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Don't Even Try Red-Eye Gravy Until You've Mastered Grits

 How do you make a good country red-eye gravy?

 You are from the south, right? Because red-eye gravy is a taste you're either born with – or you're not! It cannot be acquired.

The "recipe" couldn't be simpler. Fry some Virginia ham in a skillet. When it's done, take it out and look down at the reddish-brown stuff stuck to the pan. That's the base of the gravy and where it gets its color. Add a quarter to a half cup of strong coffee and simmer for 5 minutes. That's it – red-eye gravy, strong and salty, ready to pour over the ham.

Some people say you can use water instead of coffee. Some people say you can use half water and half coffee. One recipe we saw (in a Yankee cookbook!) says to add 1/2-cup of heavy cream. The same recipe says, "salt and pepper to taste." If your ham has any life in it at all, the last thing you'll want to do is add salt! Another recipe adds some sugar, which, we guess, if a little like having your ham and morning coffee in the same bite.

If you must have a step-by-step recipe, here's one, but what we already told you is the God's-honest truth!

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