We all come to a point in life when we start questioning if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. That may come in your 20s, but it usually comes in your 40s or later. The shorter our lives become, the more we want to make our days and years count. So, how do you know if you’ve found your ‘calling’ in life? I’m so glad you asked…
Just to make sure we’re on the same page, the definition of ‘calling’ is: a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.’ Sometimes a calling can be a drastic career change, but can mean returning to a hobby or a pastime that helped you during stressful times in your past. Then there are times when you know what your calling is, but you have a defeating conversation in your head of, ‘What will people think if I do that?’ or ‘I don’t have time to do that!’ or ‘It’s not practical at this point in my life to make this change.’ Whether you know or are still searching for your calling, or what you want to be when you grow up, there are a few steps that you can take to figure out your next step in life.
Steps to Finding Your Calling in Life
What Did You Love As a Child?
Many times our calling comes to us early in childhood. For me, from the first grade, I loved writing and sharing stories with others. But as I grew up, although I never lost that love and returned to it when I turned 40, I let the practical side of me take over instead of pursuing my passion. I didn’t realize that I could be practical with a ‘grown-up’ job and still write.
What Do You Love to Do Now?
Make a list of 25 things you love. For example, exercising, baking, gardening, etc. may bring you enjoyment, but those things could also be your calling. Look at your list and make a plan to do two of those things next week. While they may not be your calling, therapists say that when you do something that brings you a high level of joy, you are more open to listening to your intuition or gut on making life decisions.
Whittle Away the Distraction in Your Life
We live in a world full of distractions that don’t serve us well. From too much TV, to way too much time devoted to social media, or attention to the electronic devices that fill our waking moments. Things can also be distractions like stuff, clothes, things that you don’t use, but you don’t want to let go of. Clearing things and activities that don’t bring you joy out of your life frees up space in your mind and life so you can follow that which serves you. I once read that, ‘Saying no to what you don’t want or need means saying yes to your calling.’
Commit to Baby Steps
My move back to my love of writing came after being downsized from my job and having free time on my hands. I had little confidence in my ability, but I found an online program that would allow me to write and be ‘graded’ by published authors. I had decided that if a real author said I should try my hand at something else, I would move on. But the opposite happened and I got great accolades and moved on from there to write for a local publication and then to writing now for Forsyth Woman. I took baby steps back to my love of writing. I didn’t set out to write the next self-help book or a novel. I took deliberate, but small steps which made all the difference.
Keep Following Where You Think Your Calling Is Going
I recently read that seeking one’s calling is ‘a continuous process of shedding what we don’t need so we can get closer to the person we were born to be.’ If it takes a month to find your passion and calling, take that time to get to know yourself, or if it takes years, it will be time well spent. And don’t tell yourself ‘I’m too old for a change.’ Happiness and joy have no time limit as long as we are alive. Set time aside to listen to the voice within you because our deepest regrets almost always come from those chances we don’t take.
Women are natural born leaders. We see it everyday in the way that they show up for their friends, care for and keep their families running, make changes in their communities, serve in their churches, and find new ways to elevate themselves, regardless of their situation. So, when it comes to leadership roles across industries and opportunities, it’s mind-boggling to see how underrepresented women are.
In a recent article from Forbes.com, findings from the 2017 study done by LeanIn.org and Mckinsey & Company stated that, “Women continue to be underrepresented at the leadership level. White women make up only 18% of the C-suite [the group of titles tending to start with “C” for “Chief” – like chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO)], and women of color make up only 3%. And both groups of women earn three times as many degrees as their male counterparts.”
While there are many layers to what is holding women back in these levels of leadership – some of which have been placed there unfairly for generations – there is one important piece that a woman can begin to work on for herself: harnessing her own self-image as a leader.
There are so many resources and routines you can implement that can help harness the beautiful and brilliant leader that you are already are, while helping you to step out and own that role.
