G Is For Gravy, Good Golly

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 10.43.31 AMIt’s all gravy

… is a wonderful way to say that everything is going well in your life.  The logic behind it can be explained thusly:

“This phrase originated from an Old English saying. Life, it explained, is meat and potatoes, and the luxuries are gravy.”

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Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.07.17 AM
{ Image Source: Graphics Fairy }

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That being said, for me, this phrase was one that I never heard growing up.  My mother, Skinny Ginny, had an aversion to all things sauce.  Including, but not limited to, gravy.

There was no gravy in my life, so when I first heard this saying, while in college studying English Literature, it confused me.

To me, gravy was something bad.  Empty calories, you know?

When I finally figured out what the saying meant to the rest of the world, I had to laugh.  Despite my mother’s good intentions when it came to healthful dining, she did a really good job of screwing with my mind, and inadvertently baffling me.

Which just goes to show, it ain’t always what it seems.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

43 thoughts on “G Is For Gravy, Good Golly”

  1. Good gravy! I say it’s all gravy a LOT. There’s so much in life that it applies to. What is it they say? You don’t always get what you want – but you get what you need. And the rest is gravy.

    I was the only person in my family who liked gravy. I spent later years desperately trying to get pan drippings before they were thrown away. It’s much easier to cook for myself. I make extra gravy.

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    1. Zazzy, I rarely say this, but I agree with its sentiment. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one who grew up in a gravy-free home. I’ve never learned how to make it, but I can do a lovely cheese sauce!

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  2. I can totally relate to your mother – although I’m not even remotely close to being a Skinny. I’m just not a fan of gravies and sauces. I rarely add it to my food and make it only occasionally … like Christmas and Thanksgiving. I’m sure I’ve inadvertantly done a good job of messing up my sons’ minds 🙂

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    1. joanne, I’m not crazy about gravy or sauces either. I’ll order a dish at a restaurant, then push the gravy off the entree: a dab of flavor is fine, but that’s all. Wonder how your sons will survive now that you’ve screwed with their minds?!

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      1. … and do you order salad dressing on the side, too?!!

        I think it goes in both directions. They’ve messed with my head on more than a few occasions too 😉

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  3. Not a gravy fan either so maybe you’re not as messed up as you think! As for the quote, it was more popular when I was growing up. I rarely hear it now. Maybe it’s all that healthful cooking.

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    1. joey, I’m not big on gravy, probably because of my mother’s dislike of it. Also, I cannot make it so when I do have it out at a restaurant it tastes too salty to me. But in theory, it’s a lovely idea!

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          1. Well you know, I like weirdos, so no need to mea culpa me! 🙂
            I just…I dunno, do you like puppies and ice cream and the feeling of the sun on your face?

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    1. Chez Shea, that’s an excellent question. I’ve heard that saying, but have no idea about its origins. Seems like it must be related to this saying, somehow.

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  4. I heard the phrase “Oh good gravy!” more than “It’s all gravy.” And “Oh good gravy” was used when someone was frustrated about something. I’m not a cook, so I never make gravy….don’t even know how!

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    1. Beth, I remember people saying “Oh good gravy” when we were kids. It was almost an expletive. I don’t say “It’s all gravy” but I get its meaning. I’ve tried to make gravy, because I’ll try to cook anything, but can’t do it. Plus, like Skinny Ginny taught us, who needs the calories?

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  5. Good gravy baby! A life without the sauce?!? I see. That’s just horseradish if you ask me. We are a ‘dippin’ family for sure. Do you partake in the ‘good gravy’ as a grown-up? I hope you’re life life is as saucy as you seem to me my favorite bean. 😋

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    1. bitsfromheaven, I do partake of a bit of gravy from time-to-time, but overall I avoid the stuff because of the fat. I like sauce, but more of the alcoholic kind, if you get my drift…

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      1. LOL! I do! If only we could swap for a day, as I am still nursing the ‘sauce’ is more of a sip than a smothering…which isn’t all bad since rarely would I get sloshed anyway. But I do miss a nice fruity frilly drink on a hot evening after gardening. I do enjoy our back and forth lol😊Have a great day.💜

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  6. I had a friend who used to say, “I see all food as merely a conveyance for Gravy.” Love that.

    Me, I’m a big fan myself, but it has to be homemade. No storebought gravy from a jar or packet. A good turkey gravy is poem-worthy…mmmmm.

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    1. nance, great line! There’s some truth to that. Because I cannot make a decent gravy, and I don’t like the stuff in a jar, I live sans gravy. I don’t feel deprived by life so, worry not about me in my gravy-free world. And please, enjoy your gravy whenever and wherever you find it.

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  7. Mashed potatoes with no gravy? Ugh. That’s rough. Not to mention a little extra gravy to ladle on that turkey. Slurp. (I don’t make it often, but come Thanksgiving, that gravy comes in handy. And tasty.)

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    1. Carrie, yes, I have to admit that I grew up “deprived,” I tell you. It’s a miracle I’m as well-rounded and sane as I am. 😉

      Odd thing is that my mother was a wonderful, adventurous cook and baker. She just didn’t like sauces. Period.

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  8. I do not like gravy as a foodstuff, but I do enjoy saying that the extras in life are gravy. I’m surprised already at how many food sayings there have been for just the first 7 letters… this is a fun series!

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    1. evilsquirrel13, I like the sentiment behind this saying, too, even if gravy, in the literal sense, is missing from my life. Glad you like this topic. Makes you kind of hungry, doesn’t it?

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  9. In the words of Homer Simpson, “Doh! We always had gravy – mandated by my farm raised dad…but I was always suspicious of it…gravy was used to cover/smother the meat – and we didn’t always have the best cuts. So filled up on the mashed potatoes and gravy and milk most of the time.
    Once in a while I wish I could make real gravy – like for turkey.

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    1. philmouse, such a good quote. Leave it to Homer to know just what to say. I agree about the turkey + gravy. Only at Thanksgiving or Christmas do I feel the lack of gravy in my life. Otherwise, no big deal.

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  10. I eat gravy one time a year at Thanksgiving. I drizzle it over the turkey and stuffing and eat it all together. Otherwise, I’m not a gravy fan, although my mom was great at making it.

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    1. Margaret, that’s how and when I have gravy, too. Never got a taste for it, but I’m not anti-gravy. If I could make it myself, I’m sure I’d feel differently about it.

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  11. This was an interesting one to learn. Now, perhaps you could also explain why in all the heavens, So. Philly folks say “gravy” when what they mean is “tomato sauce”??

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    1. Alice, I don’t know for sure about that one. But I do know in England tomato sauce on spaghetti is sometimes called red gravy. A connection there?

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