Something that never fails to frustrate me is when food looks great but tastes terrible. This morning, I discovered that goat cheese and zucchini are two things that should never, ever go together in an omelet. I had an idea that the flavors of the cheese and the squash would compliment one another, but nooooo... Although the omelet looked very nice, it was so disgusting I actually had to throw it away without eating more than a few bites.
    The whole affair brought to mind a memory of the Thanksgiving when I was nine and we went to my uncle's house for dinner. My mom was making a ham, and my brother and I were bugging her to make gravy to put on our mashed potatoes. Since ham doesn't make good gravy, my mom decided to get a little...creative. After making a roux with butter and flour, she poured a bottle of beer into the pan and whisked it into a sauce. It looked just like normal gravy, but oh, was it awful!
    On other occasions, when she is working with a meat like chicken or turkey, my mom makes a pretty mean gravy. The dinner my brother and I used to clamor for was fried chicken with "mashers n' gravy", with green peas on the side pretending to be healthy. My mom's oven-fried chicken is much simpler than recipes that call for deep frying, but still has a nice crunchy skin and makes for some beautiful gravy.

1 chicken drumstick, with the bone scraped down
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp chicken broth
2 tbsp water

Mashed potatoes:
1/2 russet potato
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp milk

1/4 cup green frozen peas, cooked according to package instructions

    Peel potato and slice into 1-inch pieces. Cook in a pot of boiling water for about 20 minutes, until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes, add butter and milk, and mash with a fork or a potato masher until they have the desired consistency.
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix flour, cayenne, salt, and black pepper together on a plate. Set the chicken on the plate and turn it to coat it with flour and spices. Pat additional flour gently onto the skin to make an even layer covering the skin of the chicken. Reserve the excess flour. Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet until it spreads to coat the pan. Put the chicken in the hot oil and let it sit for one minute to get browned. Turn it and brown it for one minute on all sides, until the chicken has a crackly golden crust all the way around. Remove the chicken from the skillet, leaving the drippings and oil, put the chicken in an oven-safe dish, and cover it with foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
    While the chicken is cooking, keep the skillet with the drippings over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of the extra flour mixture, and whisk it into the grease to make a roux. Add chicken broth and whisk until smooth and creamy. Turn heat to low, and add water. Cook, stirring, until the gravy is smooth and thickens slightly. If gravy becomes too thick, add more water. If gravy is too thin, add a little more flour and a little more water, and keep stirring over low heat until the gravy thickens.
    Cook the peas while the chicken and gravy are cooking. Serve the gravy over the mashed potatoes and chicken.