Content that Creates Confidence
We become what we surround ourselves with. From books and movies to podcasts and blogs, there is so much content out there in the world with the sole purpose of building strong leaders. The next time you find yourself consuming content online or purchasing a book from your local bookstore, challenge yourself to find options that will help propel you and your mindset forward. Find out what other leaders you look up to are consuming. Do they have a favorite podcast show or a documentary that was life-changing or affirming that they recommend? Dive in and you’ll notice the changes in your focus, drive, and confidence as a leader.
Finding a mentor that you can learn from and lean on when you are working towards your personal journey of growth is vital. If you’re not sure how to find a mentor, look for local leadership events and women-led organizations, online communities geared toward female leaders, and even in your place of work. When you begin to interact in more of these types of spaces, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who’s in a position you’d like to be in someday and see if they’d be willing to meet with you. Make sure you find a mentor that you can be yourself with while being vulnerable about your goals and feel a true connection with.
Strength in Your Corner
When is the last time you took inventory of your inner circle? It’s easy to have friendships that are there out of habit and less out of love as time moves on. Take inventory of who you keep in your life and who you let in. Is your circle linked together with women who are equally ready to embrace your role as a leader and the things you are passionate about? Do they cheer you on from the sidelines, and can you do the same for them? As you embrace the leading role you were meant to play, find other leaders that are not intimidated by this change and instead are there to cheer you on and help you grow.
Goal Getter Lists
Something most strong leaders have in common is they don’t shy away from setting goals, even the scary ones! Keep a record of the things you want to achieve and create lists to help you get there. Every time you find yourself daydreaming about what that next shift in your life can be, write it down and allow your brain to process the small steps you would need to take to see that come to fruition. If you want to be the CEO of your company one day, write it down. If you want to speak at a conference with an audience of one thousand attendees, write it down. Encourage yourself to stop playing small and lean into the big and scary goals.
Step Out Strong
Don’t wait until you’re ready to be a leader and definitely don’t wait until someone of authority gives you permission to lead. Strong leaders give themselves permission. When you read that women are natural born leaders, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean that claiming the role comes naturally. That part can take time and sometimes a shift in mindset. Curate your life to be surrounded by people, experiences, and things that remind you that you’re meant to step out and be the strong female lead of your own life.
Would having a caring and knowledgeable pet groomer come into to your home and offer your pet a fear-free grooming experience be a dream come true? That experience is now a reality in the Winston-Salem area with Teddy Bear Trims Dog Grooming. Sydney Eley has created this new business in order to offer dogs comfortable, luxurious, low-stress, in-home grooming.
Sydney Eley has always known she would one day work with animals. Growing up in a home filled with well-loved pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and even horses, prepared Sydney for a career in caring for animals. Sydney grew up homeschooled by parents who were role models for independence as small business owners. She saw in her parents, not only the rewards of hard work and commitment, but also the freedom and independence that comes with being one’s own boss.
When Sydney reached the point of choosing a college to attend, she concluded, after reviewing 8 college choices and several scholarships, that the path to owning her own pet grooming business was not through college courses, but rather through an intense thirteen-week course in dog grooming at Rockingham Community College under Master Dog Groomer, Jeannie Oakes. Sydney also attended extra lessons in specific dog grooming cuts, and she specializes in the Teddy Bear cut. Sydney has completed the Fear Free Groomer Certification Program, which ensures her ability to make the grooming experience as enjoyable as possible for every dog, helping each dog to come to love, not fear, the grooming experience.
Sydney is excited to be now offering her house call, low-stress grooming service. “I have always loved bathing and grooming dogs, and it is gratifying to be able to offer that service in the dog’s home environment where stress and fear can be reduced, and the grooming experience actually be fun for the dog,” says Sydney. She brings everything needed, including high-quality equipment such as her grooming table, blow dryer, and vacuum. Sydney uses all-natural products in bathing and grooming dogs. When finished, Sydney provides a thorough clean-up for the convenience of the homeowner.
