This past week I spent an hour of my life developing a roux the color of chocolate mahogany. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Gumbo worth eating is gumbo worth cooking properly from the ground up.
As I stood over an antique cast iron skillet stirring (and stirring and stirring…), flavors from the past subtly mingled with my present day quest for soul food. Regional food. Food rife with history.
Did I mention flavor?!!
(Quick aside: cast iron is the ideal vessel for making a deep, dark roux.)
Standing over the stove also gave me time to consider how I’m doing “life” at the moment — or how I might do it differently. (I love cooking, if for nothing more than the uninterrupted thoughts and unsolicited advice.) There’s a lot of therapy in an hour spent on roux done right.
This coming week I’ll be heading to Minnesota for a visit with family, snowbound though they may be, which means I’ll be breaking out the BIG winter coat before I leave Oklahoma. (Shiver me timbers!) Thank goodness I grew up learning how to “layer.”
Which brings me back to Gumbo.
The depth of this dish was intriguing, inspiring, and entirely sensational! I heartily recommend this recipe for starters. (Thank you, Queen Jeanne!) I took the liberty of adding shrimp to the mix, along with bay leaves, thyme, and chopped tomatoes ala Alton Brown’s Shrimp Gumbo recipe (my hero) on Day Two of my eating enjoyment extravaganza. No such thing as too many cooks in my kitchen; the more the merrier!
Which brings me back to “life,” et al. At the moment, I have no idea what direction my blog will go in the coming months. Part of me wants to write exclusively, while another part says “break out the camera and share that food photo with the world.” (Never mind the lack of bokeh or background props…) A third part teases music, music, music. Don’t ya just love possibilities?
Maybe after I visit the frozen North my thoughts will become crystal clear. There’s nothing like being smacked in the face by 40 below to weed out what’s important and what’s not. (Survival of the fittest, and all that…)
In the meantime, I’m gearing up for Gumbo Round Two next week (it’s that good!) — plus, I’ll need a lil’ Southern fortification before I head out.
My wish for you on this day is to live life warm and wonderful — or at the very least, flavorful!
Enjoying a multi-layered life,
© Kim Bultman and a little lunch.