It’s no secret I’m from south Louisiana. Well, it shouldn’t be a secret by now. Anyway, we rarely get “fall” weather. Most of the time our seasons are early summer, mid-summer, and oh-my-God-please-let-it-end summer.
Once in a while though, we get cool weather. Like now. After Tropical Storm Lee, we had a cool front. Just a little one, but it was enough to send everyone to the streets as they went places enjoying the mid-80s weather. Yes, that’s fall weather to us. Heck, some people even started wearing light jackets because the evenings get down to the mid-60s. Shocking, huh?
But what I do love about this type of weather is its ability to bring out the gumbo-maker in everyone. Gumbo is a dish best served piping hot over rice. It’s one of those meals that sticks to your ribs, very filling without eating a lot. There are several variations as well. My personal favorite is chicken and sausage gumbo. I actually had a whine at my mother who made a gumbo without the sausage. I might have called her dish “unnatural” since it only had chicken. *cough*
Every family has their own secret recipe for gumbo. Some use a light roux, some use a dark roux. I’ve seen some gumbos with a tomato base (which kind of squicks me out cause gumbo should be brown, not red). Apparently red gumbos are Creole cooking, while brown gumbos are Cajun. I think I prefer Cajun cooking to Creole.
Meats used in a gumbo? It could be nearly anything. Chicken, shrimp, crab, oysters, smoked sausage, Andouille sausage, duck, and there’s another type of meat I’ve had before and hated. I can’t remember what it’s called right now but it’s nasty. *cough* Oh, and I’ve also heard of raccoon gumbo. I’ve never had it and I’ve only ever heard of one family eating it (it’s considered a delicacy), but uh, I don’t think you’ll find it in a restaurant.
Anyway, once the weather cools, it feels like the perfect time for gumbo. You can smell the roux cooking in the neighborhood and you know for certain someone’s about to have a meal that’ll stick to their ribs.