Teddy Bear Grooms has a wide variety of clientele including people too busy to get their dogs to the groomer, and older clients who have trouble traveling outside the home to attend to their pets’ grooming needs. Sydney makes the grooming experience low-stress for the dogs with crate free grooming. This is especially important for high strung dogs and older dogs who do not fare well physically if restricted to a crate for long periods of time. “Dogs really enjoy the one-on-one grooming experience in the familiar environment of their own home. I can establish familiarity and trust with the dog and relax the animal to actually enjoy the groom,” states Sydney. Dog owners often enjoy watching the grooming experience and can feel part of the event. One recent client commented, “You did an outstanding job! Hands down the best cuts and experience our dogs have ever had getting groomed.”
In addition to being an expert dog groomer, Sydney is also an artist. She paints, crochets and sews. She puts these talents to work to enhance her pet grooming service. Sydney provides each dog with a complimentary, colorful hand sewn collar, adding creative flair to the groom. Sydney also paints pet portraits, something she loves doing as she sees it as a personal celebration of her love for animals.
Sydney’s future goals include one day opening a dog grooming salon where she can continue to offer crate free, low-stress grooming. She would continue with her house call grooming as well, so as to serve the clients and dogs most in need of the home grooming experience.
If you would like your dogs to enjoy this luxury, low-stress house call grooming experience, you can each Teddy Bear Trims Dog Grooming by calling or texting 336-692-4690. Please follow Teddy Bear Trims on Facebook at facebook.com/TeddyBearTrims and on Instagram @Teddy Bear Trims. Teddy Bear Trims Grooming services clients in Winston-Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Pfafftown and Mt. Airy, and is a fully insured business.
You know the old adage. . . “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but how about a salad a day? Your body, mind, and overall health will benefit from eating greens on a daily basis. Keep diseases and aging at bay with a salad a day!
The reasons to go for greens are many. Greens increase your fiber intake, improve digestion, boost your immune system with powerful antioxidants, and help maintain a healthy weight.
Vegetarians and vegans can chop up some tofu or tempeh and include beans and legumes to pack on protein, while meat lovers can include sliced chicken, pork, turkey, or beef, and fish lovers can add some salmon or ahi tuna.
Pack a punch in the nutrition and flavor departments by adding a handful of fresh herbs to your salads. Rinse and rough chop herbs like cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, chives, and dill. So yummy!
Try adding sprouts, mung beans, clover, wheatgrass, or alfalfa. Beans and legumes, such as edamame, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, Northern beans, and peas, complement a salad and add protein. A handful of nuts can be a healthy addition, and almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, or hazelnuts will dress up your salads.
For salad dressings, you can whip together something creamy (think Caesar, ranch or blue cheese), citrusy (fresh juice plus zest), or nutty (try Thai style with peanut butter). Or just stick with the basics and add lemon juice or oil and vinegar.
These recipes for snazzier summer salads will satisfy your cravings for fresh, raw foods and will make you healthier. The recipes are for one person, but can easily be doubled or made larger to accommodate more people.
SWEET SUMMER SALAD
1-2 handfuls baby spinach
4-5 strawberries (chopped)
1-2 handfuls blueberries
1-2 handfuls pecans/walnuts (chopped or whole)
1-2 handfuls goat cheese or your favorite cheese (optional)
Citrus Mint Vinaigrette
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
1-2 tablespoon lemon juice
1-2 sprigs fresh mint leaves (minced to garnish salad)
Recipe adapted from Spinach Berry Salad With Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing –
Get creative and feel free to try different combinations. Your taste buds will tell you what works, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to food pairings and dressings. Be inspired to make new culinary creations using your senses and thinking visually, like an artist. Instead of all green, opt for a rainbow of different colors.
Add a salad daily to benefit your health, and enjoy a food fix that is both delicious and nutritious. Get creative with clean eating and put a swing in your step with snazzier salads!
