Two things I learned about after I moved to Arkansas: chocolate gravy and moving the plants inside.
I came to the Natural State in 2000 after living several years in each of the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. In none of these places did I ever even hear of chocolate gravy, never mind experience the great popularity it enjoys in Arkansas. I quickly learned that it is an important part of any big country breakfast . . . or just as wonderful when served for brunch or “breakfast for dinner.”
A couple of weeks ago a co-worker brought us biscuits and chocolate gravy that was the best I’ve tasted so far. I thought, “Boy, this would sure taste good on ice cream.” It’s amazing to me that as popular as this food item is, I have never seen it on any restaurant menu.
I hadn’t been in Arkansas long when I noticed the energy around the moving of the plants indoors. This also was something new to me. That’s probably because any house plant put outside in Texas has to be hardy enough to withstand 117 degree heat in the summer. In Oklahoma, any porch plant must be in a 50 pound planter or the wind will blow it off into the neighbor’s yard. Tennessee has similar weather patterns to Arkansas and I’m sure there are people who allow their plants to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months. But, in Tennessee, bringing the plants back inside is not such a major event — or topic of conversation and concern. Along with freeze warnings, Little Rock weathermen remind us that it’s time to bring in the plants.
One of my first Arkansas friends had many plants that stayed outdoors during the warm months but needed protection indoors when winter approached. In fact she had so many that she didn’t have room for all of them in her house. Some of them were of generous size. They would appear for a season in her office at work, in a bare corner of the church, or fostered out to friends. Bless her heart, she’s in heaven now, where the weather is perfect all year round.
As much as I am at home in Arkansas, I haven’t yet learned to make chocolate gravy. And, I’m so grateful when a plant survives my care that I have never subjected one to the trauma of relocating.
But just because it’s not for me doesn’t mean I don’t wish for you a sumptuous breakfast and just the right spot for your outdoor/indoor tree.
gayle glass says
You also picked up a few ‘southernisms’ that didn’t come from Texas.. bless your heart! Dot, I didn’t hear about chocolate gravy until I started working at my current job. I still don’t care for it -for breakfast, anyway. To me, It’s just chocolate pudding, and I’ll have it for dessert, after dinner! I had food shock when we moved to Louisiana and discovered that THOSE people put gravy on rice! My parents are from Kansas City, and OUR rice was always with sugar and milk, for breakfast, with a few raising thrown in if we wanted. Of course, the Louisiana folks thought we were the ones that were nuts, and I have to admit, rice is not a staple at my house.
gayle glass says
Raisins, not raising! and it’s NOW a staple…not NOT. I love it. If only my brain typed as fast as my fingers did!
Freeda Baker Nichols says
My family made chocolate syrup, not pudding, to go with butter and biscuits. I prefer that and will leave the chocolate gravy to others, but I do know how popular it is. Good idea about the restaurant menus, Dot. You might make a mint if you suggest adding the chocolate gravy!
Pat Laster says
Never eaten (or made) chocolate gravy, but, my oh my, do I have plants inside–not quite as many plants as books, but maybe by the next decade……… good post.
Dorothy Johnson says
I love gravy and chocolate but have never made chocolate gravy. I’m sure I’d love it. I’ve been trying to find spots for the plants that need to come in for the winter. I never thought about Oklahoma plants needing heavy pots! Wind, wind and more wind!
Dawn Roberson says
I grew up with my mom making special Sunday breakfasts. That usually meant either pancakes or chocolate gravy with biscuits. My mom spent many years perfecting her homemade biscuits, only to forget how she made them after years of her kids being grown. I was never crazy about either breakfast because I used to get sweet sick. It’s been years now since I’ve had chocolate gravy, and I have to admit that I don’t long for it. I do, however, still feel nostalgic about those meals my mom spent so much time and love in making. Unfortunately, in trying to eat healthier, I never made chocolate gravy and biscuits for my kids. (My sister has carried on the tradition, though.) Perhaps my choice not to pass this along was validated in knowing that much sugar would have put my ADHD son into overdrive. lol