"Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou!" - my take on a gumbo
September is much like March. I don't abhorr September even half of what I detest March, but September feels very much like it: full of promise and yet a month that always fails to deliver. I suppose the transitional months into the most change-bringing seasons will feel like that. March brings about the end of the cold months, the grey skies, the rain, brings about a promise of renewal and a new energy with Spring, an end to a season that has been dark and cold when we are nearly at our witts' ends with it. It brings a desire for Spring and warmth, a bigger change than the one that takes Spring into Summer. September is very much like March, in that respect. It heralds Autumn and its abundance, it heralds a lowering in the scorching temps, a big change in the seasons and in our pace. It fails, though. I always enter September with a hopeful heart only to end it deflated and feeling somewhat robbed of it's promise. But never as much as March. No, never as much as March.
September always comes with a bang for us, and unexpected hassles. It's like a payment due on having had a carefree August summering around. September brings about the bill, and we always come into it with a heavy heart. But for some crazy reason it's a month where I tend to feel the most hopeful, and tend to have the frame of mind that everything will sort itself out and September being the rentrée will bring about change for the better. So I always find myself in the threshold of this month peeking in wide eyed waiting for something big to come about, something that will change my world and my life for the better, something good that will put a smile in my face for months, who knows years to come. I think I was spoiled by a couple of Septembers. See, my husband and I started dating in September, sixteen years to this day, and we got married in September, fourteen years to this day. If that ain't a life changing, put a smile on your face for years event, well, I dunno what it is. To me it was, at least. So I guess it makes sense that I always believe September will be grand.
So, yeah, I tend to have high expectations for September, and although something always takes place, it's never quite what my imagination had made of it. So I try to force some good into the bad, if only to make sure September is still a month that's full of promise and new begginings and changes for the best. I may find myself changing my hairstyle, or going for a fresh haircut or a new haircolour. Perhaps it will be a pair of shoes I have been dreaming of for years that finally comes into hand, or a book I've been dying to read. Maybe it's just that expensive magazine I adore and find myself splurging on it just for the sake of drowning myself in the contents and day dreaming of tweaks I could do to my home and my daily life. But contrary to March, I always find myself something good to fill September with, something that will shine like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Even if it's just a pretty set table to celebrate our anniversary!
I'm sharing one of my personal favourite dishes today, and one that has become a favourite in our home, with my hubby and son being huge fans of it as well. I won't be having it for our anniversary dinner, though, I'm thinking more on the likes of moules mariniéres with good, crusty bread and a bottle of white from one of my favourite wineries, one I've been dying to try for quite some time. Low key, yeah, but much to our liking. Still, off to the gumbo. I have this penchant for southern, cajun, creole cooking that's much romanticized, I am quite aware. I don't really know which is which, but the thought of things like biscuits, jambalaya, crayfish, gumbo and grits pull deeply at my heartstrings. I'm a sucker for the idea of those dishes. I didn't rest until I tried some of them, like the jambalaya - which I do hope to bring to this blog soon enough! - and the gumbo and the biscuits. I have no idea if this gumbo recipe is au point with the real gumbo cooked in the bayou, but this is my take and plates will end up empty and clean after serving it. I do hope you try it and tell me how you liked it, you know? Because it is that good, especially with a heady red wine like this one.
So here's the recipe:
- 150gr diced chorizo
- 5 - 6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 1/2 tbsp flour
- 2 celery stalks, diced - reserve the leaves
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 2 green bell peppers, deseeded and diced
- 3 crushed cloves of garlic
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 litre homemade chicken stock
- 200gr okra, sliced
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 175gr of wild rice
- 3 chicken legs, boneless and skinless, cut into chunks
- 250gr boiled shrimp, peeled