Cam Phone Spam Scram Gravy Ain't Wavy

Here in Plano voter interest in the municipal election is up one mild eyebrow twitch above the usual total apathy. We have a, gasp, openly gay candidate for city council. We have a $490 million school bond proposal when many families are cutting their driving and eating lots more beans.

Speaking of gas, the candidates have ALL figured out how to use automated annoying phone calls. I was home this afternoon because of school conference day, and the phone rang every five minutes with a robo-candidate urging me to vote.

Somehow, I got off the campaign track into a discussion about gravy. Growing up, it was a given that during any meal served with gravy someone would remark, "Scram gravy ain't wavy." What did it mean?

Googling "scram gravy" I learned that the expression probably derived from an old-timey newspaper comic about a fireman called "Smokey Stover". If you happen to remember anything from "Smokey Stover" about Molly freezing on the trolley*, PLEASE leave a comment! Dad and I have been as far up and down the sidewalk of Memory Lane as he can go pushing his walker, and I barely remember the comic in the Omaha Weird Herald.

As a kid in the Sixties, I believed that "scram gravy ain't wavy" was a jab at our neighbors who made lumpy gravy with flour and milk instead of using the inherently superior smooth cornstarch recipe seasoned with brown sauce. I have to laugh, but we kids must have had playground taunts like, "my mom's gravy is smoother than your mom's gravy!" It was an era of Meat and Potatoes.

Fritzi's Gravy

Yield: 2 cups

2 Tbsp fat drippings
2 cups hot water drained off the boiled potatoes you are going to mash
2 Tbsp Argo® Corn Starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp Gravy Master or other brown sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat drippings from roasting pan. Stir in hot water. Cook over medium heat, stirring to loosen browned bits. Remove from heat.

Put corn starch and water in a small jar with a tight lid, then shake until smooth; stir into pan. Add seasonings. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute.

*Dad is probably thinking of Walt Kelly's Christmas classic:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., and Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley
Swaller dollar cauliflower Alleygaroo!
Don't we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola Boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder


Anonymous said...

I consulted my dad, and he remembers Smokey Stover, but not Molly on the trolley. And then we burst into the Pogo song.

Dad says he used to draw Smokey Stover as a kid about age 7 or 8 and amaze the neighbors.


BeverlyKayeGallery said...

Finally I'll have good gravy!
Thank you!
A Bloomingdales bag lady!

Genevieve said...

Oh, my. I had forgotten all about Smokey Stover, but a image of him formed in my mind when I read his name and the website confirmed that I was remembering correctly.


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