In a heavy saucepan melt the butter over low hear; do not brown. Add the flour gradually, stirring constantly to keep the mixture smooth. Do not allow the flour to cook. Once all the flour is blended in, gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly with a wire whisk to keep the sauce perfectly smooth. Move the whisk around in the pan as your stir to blend the sauce at the bottom and sides. Once all the milk has been added, add the bayleaf and cook over low heat until the sauce thickens, then remove from heat and stir in the Tabasco and salt. Blend thoroughly.


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)