Gumbo

Quote of the Day:

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” –Jane Austen

The perfect recipe for a great Monday morning: the Bulldogs won this weekend, Halloween and the smiles it brought my little girl, and bright, crisp fall weather suitable for doing without the air conditioner, the heater and the bug spray. On top of that TB successfully executed Sweet’s red beans and rice recipe to add an essential new dish to my limited, but high quality kitchen repertoire. As if all that weren’t enough, the extra hour of sleep on Saturday/Sunday is still paying benefits. Some of you might think that the loss of the Rebels seasoned the cosmic dish a little, but you’d be wrong to thusly pigeonhole me. The truth is, as long as the Bullies win, I’m cool with Rebel success. However, when my team is losing, I want nothing more than to have you Rebs down in the dumps alongside me. Of course, I long for the day neither of those teams’ outcomes is part of the happiness recipe, but I’ve come to accept I’ll never outgrow it. One thing I have outgrown is using the extra hour with the time change for mischief instead of rest. But I’m not too old to recognize the poor judgment used by the powers that be in having the time change and the resulting 25 hour day occur on Halloween. I was more than a bit relieved to awaken to a TP/egg free house Sunday morn.

Speaking of Ole Miss, I thought the back who was involved in the collision that almost paralyzed an Auburn player made the play of the day Saturday. When the players collided the Auburn defender did not move, nor did the Ole Miss player. Replays showed nothing that made it look like the Reb should’ve been hurt. He wasn’t. He laid on the bottom of the pile virtually motionless for probably five minutes or more so as not to risk exacerbating the injury to the Tiger. When they finally moved the Auburn player, the guy hopped up and ran off the field unhurt. I don’t know his name, but he deserves a “well done” for his good sense and sportsmanship.

There was some commentary here last week about the new “Old South” controversy brewing up in Oxford. Specifically, the school administration is threatening to do away with Ole Miss’ treasured and inspiring “From Dixie With Love” fight song in order to stop the chants of “the south will rise again” at its conclusion. As a rival fan and as a radical, let me just say emphatically that I don’t give a damn one way or the other about this. I think its a little silly to be wrapped up in the mythology of the “lost cause” and equally silly to be offended by it. It was downright stupid for the school to attempt to change the chant to “go to hell LSU” or whatever. But TB is a solution suggester. How about “Ole Miss will rise again?” It evokes the old south slogan without the racial strife overtones, and is hopeful, positive and reminiscent of the glory days. Or do something else, what do I care. It’s amazing that this kind of thing makes news in Mississippi no matter what one thinks. PS, I think it is silly that Col Reb got canned too, but its not so bad because I see that suit around more now than I ever did back in the day.

I always thought Sweet should get into the bar and grill biz and have a menu that was original and inspired by our Saturdays watching football on Del Norte, then Scoop’s pads and finally over to Gautier. As I chopped up “the trinity” of onion, celery and bell pepper last week, in preparation for my effort at one of those well loved dishes, I had flashbacks to those days. Cooking isn’t a passion of mine, but when I do it, I like to work on something that doesn’t call for precise measurements, does allow for a beer (both in the recipe and in the hand) and involves a big pot. There used to be a Brit chef that had a travel show where he went around Europe recreating the dishes of the people. He’d throw in a handful of this, a pinch of that, a dash of wine all while drinking heavily and serving up one-liners. That’s the way it used to get done on those long gone football Saturdays and I enjoyed channeling the memories with both the cooking and the eating. It went so well I think I’ll try some other classic coastal fare soon. Hey Sweet, how about sending me your gumbo recipe?

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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26 Responses to Gumbo

  1. smilyj says:

    You know why its such nice weather and all when State wins and the Rebs lose? Cause God is a State fan……and he hates the rebels.

  2. tkh says:

    I still like to cook a big pot of something for big gameday Saturday’s too. My wife thinks I am crazy as it usually just the two of us and I send the rest off with her t0 the teachers lounge on Monday, but there is something about being in the kitchen over a pot of gumbo, jambalaya, chili, etc. beer in hand and College Gameday on in the background.

    I’m on my own for a weekend coming soon, maybe I’ll try a shot of beer a minute…

  3. quail09 says:

    I’ll put my daughter’s gumbo up against sweet’s any day

  4. Jessie Lou says:

    I’ve got a few recipes of my own that would be worth trying out. As I’ve said on this site before – I love Saturday nights with a football game on and a dinner cooking along side of my favorite red wine. Nothing finer. My favorite smell is that of onions and garlic cooking. Although you have not tasted my cooking that I recall a few others on this blog have but I think it is something that continues to be improved upon with age. Like me and IR used to say – “It is lick your plate good”. I love to lick the plate!

  5. Maybe I should sponsor a Travellinbaen Food and Wine Festival some time.

  6. quail09 says:

    I’ll cosponsor with you

  7. Jessie Lou says:

    Sounds like fun – at least the folks on this blog might show up.

  8. Samsmama says:

    We’re coming into my favorite time of year, when the weekends consist of cool weather and a crockpot full of something yummy. The bonus part about cooking dinner that way is that I can also claim to have slaved over the meal for 4-6 hours. I dare you to say a bad word about it after that!

