would overwhelm the gravy with flavour and/or colour. If the pan juices have a thick layer of fat, discard some and leave some for flavour and texture. Gravy maybe thickened with flour or cornstarch. Mushroom gravy is a variety of gravy made with mushrooms. Onion gravy is from slowly sweated, chopped onions. Gravy does not have to be brown to be flavourful. Gravy thickeners are useful in a pinch but you can run into problems if you don’t read the instructions. I think it is just as easy to make gravy from scratch. Like everything else, it also tastes better. 

Turkey Gravy

turkey juices
turkey fat
crispy bits from the bird
potato water
various vegetable waters [not yam or beet]
2-3 Tbsp flour or cornstarch
cold water to make loose paste with thickener
onions or mushrooms sautéed in butter – these are optional

  • The turkey is resting under aluminum foil. The dressing is in the oven. Time to make the gravy.
  • With a large serving spoon, remove most of the fat from the turkey juices. Leave some though.
  • Using oven mitts pour the turkey juices into a pot for the gravy. 
  • Add all the reserved cooking liquids from the potatoes and the vegetables. [omit beets and yams]
  • To thicken gravy with flour or cornstarch, combine a couple of tablespoons with COLD water. The mixture should not be lumpy or too thick.
  • Then gradually stir it into the hot turkey juice.
  • Slow simmer the gravy to the desired thickness.  
  • When the gravy is ready, pour it through a fine sieve into a spouted bowl or an extra large measuring cup.
  • Add the sautéed onions or mushrooms if using. Give it a stir.
  • Transfer gravy to serving bowls or pitchers.
  • The gravy boat is just for show, it barely holds enough gravy for a couple of servings. 


  1. A beautiful gravy. I made some today from roasting the breast on the bone. It tasted good but wasn't nearly as dark. :)

    1. The gravy in the photo is not from turkey, it is a temporary solution to do a timely post. I will replace it in a few days.

  2. I made a turkey gravy by cooking the neck with a carrot, celery, onion and parsnip; I use the vegetables puréed as the thickener. We added the turkey drippings at the end. It made a delicious and rich sauce.

    1. I have a confession to make Eva. I tried the pureed vegetable route just last week. It was good but a bit different... it was reminiscent of vadas. All it needed was mustard an sour cream but I refrained for the turkey's sake. I even took some pictures of it. I will add it to the write up.

  3. Wow, Thanksgiving already! Your gravy sounds divine, Zsuzsa xx

    1. Yes, ours comes well before Christmas

  4. You guys have Thanksgiving early! We still have over a month to go thank goodness. :) I love your gravy. You make it different from me and I really love what you do. The crispy bits and the vegetable water sure do a a depth of flavors. Beautiful!

    1. Canadians give thanks for the bounty of the harvest so it makes sense to do it after everything is harvested from the fields. By the time your celebration comes along most of the country up here is under frozen ground.




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