8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or chives (optional)
1 - 2 teaspoons salt
1/2- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
Melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in flour; add salt and pepper. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly.
Add milk, 1 cup at a time. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, then let stand at least 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in parsley or chives, if desired.