  9. Being the “ironical,” counter-intuitive, contrarian, against the grain, swimming upstream, against the flow of traffic, odd man out, third wheel, odd sock, guy that I am, I…..crap, I can’t remember what my point was. Oh yeah, I’m not a fan of cooking yet I’m overweight. Hmm. That’s about as boring a statement as you’ll fine given all the build up.

    Rodney Scott is the Ole Miss running back that lay still while they attended to the Auburn guy. I’m glad you wrote something about it because it is truly noteworthy. Normally, you see pushing and shoving if a pile doesn’t unravel timely. Scott said after the game that he felt dead weight, knew something was wrong, and decided to lay there until the trainers came. That is great presence of mind b/c had he pushed the guy off him, he really may have caused a horrific injury. Anyway, I’m very relieved that the Auburn is expected to make a full recovery. I was watching when Chucky Mullins had his accident. It was gut wrenching and something I pray I’m never witness to again. Saturday was a close one because that guy didn’t move a bit at first. When he gave a thumbs up from the stretcher, I got teary eyed with joy.

    And I’m not ashamed to admit that. (Obviously, because I just wrote it. Now, I’m on the precipice of a digression speech, but I’m pulling back now.)

  10. Harmony says:

    I never once had gumbo. What’s in it? Somehow I feel less American.

    I agree with Samsmama, it’s the perfect weather for soups, stews and crockpot concoctions.

  11. quail09 says:

    Well, gumbo starts with the roux….

  12. sweet says:

    Roux is key…..and I hope Harmony is kidding

  13. Samsmama says:

    I have no clue what Roux is. Nor have I ever had traditional Gumbo. What? Don’t you all turn on me now because I’m from the Midwest! And if Harmony is kidding I feel stupid. But for some reason I don’t think she is. And college basketball season is upon us! Color me THRILLED!!!

  14. SM and Harmony, whatever you do, don’t try gumbo until you make it to New Orleans or the Mississippi Coast–any place else its just fish soup. The JLM, Sweet and Q’s daughter gumbo that gets featured at the TB Food and Wine fest would be a good place to lose your gumbo virginity.

  15. Harmony says:

    So there’s fish in gumbo? Sorry guys, I’m not joking.

  16. actually, shrimp, crab and sometimes oysters, but its a takeoff on what the French call bouillabaisse, literally fish soup. But if you buy gumbo in, say, Milwaukee, you’d probably get something closer to the French dish than the Gulf Coast one. (disclaimer–I’ve never set foot in Wisconsin)

  17. Jessie Lou says:

    There is no fish in any of the gumbo I’ve ever had – yikes – that would put it up there with the pear salad for me.

    I don’t recall if I ever had Sweet’s gumbo? Nothing compares to my Aunt Maude’s gumbo – it even got her in the paper one time.

    My best cajun dish would be smothered chicken and sausage (also starting with a roux) which must be consumed with potato salad. I like the PS with chicken gumbo but not seafood gumbo. I’ve not cooked gumbo but I’ve got plenty of other tricks up my sleeve. You would not go away hungry.

    SM and Harmony – you cannot beat the food on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi or Louisiana. Although I am from down here, I’ve lived in several different places and it is the best.

  18. irvineredd says:

    God, you guys are making me miss the lovely delicacies of my birth place and home state. Now I’m hungry. There are few places on Earth to get a better meal than what you can get on the MS gulf coast and Louisiana.

  19. Jessie Lou says:

    A coonass can cook anything from nutria rat to whatever else they can pull out of the ocean and make it worth eating. And serve an army of people while they are at it.

  20. Smilyj says:

    You can also have chicken gumbo. If you are not into seafood. Both are fantastic done right. My mom’s chicken gumbo won awards and she only made it on christmas. However she did put oysters in it with the chicken but I always had mine without the oysters.

  21. Jessie Lou says:

    Without oysters? Those are my favorite seafood next to scallops! I’ve got a really good way to cook those other than fried which I also love. YUM! YUM!

    I’ve never had them in chicken gumbo.

  22. Harmony says:

    The chicken gumbo without the oysters sounds like something I could handle….definitely not a seafood fan. Although I’ve had seafood chowder (that my fil ridiculed me into eating) and enjoyed it. I just didn’t eat any of the seafood. The flavor is good, it’s the texture that gets me.

  23. Harmony says:

    So when and where is this “TB Food and Wine fest” going to be held? I need to book a flight.

  24. quail09 says:

    gumbo can also have sausage as a meat component….i mentioned my daughter’s gumbo…she is a senior at ole miss and makes an amazingly similar version of my mother’s gumbo….she spent hours with my mom this summer learning how to make the roux….my mom was born in louisiana but was raised in pascagoula…..i’ve tasted many, many samples of different gumbos over the years….besides my daughter’s, the only thing that comes close to the quality of my mom’s gumbo, in my opinion, is some i’ve eaten at the jackson county fair

  25. Jessie Lou says:

    I missed the fair and gumbo this year and was very disappointed. I think I am going to make my smotherd chicken and sausage this weekend. All this talk has made me hungry!

  26. Smilyj says:

    I’ll be there. HONGRY too.

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