It’s easy to appreciate a beautiful garden. Beautiful flowers in an array of colors draw your eye, and you can’t help but enjoy it. However, it may be overwhelming to think about learning to garden if you have never tried. But don’t fret, if you start out small and give yourself a chance, you might find you really enjoy it. There is something very special about getting your hands in the dirt and watching something you have planted grow. Have you ever thought you might like to try your hand at gardening? If so, these tips are for you.
Decide Where Your Interest Lies
There really are a lot of things you can choose from. Are you more interested in flowers or vegetables? You might find you want to make your yard more colorful or grow some herbs to use in your kitchen. It really makes sense to narrow it down before you dive in. You will keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by deciding what you will enjoy the most and focusing on that.
Talk To Your Neighbors
We all have neighbors that have beautiful yards and gardens. Now is the time to get to know them and ask them for some advice. Most people who enjoy gardening also enjoy sharing their knowledge, especially if it means making the neighborhood more beautiful. Look around your neighborhood and see what you like, then talk to those neighbors and ask them about their gardens. Chances are they will have some helpful information and guidance. If you are really lucky, they might share clippings of their plants with you and may even be will lend a helping hand.
Do Some Research
When it comes to gardening, there is so much to learn. You can look online for information related to the types of plants that will grow best in our area and how much shade or sun they might need. You can look for resources about what things grow well together or how to design your flower bed or garden. Be careful with this though – you don’t want to get overwhelmed. Researching general topics to help you determine what you might like to do and researching specific needs for a specific project are more productive and will keep you on track.
Pick a Project
Once you are ready to get started, it’s time to pick your first project. Take into consideration all the things you have learned from your research and from talking to others when you make this decision. It is recommended that you start with something small. Redesigning your whole front yard might be more than you want to take on at first. But everyone is different, so just make sure you decide on something that will be fun and bring you joy. Here are a few ideas that you might enjoy for your first gardening project.
● Redo an existing flower bed
● Window boxes with flowers
● Plant flowers around your mailbox
● An herb garden
● A raised bed vegetable garden
Check Out Our Local Gardening Stores
Once you have picked your project, make a list of everything you need and head out to a local gardening store. We have some great local shops and greenhouses around Forsyth County. The staff at these places are knowledgeable and helpful for anyone just getting started. They can help guide you on planting choices and will help make sure you have everything you need to make your garden grow. It’s also a great opportunity to support local business.
Take Time to Enjoy the Experience
Set aside an afternoon or weekend to work on your project. Give yourself grace as you get started and know you might make a few mistakes along the way. Just remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.
When you decide to become a gardener, the possibilities are endless. It is a great opportunity to challenge yourself to learn about something new and also enjoy a new hobby that will be very rewarding.
Chances are you’ve thought this or something like this at least once. And I would be willing to bet my very best and beloved houseplants that you aren’t some fraud sneaking into spaces that you shouldn’t be in, and no one is looking to “out” you for being an imposter.
Imposter syndrome is a real psychological phenomenon when people doubt their accomplishments and abilities and have an innate and persistent, and often internalized, fear of being exposed as a fraud. You might write things off to chance or luck. The problem with imposter syndrome isn’t just being your own worst enemy: it’s the opportunities and chances you don’t take because you doubt your own abilities.
There are a few things you can start doing that might help you deal with the nasty inner voice that is surely holding you back:
Look for Evidence
What have you accomplished? Take a moment to write out a list of your accomplishments and keep it with you. I’m not talking about your full-on professional resume: I am talking about being aware of your worth. You are worth it, you have accomplished things, and you deserve to be here. Remind yourself.
If you’re struggling with this, write out three things that you’re proud of. It can be as simple as meditating once a week, making your bed or remembering to floss. Be specific, and honest.
