Category Archives: Dear Diary (Gumbo Experiences)…

Stories of community, told around a pot of gumbo

On Christmas Eve I make our family’s traditional Christmas Eve meal — gumbo. Seven miles from here, across the Bob Sykes Bridge, Barb Stahl cooks gumbo for her family on Pensacola Beach. We’re both using different ingredients and different recipes, … Continue reading

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Gumbo for Breakfast? Why Not?

Monday is National Gumbo Day, and I’m celebrating early with Sunday breakfast gumbo. Why not? Everything, including breakfast, is topsy-turvy in 2020. Food critic Bea Wilson writes in the Wall Street Journal that the pandemic is changing our dining patterns. … Continue reading

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East Texas Gumbo:  Memorable Recipes from a Mellow Voice

I’ve only known two people named Horace, and one I didn’t really know, but his mellow, deep Texas twang filled my home every morning while I corralled three boys for school and he read the Farm and Ranch News for … Continue reading

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Now You’re Cooking: A Dozen Range-free Meals

I love the phrase “Now You’re Cooking,” a version of the advertising slogan “Now You’re Cooking with Gas.” It’s been ricocheting in my brain since midnight Saturday, February 17 when firefighters arrived at our house. Four of them, decked out … Continue reading

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No frybread for my Thanksgiving

When I heard The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman, describing his new book about “indigenous people food” on BBC World radio, I was fascinated.  Somehow I missed the Native American indigenous food movement crisscrossing the U.S.  Even Native American restaurants are … Continue reading

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Gumbo Science & 23 and Me : Do we eat what we are?

“So, how much Italian do you have?” the man at the Sons of Italy membership table asked.  My husband and I were browsing the booths at the Festa Italiana in Pensacola, trying to walk off lasagna and sausage and peppers. … Continue reading

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Why the Greeks didn’t invent gumbo

Rather than dining at the 28th World Championship  Gumbo  Cookoff in New Iberia, Louisiana, last weekend,  I found myself at the 58th Annual Greek Festival in Pensacola, Florida. Pondering the two events, I wondered  “Why Didn’t the Greeks Invent Gumbo.” … Continue reading

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Off to college: educating and elevating, Cajun-style

My neighbor’s son is off to college at Louisiana Tech, four hundred miles away from our Florida neighborhood.  And in the past three weeks on campus, his mother reports, he’s embraced the Louisiana culture, foodwise that is. He bought a … Continue reading

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Making crab gumbo isn’t as easy as it used to be

I love estate sales. They offer a wealth of writing inspiration. I’ve got an estate sale mystery in the works, but lately I’ve been buying small cookbooks that speak to my soul – and to my blog. When I shop … Continue reading

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Hurricane Gumbo: Music, Poetry, Legend or Recipe?

  Why Margaret Mang named her gumbo “Hurricane Gumbo” I’ll never know for sure.  But I have a good guess. Her 1982 recipe appears in A Cookbook  from The Woman’s Club of Pensacola that I picked up at an estate … Continue reading

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