There are many reasons why I cook from scratch. First and foremost, I’m a control freak. Plus, I can guarantee what is in every morsel of food on my plate. However, this Thanksgiving, I broke my cardinal "from scratch" rule.  Allow me to interject here and say that the fine folks at McCormick® make what I am certain is a lovely gravy mix as well as a number of seasonings for, say slow cooker savory beef pot roast or enchiladas.

Back to turkey day. Since I was going solo for the first time in decades and had already purchased and thawed an itty bitty (no, really - an 8 pounder) turkey, it was also the first time in many moons that I did not have to be up at the crack of dawn wrestling a behemoth of a bird into the oven. What better way to enjoy my newfound freedom than with a Bloody Mary (or two)? Okay, three.

Checklist started:

Turkey stuffed and in the roaster (yeah, Alton Brown - bite me - I stuff my turkey, dude. Deal with it).

Carrots roasting slowly, waiting to be kissed with a brown sugar/cinnamon/ginger glaze later.

Sweet potatoes and green bean casserole ready to bake.

Celebrate! Time to check out the new Moscato wine. Don’t mind if I do. Ooh - that’s really good wine. Maybe one more glass. Okay, three.

Once the too stinking cute miniature turkey arrived at the appropriate temperatures (see, Alton? I’m not a monster - I use the thermometer. Sheesh.) After being lovingly basted for hours, it was time to "cheat" and try the McCormick® holiday gravy recipe. Sounds simple enough. 2 packs of mix, a little flour stirred together in a pan - add water to drippings, whisk and voilà - turkey gravyness.

I ripped open two packages at once with a flourish, added the requisite flour and dripping/water concoction and started whisking. And...the gravy kept getting darker. It went from tan to golden brown to what-the-heck-color-is that within minutes. And then...stuff started floating to the top. Not turkey stuffing bits, not even poultry specific spice stuff - these were bits of bay leaves, flecks of dried onion, garlic and holy crap - the front package was turkey gravy, the back one was savory pot roast mix.

Horrified, I deposited the "gravy" in the sink and, thankfully had more than enough drippings left to make a lovely turkey gravy - from scratch.

Rules exist for a reason.

More wine?