Keep it Quantitative
Too often we’re adding “Oh, I’m just…” or “It’s not a big deal” or “I just got lucky” to our accomplishments. Get rid of anything qualitative, and stay with quantitative things. Stick to the facts.
Take a look at your list from the last point: did you rationalize any of it with a “well this is nothing” or some other qualitative statement that offers worth to something? Try to eliminate it. And now, add one or two more things that are “bigger” than those on the list. Maybe you did a great job on a work project or were assertive when you needed to be. Say all four to five things out loud in a clear and concise way. Don’t add any emotion to it!
Practice the Positive
You get the energy you put out. If you’re giving yourself all negative energy, you’re going to keep getting it back. Be nice to yourself and practice complimenting yourself. Think of one thing that you do feel good about: maybe you’re great at raising plants, or really amazing at copyediting. Give yourself a few compliments, and start to avoid the negative self-talk.
Take the things you’re proud of from the previous exercises, and turn one of them into a compliment. For example, if you are proud that you were assertive when you needed to be, maybe the compliment is, “I do a great job being assertive when the time calls for it.” Again, say it out loud, and start changing that negative self-talk to positive.
Remember: You are Human
It’s ok to feel like this once in a while. We’re all human; we might have a few negative thoughts. Don’t let them outweigh the positive. Imposter syndrome becomes an issue when it holds you back from potential opportunities. While we all do have some negative self-talk, if you immediately go to negative when anything positive happens, it might be a problem.
Give yourself some grace. If you’re not good to yourself, who will be?
Crystal Cleaners is a family owned and operated business that has been serving customers for the past 18 years. As Aaron Sturdivant, owner, shared, “At Crystal Cleaners, we treat all of our customers’ orders with the same care and attention we would give to our family to make sure they are all correct. So, when you trust Crystal Cleaners with your clothes, or whatever else you need us to take care of, you are treated like family.” Aaron and his wife, Jane, enjoy their work and the fact that their family is actively part of their business.
The professional team at Crystal Cleaners takes pride in the quality and attention to detail that they extend to every customer. Their standards are high, and they aim to deliver consistent value to their customers – every time.
What are the services offered at Crystal Cleaners? Take a look at all the options:
Wash, Dry and Fold Service
Comforters (including comforters, blankets, sheets and full comforter sets)
Wedding Gown Preservation
Check out details about some of their services.
Wash, Dry and Fold Service
Is it a challenge to keep ahead of your laundry? Are you convinced that it multiplies overnight in that overflowing laundry basket? Keeping your clothes clean and ready to wear at a moment’s notice can be a time-consuming, daunting endeavor. Really, is laundry what you want to do at the end of a busy workday? If a resounding NO is the response, Crystal Cleaners in Clemmons has the solution! Take advantage of their wash, dry and fold service. It’s simple to sign up for this service. Then, just load up your laundry basket and drive it over to Crystal Cleaners. They will sort, wash and fold your clothing. All you have to do is pick your clean laundry, drive it home and put it away. Be assured that they check each garment for any special instructions. You can have all your laundry done and picked up in two to three days.
Just think of all the advantages gained by having Crystal Cleaners do the laundry:
Free time at the end of the day, on weekends and after vacation.
In the summer, no added heat in the house to run up the air conditioning bill.
Peace of mind that the professionals at Crystal Cleaners will be sure you look your best.
Same Day Service Available
Same day service is also available upon request. To take advantage of this, simply bring your items before 9am. There is a small fee of $3 for same day service, but it’s worth it when you’re in a rush.
Have you ever tried to wrestle a comforter into your washer and realized that besides hardly being able to cram it into the machine, it’s probably not going to be clean when you take it out? It’s too tightly wedged in the washer to come out clean. And then, there’s the time it takes in the dryer. No way it’ll be dry in one cycle. What to do?
