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I prefer to thicken with flour.  It is simple - put some flour in a small 
bowl and add a little cold water..... the cold water should be enough to make 
a paste.... work the paste until it is smooth and thick, and then add a 
little more water at a time until the mixture is easily pourable and satin 
smooth.  Stir the hot liquid that you are thickening as you add the mixture 
to the pot. Bring the liquid almost to a boil and the thickening will be 
evident.  You can adjust thickness by adding more flour-water mixture.  This 
same method works for corn starch and other thickeners such as arrowroot.
This is how I make gravy:
Soak 6 dried mushroom in 2 cups of hot water until soft.  Drian water from 
mushroom, saving it for gravy.  Discard stems of dried mushrooms and coarsely 
chop the caps.  Saute 1/2 lb of sliced mushroom in a little water with S&P.  
When mushroom are soft and the liquid is about evaporated, add the mushroom 
liquid you have saved, along with the chopped caps. Cook until very hot.  
Make a flour or cornstarch mixture to thicken and when thick, taste for 
seasoning.  Sometimes I add a little tamari or some veggie worchestershire 
sauce or a little sherry.