How to Make a White Sauce

-by Michael!

So I love to cook.

This is probably not news, as you probably know that I also love to eat. I've been avidly exploring the act of cookery for about a decade now, but it's only been in the last couple of years that I've learned one of the most basic building-blocks of the culinary art:

How to make a white sauce.

Elegant, simple, yet deceptive. Here is a helpful step-by-step method for the construction of this most useful of sauces.

1. Secure your ingredients - you need roughly equal parts "fat" and flour. For the fat, I typically use butter, but you can do olive oil if you - what's that? Margarine? Are you trying to kill me? Put that back. Nature never intended margarine. No. Just... no.

1A. Measurements? Measurements  are for the weak. Or for the scrupulous and disciplined. We are neither in this kitchen. Just use equal parts.

2. Start melting the butter in your saucepan. Medium-low heat will be fine. Once the melting has started, you can just dump in the flour and start whisking! Now for the fun part!

3. Keep whisking.

4. Keep whisking.

5. Seriously, just keep whisking. This will take a bit. Yeah, you could turn the heat up and speed it along, but the line between "a perfect golden base for our sauce" (also known as a "blonde roux" - a rare moment of CftCC veracity!) and "a smoking heap of scorched blasphemy" is a thin one, so keep that heat at about a "3."

6. And keep whisking.

6A. Ignore that text message. You can't leave your whisking duties - see the "scorched blasphemy" part of Step 5. Whatever it is, it'll keep for the next few minutes.

7. OK, we're about there, so

8. Keep whisking.

8A. Ignore that text, too. Just put it out of your mind. Focus. Whisk.

9. Great! Done with the first round of whisking! Time to add the milk!

10. What do you mean how much milk? See step 1A. This has not changed. Add "some" milk and keep whisking. If it's not enough, add more. If it's too much, cook it longer and it'll evaporate out. Geez. Just keep whisking.

10A. And ignore that text, too. And the ... the subsequent three texts? Geez, somebody's urgently trying to reach you. I guess it's OK for you to

11. Add in some more milk to cool it down, whisk it just a bit, and go check your phone. Sure, it'll be fine - more to the point, this is probably really import... or it could be a series of photos of cats that your Significant Other thought you HAD TO SEE RIGHT NOW. Cool. Yeah, totally, that works, too.

12. All right, all right, you have both allayed your fears that someone you love is dying by the side of the road AND enjoyed some feline-oriented humor, as that apparently is the ultimate and most noble goal of humanity's technological achievement to date.Could you please get back to the stove and resume your

13. ...whisking?

14. OK, this? This is the result of leaving your whisking. Note the speed with which "creamy sauce" turned into "charred locust vomit." Yeah, you're not eating that. Nor are you feeding it to anybody else. Put it in the trash, rinse out the pan, and we'll just start over.

15. You're out of butter?

16. New plan for making a sauce:

Congratulations. You've made a white sauce.