Take those bulky comforters and blankets (in fact, all your bed linens) to Crystal Cleaners. Their machines are oversized, and your items will be cleaned in separate loads, so there’s room to get them clean. You’ll find that comforters and bed linens keep their colors better, as well as their shape, when cleaned professionally.
Wedding Gown Preservation
Do you dream of having your daughter wear your wedding gown on her big day? Crystal Cleaners ensures that your gown will be in pristine condition for her. Gowns are hand-washed, steamed and boxed in acid-free containers and protected with acid-free tissue paper. “Anything that touches your wedding gown is acid-free,” Jane explained. “That’s the safest way to protect and preserve a gown and protect its color.”
Stop by for a Crystal Cleaners welcome, and let their professional team keep your clothes, linens and more look great. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 7am to 6:30pm and Saturday from 8am to 4pm. They are conveniently located at 3608 Clemmons Road. Got questions? Give them a call at 336.712.3155. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and take note of their specials.
Leave home looking pressed, polished and ready to face the day! Thanks to Crystal Cleaners!
When it comes to sports, almost every group gets a chance to showcase their talents. But during one period in time, those with special needs and disabilities were left as spectators; they were not allowed to enjoy that type of play. But this changed in 1968 when John F. Kennedy’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, started a summer day camp for mentally disabled people in her own backyard. She wanted to change the way the world perceived those with special needs. In July 1968, she launched the first International Special Olympics Games at Soldier Field in Chicago. Later on that year, the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation incorporated Special Olympics and the program has grown exponentially ever since.
The impact of Special Olympics continues to expand today. Parker Prysiazniuk, a rising senior at Davie High School, has developed a passion for creating opportunities for special needs individuals. It all began with his great uncle, who had Down syndrome. “My mother saw the lack of opportunities that were available to him and always sought to make a change in the lives of individuals with special needs,” Parker says. This inspired both Parker and his older sister, Logan, to get involved with the Special Olympics organization.
Parker was led to launch the first Special Olympics Track Program in Davie County after receiving many requests for a greater variety of sports in the community. As a varsity cross-country and track runner at Davie High School, Parker felt that he could use his skill set and passion for helping those with special needs to expand the programs available in the county. To meet the financial needs required to start this program, Parker presented a grant request to the SURF Board, a board led by students that helps fund youth-led projects in the community. After SURF agreed to Parker’s vision and funded his program, his track teammates and friends volunteered to help coach, and his track team of seven athletes was formed. After five weeks of practice, Parker had a team up and running, ready for the state competition in Raleigh.
On June 1st, Parker and his team of volunteers, along with the seven athletes, traveled to St Augustine University in Raleigh to showcase their newly acquired track skills. Each of the athletes competed in three different events, ranging from shot put, long jump, relays, and running events. “I could not be more proud of this team,” Parker says. “Not only did the athletes’ hard work manifest itself during the competition, but their positive attitudes and support for their teammates made me the most proud.” The Davie ‘Eagles’ came home with 17 gold and silver medals – a feat unheard of for a first year team.
Parker hopes his program will continue to thrive after he goes off to college and that this will inspire his peers to make a difference in the special needs community. “I would like to thank the Davie County community for the overwhelming support of myself and the athletes,” says Parker. “It is truly heartwarming to see the outpouring of encouragement that individuals give to the athletes whether it is in the school cafeteria or at a Friday night football game.” He encourages all individuals to be a part of the Special Olympics program, whether that be through donations or volunteer work. Not only will you be making a difference in the lives of those with special needs, but it will make a difference in your life as well.
For many, summertime is a most joyous time of year. Local students trade their notebooks and pencils for fun in the sun. The annual family trip that everyone looks forward to is finally here, and sometimes even full-time working professionals can take well-deserved time away from their daily responsibilities.
However, I have found that many full-time workers are still performing tasks related to their careers during their time off, especially business owners. I have even found myself doing this on a recent vacation and realized that prioritizing your time, even while away, is important. The following are a few items that have helped me see the bigger picture:
Prioritize. If you must focus on work items while on R&R, create a list and tend to the items that are the most time sensitive. As a working professional, you know your time is valuable and your time on vacation should be treated the same exact way.
