12.15.2015

The "Get Well" Gumbo

When we usta come down with the winter sniffles, Mama would make what she called her 'get well gumbo'.  It starts with a full 5 lbs. of yellow onions julienned, and a full head of garlic in a stock pot of water.  She seasoned it with her own special blend of Cajun Seasoning, a lot of powdered cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons (!) of Zatarain's concentrated liquid crab boil.  
  When she got all this to boiling, she added a big baking hen that the butcher had cut into "gumbo pieces", being that, even the bones are sawed open, exposing the rich marrow. To all this, she added sliced smoked Cajun sausage and also special South Louisiana Andouille sausage. 
    As part of her larder, there were quarts of smothered okra lining the shelves of her pantry, so she'd open one and put that in to help thicken her gumbo.
   Well, seeing as Peg has had a bad case of tonsillitis, has been running a fever and aching all over, I followed my Mom's 'prescription', as laid out above.
    After it had been merrily boiling away for a of couple hours, I added green onion sliced and parsley, both from our garden and let it boil some more. 
   The fiery spicy hot soup with the overdose of onion and garlic is supposed to be healthy and good for your cold; apparently the germs can't take the heat.   
Next time, I need to remember to make this amazing 'medicinal' soup, but not wait for someone to be sick before I decide to cook it.  It's truly is an amazing soup and as Mama usta say, "It's good for what ails ya."
   ...Now, this particular pot of gumbo is the most special pot of "get well gumbo" that we have ever made.  Rooting around in our freezer, I came across a pack of Andouille sausage that our recently dearly departed friend, Todd had given us this time last year. Peggy and I both were in tears when we realized that it hadn't been that long ago that Todd had been alive and busy making sausage, boudin, wine...so alive enjoying his whole world and sharing it with everybody. Todd was so popular and poured out his life helping others, and he was a highly esteemed critical care nurse. He had chosen his profession well.
  So, here I was, alone in the kitchen making a gumbo to make Peggy get well, but...I wasn't alone, because Todd, even from Heaven was helping me minister to Peggy, nursing her back to health. (She's feeling much better now)
    God Rest ye, merry Gentleman, and thank you again, so very, very much!
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