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Thursday, November 20, 2008
It's gumbo season, so I'm told. And I love it. Lately, I've been ordering gumbo at every restaurant I've patronized. Chicken and sausage is wonderful, as is seafood. There's also wild game gumbo, but I don't go there. Trying to figure out what's in wild game gumbo is akin to determining what's in a hot dog. I'd rather not know. Gumbo is so popular down here. I have a friend who is near thirty years old, and she told me she's only had turkey for Thanksgiving once in her life. Her family serves gumbo. Imagine that! Most folks own big 'ol gumbo pots. I don't have one. I don't know how to make gumbo. Not sure I want to learn. I might be happy just to continue eating other peoples' gumbo. The word gumbo is derived from the Bantu African word nkombo. A gumbo cook starts with a roux. I make roux too when I make my award-winning macaroni and cheese. But gumbo roux is brown. Gumbo's secret ingredient is file (FEE-lay) which is ground sassafras leaves. And, of course, okra. Essentially, it's a spicy warm brown stew poured over a big bowl of rice. I'm meeting some friends tomorrow for lunch. I hope gumbo is on the menu.