Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Loving Pot of Gumbo! Happy New Year's

My journey with the love and appreciation of cooking gumbo goes back many family members and many states in between. From Cincinnati, Ohio, New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California aunts, uncles, moms, dads and I take a whole day to add love to a stock pot of Creole goodness all hearty and brimming with fresh seafood and vegetables. Each pot of gumbo is carefully planned requiring using only the finest and freshest ingredients.

Every year around this time my family makes a loving pot of seafood gumbo. Every delectable crustacean from cracked king crab legs, jumbo shrimp, oysters, lobster claws and tail meat are thrown into a pot of savory goodness with a roux that is so rich and deep burgundy hued you swear you could eat the whole pot alone. Succulent meats such as spicy andouille sausage, boudain sausage and chicken are sautéed in Creole spices and their own fat and then added to the pot and simmered for hours. The trilogy of red and green bell peppers and white onion make that harmonious flavor that you can smell down the street. And last but not least fresh cut okra and gumbo file to thicken the pot and give it more flavor.

It’s interesting though how the gumbo wars began with heated conversations between families from California to the Southern states as they puff out their chests and proudfully speak on whose mama’s gumbo is the best and whether the consistency should be thick or soupy. I prefer to make mine with a medium thick consistency. Also, don't forget the debate on whose house they will be visiting to sample and take a tupperware of gumbo home for the next day…if it even makes it that far!

So as I think about the holiday season, the year's end and the gift of giving love and being thankful for all that God has blessed me with. It reminds me of creating a loving pot of savory rich goodness. A pot full of love, happiness, friends from around the world and an extremely large pot of savory goodness.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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