Goodness Gracious Gumbo!

29 Oct

AH IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BACKKKKK! To the blog, I mean. As you may or may not know, I started my fabulous job at the very, very fantastic Destination DC last week. And although I had been pining for my return to the real world, for my official real start in the city and for a valid excuse to burn through my LOFT credit card, I’m freakin’ TIRED!  Last week was super busy, so I barely even opened my computer when I came home. I literally fell onto the couch, put on my Happy Feet slippers (order some NOW, trust me) and waited for Matt to deliver me beer and Don Draper (we’re on season 4!). However, I promise you, faithful reader (if you exist) that I will not allow work to interfere with Mama Mangia, any more! Because although I haven’t been blogging, I’ve still been cooking. So I have a few recipes up my sleeve/piled in Tupperware containers to share with you. That said, here goes the first one!

It has always been a dream of mine to make gumbo. (What can I say – some people dream about saving the world, I dream about feeding it.)

So, I finally decided to turn my big dream into a reality a couple of weeks ago. I was going to make – and hopefully master – gumbo. However, I didn’t have a recipe! The only person I knew who had made a really great gumbo was my good friend Tanya D. Reynolds (if you’re reading…HEY TAAAAN!), our junior year of college in our  Gardens E-WEST/”Tool Shed” apartment. However since it has been three (almost four…eeeek!) years since that fabulous Fat Tuesday feast, Tan didn’t have the recipe, and therefore I was forced to seek out the gumbo greats of the world wide web. So it kind of makes sense that I ended up at Paula Deen’s.

I was a bit hesitant about choosing the Paula Deen recipe, b/c I kind of felt like I was copping out. But the more I studied her recipe along with others, the more I deemed it the best – and safest – bet. After all, this gumbo conquest wasn’t just for fun…I was still responsible for feeding people! And I have to admit, part of it was pride. I couldn’t bear the thought of not achieving my gumbo goal.

Little did I know that this recipe, while it seemed innocent, would cause a great gumbo panic attack! But nothing that a few phone calls to Aunt Josie couldn’t solve. 🙂 Long story short…when it came time to add the flour & butter and make the roux, I ended up with with more clumps than the first time I attempted mascara. It could have been the whisk (I despise the one that survived the Buffalo -to-DC-move), could have been the lack of oil from my Trader Joe’s chicken sausage…could have been my lack of roux experience. Either way, I knew something was not right! So I called Aunt Josie, who’s immediate response was “Anne Marie you know I don’t follow recipes! They’re guidelines – after you get started, do what you want.” And with that, we decided to try adding chicken stock, or more butter, or both. I ended up adding a bit more butter (which the recipe inevitably called for, anyways) and a few teaspoons of stock. Within a few minutes, my roux turned creamy and my anxiety turned into sheer laughter. I miss Aunt Josie!

Besides that small “lump” in the road (har har har) the rest of the recipe was a cinch. The only thing I left out was the shrimp that Paula called for….we still don’t mess with seafood!

Anyways, since I’m feeling extremely lazy…I’m just going to post a link to the site. Is that against food blog rules?? I JUST GOT A NEW JOB PEOPLE….YOU’RE LUCKY I’M EVEN STILL AWAKE RIGHT NOW! That said, I vow to kick up my coffee-drinking habits and never, ever neglect my beloved blog for so long again. Good night and good eats!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/gumbo-recipe/index.html

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2 Responses to “Goodness Gracious Gumbo!”

  1. Taaaaaaan October 29, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Now I get to steal the recipe from YOU. Sounds delicious, AM. Miss you!

  2. Denny Wilkins October 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Loved reading it, as usual … but the light text is a little hard to read …

    And promote, promote, promote! This is good work, post after post.

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