Monday, March 7, 2011

A Cause for Our Time: Campaign for Real Gravy

Campaign for Real Gravy

"Join Brian and Elaine Rey, and Gordon Ramsay in their national campaign for people to dump the granules and get back to making their own real gravy.

"Together Brian and celebrated chef Gordon Ramsay have been marching around Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria in a quest to persuade members of the public to go back to making real meaty gravy...."

It is with a sense of guarded optimism that the Lemming contemplates this effort to restore meat, vegetables, and taste to British dining. In a world which seems to have lost its way in a maze of frozen dinners and instant pudding, these brave souls stand as champions for good, old-fashioned gravy. British style.

Seriously? The Lemming thinks they've got a good idea. And, although the Campaign for Real Gravy folks would love to have you purchase their products: homemade gravy is something that really can be made at home. Not from a kit.

Or what appears to be some sort of feed bag.

No, wait: on closer examination, that's an apron.

In the words of Gilda Radner, "never mind."

It's the Lemming's opinion that "real" gravy, made in parallel with meat and vegetable dishes, tastes better than what comes out of a box: even after the latter's mixed with water and heated in the microwave.

It's probably even better for you, although the Lemming's not all that inclined to join the natural food faddists. There's been too much save-a-tree-shoot-a-beaver thinking - make that association - about the innate superiority of "natural ingredients." "Natural" is fine: but let's remember that arsenic and hemlock are "natural ingredients." And that's a rant. Or, rather, a wrap on that topic.

On a not-entirely-unrelated topic:
  • "post hoc ergo propter hoc"
    • "The logical fallacy of believing that temporal succession implies a causal relation"
      (Princeton's WordNet)
Now, in a spirit of transparency and disclosure, the Lemming states categorically that Campaign for Real Gravy was found as a direct result of watching Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. Which doesn't have all that much to do with gravy or home cooking - not directly, anyway.

The Campaign for Real Gravy started, according to the website's About page, at an establishment with the improbably British name "The Fenwick Arms, situated in Claughton near Lancaster."

Which reminds the Lemming of the Grand Duchy of Fenwick and Dry Gulch. It's the Lemming's opinion that the names of places in the American west, like Deadwood, South Dakota, or Tombstone, Arizona, 'sound funny' in part because they mean something in contemporary English. We're used to names whose sounds didn't change all that much as languages evolved: like Londinium, although that frontier town's name did change a bit.

Oddly enough, there really is a Dry Gulch. In Antarctica. That's one of the the relatively few places on Earth where winters are rougher than Minnesota's. And there's a Dry Gulch (, a tourist trap in Findley Lake, NY - with one of the more memorable - and annoying - collections of distracting Web effects the Lemming has seen in recent years.

Maybe the "Dry Gulch" website was designed by a relative of one of their competitors. The one in New York State, not the Antarctic one. The Dry Gulch, Antarctica, page was put together by someone who realized that somebody else might want to actually read the thing. Not be impressed by a bouncing image and "call us" text flowing from the cursor.

And that's yet another topic.

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