Productivity. If being out of the office makes you feel behind and you feel the need to work on a few items while away, focus on the items that are most productive to your business. Is the item you are working on benefiting a customer or client? Or is it something you can cross off your list when you return?
Team Effort. If you have partners in your business or employees/work associates, lean on them. Not everyone can do every single task to keep the business running; therefore, if you are out of the office and your work associate is not, consider reaching out to them for assistance. You will return the favor next time they are out of the office and are in a time crunch.
Time-Block. Just as you would during your day at the office, block off time where you can make sure you are focused. Consider returning e-mails and phone calls only at certain times in the day, so the rest of the time you can focus on your time off!
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t miss out on precious time with family and friends. You have worked hard to earn time off, so enjoy it!
Sticking to these guidelines helped me enjoy my recent vacation. Like many professionals, I do not like feeling behind on my work-related task, but I also want to make sure I am able to enjoy the time away with my family. Give these a try and I hope they work for you. From all of us at Marzano Capital Group, enjoy your summer!
The term “gravy” is practically synonymous with Thanksgiving. So why are we talking about it in July? The history of gravy goes back to the Middle Ages, and for Americans, it’s a staple. While your first image of gravy may be a dish served beside a perfectly roasted turkey, it’s a creation that is diverse with seemingly endless possibilities. The way you enjoy your gravy is timeless and can be relevant for any season.
America’s love for gravy is actually rooted in ingenuity. During times of scarcity, the concept of using drippings and juices resulted in thick, delectable additions to otherwise bland meals. Basically – many of our favorite ways of eating gravy come from creative ancestors who were using the most of what they had.
Let’s review some favorites:
Redeye Gravy. A Southern staple, this gravy is made from the drippings of ham. The pan is deglazed with black coffee. Chicken broth and a bit of sugar are added. As it simmers and thickens, butter is added, and the gravy is whisked. Serve with ham.
Brown Gravy. Made from the dripping of roasted beef or poultry, the drippings are cooked over high heats with onions and then thickened with a mix of water and flour (or cornstarch). This is the gravy most often used on mashed potatoes or served with the Thanksgiving turkey.
Sawmill Gravy. Made with sausage (or earlier recipes used bacon), flour, whole milk, salt, and pepper – sawmill gravy is the ultimate in traditional Southern breakfasts, which we eat all year long. So if you’re still thinking of gravy for Thanksgiving, ask yourself how you’d feel if biscuits and gravy were seasonal. It also goes by the name “Sausage Gravy.”
Milk Gravy. Milk gravy is sawmill gravy without the meat, just use bacon drippings instead. Crazy easy to make and absolutely delicious.
Mushroom Gravy. Finally, a gravy that can be vegetarianized. Butter, mushrooms, flour, broth (beef or veggie), and thyme make this a wonderful option. It’s great on beef, chicken, or potatoes!
Onion Gravy. Made from thinly sliced onions, butter, flour, beef broth, and Worcestershire – this is a staple for the British Bangers and Mash (pork sausage and mashed potatoes). It’s a thin gravy with a powerful flavor punch.
Chocolate Gravy. Oh, yes, it’s a thing. And if you haven’t had it – your world is about to be changed. Cocoa, flour, sugar, milk, and butter – combined in a decadently sweet mix of gravy and poured over hot buttery biscuits. Dessert for breakfast? Yes, please. And we likely have an indulgent Appalachian grandmother to thank for this one.
Hungry yet? Still think gravy is just for the holidays? Think again… Gravy can be enjoyed on pot roast, hamburger steaks, chicken, pork chops, meatloaf, turkey, and of course, biscuits. While most gravy recipes are relatively simple, it’s recommended that you practice often – just to make sure.