Until he retired, I never knew my dad loved to cook. I was in high school at the time and I remember he used to make the most fabulous meals. He even made his own mayonnaise; which back then, at least in my circles, was pretty much unheard of!
I can still vividly recall coming home from school to the most wonderful aroma of chicken or beef roasting and his famous molasses cookies cooling on racks…YUM!
Isn’t it amazing how aromas have the ability to transport you back in time? Whenever I make meals, bread or cookies that my dad used to cook, I always think of him.
I am not alone in this food triggering memories. According to research, for many, the flavour of certain foods has the ability to take people back to the comfort of home and meaningful moments in their lives.
Canadian Facts & Figures:
The Greatest Flavour on Earth is the Taste of Home
Food connects Canadians to their past, and to their home:
- 80 percent of Canadians are reminded of childhood by the taste of some foods
- 76 percent of Canadians find comfort in certain foods when they are away from home
- For 71 per cent of Canadians, favourite memories from childhood involve meals with family or friends
Mom’s (or dad’s) cooking continues to be a source of comfort:
- 66 percent of Canadians sometimes miss their mother’s cooking
- 59 percent of Canadians say the best recipe in the world is one that Mom used to make
- For 70 per cent of Canadians, just one taste of their mother’s cooking brings back happy memories from childhood
Food plays an important role in bringing family and friends together:
- 74 percent of Canadians feel that food is always a part of life’s most meaningful moments
- 76 percent of Canadians enjoy cooking for the people they love
- For 78 per cent of Canadians, being cooked for is an expression of love
Even though now, it is often just my husband and me at home, Sunday dinners are still a big tradition for us. This past Sunday, I made one of my dad’s favourite meals. Roast beef and all the trimmings, which included his world-famous; well, famous in my world anyway, onion gravy!
I am sharing the recipe for my dad’s onion gravy with you. I hope it becomes a tradition and someday a fond food memory in your home too!
Dad’s Onion Gravy
- Drippings and the two large onions that you have quartered and roasted with meat, that are remaining in the pan after removing roast
- 1 Beef Bouillon Cube
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 heaping Tbsp. Corn Starch
- ¼ cup cold water
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Remove the meat from the roasting pan. (Use an oven and stovetop proof pan to roast the meat. That way, you can easily place the roasting pan and drippings on the stovetop to make the gravy)
- Tilt the pan and remove any excess fat that floats to the top.
- Place pan over low heat and using a wooden spoon, scrape the sides and base of the pan to release any crusty bits. (These are very important for flavour)
- In a small bowl or a cup, add the ¼ cup cold water to the 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch. Stir to dissolve cornstarch. Set aside
- Add 2 cups of boiling water to the beef bouillon cube and stir to dissolve cube. Add this liquid to pan drippings and onions. Stir.
- While stirring, slowly add the dissolved cornstarch liquid to the beef bouillon, onions and pan drippings.
- Continuing to stir constantly, increase the heat under the pan to medium. continue stirring until mixture begins to boil and thickens.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour a little of the gravy over sliced meat and transfer remaining gravy to serving bowl or boat.
Are there any specific foods or meals that remind you of home?
Do you sometimes miss your mom or dad’s cooking?
Do you have any favourite memories from childhood that involve meals with family or friends?