Here are sections of the introduction of Fifty Shades of Gravy; a Christian Gets Saucy.
We live in a world that groans beneath the weight of sin that entered at the fall of man. Everywhere we turn, there is pain, hatred, abuse, war, jealousy, greed, and malice. Whether they consciously do it or not, people seeking to free themselves from their chains, longing to end their internal suffering, turn to all types of carnality. They are lost in a world that offers them, not truth, but lies.
The Biblical book of Galatians spells out the types of gratification of the flesh lost people seek when they ache for peace and freedom: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness … yet even when carnally fulfilled, human souls still cry out for freedom from the ropes that bind and enslave us to our sin.
This cookbook is a purposeful parody of a piece of fiction that glorifies the kind of unbalanced dominance and submission that leads to pain, abandonment, forced (non-consensual) sexual acts, and brokenness. While it is a parody, the very serious and very real fact is that there are real people all around us who desperately seek tranquility and truth in this world and who, instead, fall into the trap of pain and bondage in the vain hope that suffering will fulfill their quest. The world promises that a total surrender to the pleasure/pain promised by the flesh will free us, but the Bible warns us that such will only further trap us.
The good news is that Christ can free us from all of our bonds. He is the Bread of Life. Accepting Christ into our lives brings with it the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit brings us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
When we embrace the love of Christ, we break the chains of slavery to heartache, pain, and sin. We open our hearts and lives to enduring unconditional love and lasting peace.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.’” John 8:34.
In my opinion, a good gravy can make an otherwise mediocre meal great while a bad gravy can make an otherwise amazing meal not so memorable. Gravy in its simplest definition is this:
- some form of fat,
- mixed with some form of starch,
- mixed with some form of liquid.
However, some sauces in this book don’t require the thickening power of some form of starch. Liquids from cooking meat can actually be thickened into sauce by using the simple reduction method (applying heat until water and liquids have evaporated to form a thicker sauce).
Gravy is first found, historically, in medieval French cookbooks as gravé. When meat was prepared on a spit over an open fire, a pan was placed under the roasting meat to collect the drippings. The fat was then skimmed off of these juices, and this was served as a sauce with the meat. This was a rare, bloody sauce. Because the Bible forbids consumption of blood (Leviticus 7:26), during this same time period, Byzantine Christians and Jews were known to prepare a similar sauce, except that they cooked theirs over a high heat and added wine or fish sauce to it then served it as a dipping sauce for chunks of meat or bread.
Over time, these sauces, or jus, were improved with the addition of herbs, spices, and different liquids or fats as well as different thickening agents. Now, as you can tell by this cookbook containing 50 distinct gravy recipes, the disparate preparations and combinations could be considered countless. There are two really simple things you can do to ensure you serve the best gravy possible.
First, always use fresh, real, whole foods. It is painfully obvious when gravy comes “fresh” out of a jar or a magical “just add water” packet of dehydrated chemicals. The fact is you just can’t beat the taste of homemade, fresh, real, whole foods. Don’t let clever marketing gurus fool you into thinking a jar or packet is going to be the same or better. There’s simply no way something packaged with industrial grade chemical additives and preservatives in a modern factory can ever compete with a product made from scratch in your very own kitchen with simple whole food ingredients and love.
Second, taste it – a lot. That’s right. “Stick it and lick it” Plain, bland, boring gravy can kill a meal. You must taste it the entire time you’re preparing it. as in stick a clean spoon into the sauce and lick it off to see if the taste suits. Whenever I volunteer in the soup kitchen, I keep a ready supply of clean plastic spoons in my apron pocket. I “stick and lick” and dispose of those spoons the entire time I cook. The drippings and pan scrapings from preparing meats will never taste the same twice. You must use your senses – smell and look and taste – and add flavor enhancing herbs and spices as needed.
Some of the recipes you will find are entire meals (like Family Favorite Steak & Gravy), some are simple sauces (Au Jus), and some are gravies you make to serve alongside your prepared feast (Traditional Turkey Gravy). There are meaty gravies, comfort food gravies, vegan gravies, gluten-free gravies, and even chocolate gravies. Serve them over biscuits, rice, mashed potatoes, toast, sides, entrees, or simply lick the spoon and savor that liquid comfort we call gravy. Enjoy them.
Fifty Shades of Gravy; a Christian Gets Saucy is a cookbook wrapped in a parody surrounded by a comedy with a tongue firmly inserted into a cheek – but the recipes are deadly serious and may leave readers licking the gravy boat. Hallee Bridgeman, A.K.A. “Hallee the Homemaker” rides the gravy train to triumph and hilarity with her premiere cookbook, revealing the secrets of that most seductive comfort food – gravy. Her famous whole food, real food recipes bathe in luxuriant liquid comfort with recipes that are sure to captivate and enslave any audience. Hallee starts with stocks and broths and then explores every shade of gravy you can whip up. Some recipes are entire meals and some are simple sauces while still others are gravies served alongside a traditional holiday feast. There are meaty gravies, comfort food gravies, vegan gravies, gluten-free gravies, and even chocolate gravies! For any gravy question you were too ashamed to ask, this saucy Christian shares the answer.
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