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Thickening with flour

I don't have my cookbooks at work but I remember flour requires
something else to be present to work as a thickener.  Cornstarch
might be a better choice, I think it will thicken anything liquid.
Mix it first (well) with a little cold liquid before adding to pot. 
Or for cold sauces (not sure if you can heat it, I only use it
for things like dressings) try guar gum.  That works GREAT, but use 
only a tiny bit at a time.

However, I don't like anything that is milk like (including real milk),
so I don't have a lot of direct experience with white sauces!

Aiko Pinkoski