Chocolate Gravy Girls

Chocolate gravy and fresh Yule Love It raspberries

She was shy of nine-years old when my younger sister Libby walked home and said; “Debbie’s mom made us chocolate gravy and toast for breakfast.”
I forgot my envy until Libby’s second sleepover with Debbie. “We had chocolate gravy again.”
So, what’s the big deal? I thought, and rode my bike up the block to Debbie’s house on the corner. Perhaps her mother would appear and invite me in for leftovers.
Not a trace of Mrs. Heron’s red hair or whiff of chocolate from her kitchen window. See, thanks to Mom’s chocolate pies and cakes, I’ve known the scent of hot cocoa from toddlerhood. The idea of chocolate gravy left me undone.
Gravy is a staple in the southerner’s culinary inheritance. We took it north with us during our Appalachian diaspora. But Mom wasn’t inclined to abandon sausage gravy. She loved her pork. So did Granny, my maternal grandmother, who stayed put in Kentucky.
She served us fried apples on buttered biscuits for our breakfast dessert. Her cast iron skillet never simmered down bubbling chocolate to a thick sauce. 
From childhood to my ripe age of sixty-eight, I’ve never seen a bowl of chocolate gravy on a relative’s table. Some mountain folk would claim that’s near criminal. Many a resourceful housewife cooked delicious food from their milk cow and a can of Hershey’s cocoa from the company store.
It’s all about family history, how we choose to use our biscuits. Some prefer blackberry preserves or whipped butter mashed into molasses. Or both. But no one who loves chocolate could refuse to sop it up with hot buttery biscuits, anytime a day.
For instance, that time my friend Joan demonstrated how to make her mother’s Tennessee recipe. My jaw dropped when she unwrapped a stick of butter and spooned it into bubbling milk, sugar, and cocoa.
At last, I knew what Libby was bragging about. Devoted to biscuits, I’ve since wondered how Mrs. Heron could waste precious ingredients and stir time on toasted Wonder Bread.
Libby didn’t know any better and remains starry-eyed with Mrs. Heron’s biscuit substitute. For her memory is truly about the surprise of chocolate gravy for breakfast.
Personally, like Mom and Granny, I prefer a healthy breakfast of eggs or oatmeal. Yet, I promise not to refrain from pouring chocolate gravy over my homemade breakfast granola for an after dinner dessert.
Like Libby, the official chocaholic of the five O’Brien girls, I’ve sampled every form of food processed from the cocoa bean. Except chocolate and bacon. Some folk use a bacon grease roux for their chocolate gravy.
Perhaps that’s the next step in my cocoa succession. It’s sensible now that we’re harvesting raspberries and consuming summer BLTs.
Dear Reader, can you taste it now—a bowl of raspberries smothered with bacon flavored chocolate gravy? Hmm…what about crumbled shortbread for biscuits?
I think my mother and Granny would approve. They’d have their pork and chocolate too—and their beloved wild black raspberries. For an after dinner dessert, of course.