A Gumbo Blessing

Usually every year my mother makes gumbo on Christmas Eve, but my nephew requested it also for his birthday celebration, this past weekend.

My mother made a significant discovery at this rendering of the seafood and okra dish made famous to us by my Grandmother, who lived on the Gulf coast, in Alabama.

Although every time we would make the pilgrimage to visit my parents’ families, my Grandmother would cook us a big fresh pot, and as a child I could hardly recognize how very beautiful this was, until I grew up and had gumbo in a restaurant, not even on the coast, any coast.

The miraculous discovery of this iteration was that my Mother had found an old cookbook of my Grandmother’s, and lo, there my Grandma had made her essential notes on the recipe page. Mom had been using a handwritten copy of the recipe on a card from Grandma, a treasure all its own, but with this discovery, my Mom had found the blessing of Grandma’s handwriting along with her near-perfect secret directions, that she would use her own self to prepare the dish for her loved ones.

Although my Mother does not believe that her gumbo is as fine as her Mother’s, I do tell you truly that it is, and that the new tradition that we’ve made in our fragment of the family reminds me of the blessing that we share of my Grandma, who found the beauty in everything and everyone.

I forgot to mention that she would serve the gumbo with fresh iced tea, graced by leaves from the mint in her garden.

#Gumbo #Shrimp #Okra #Memories #Family #Love #Peace #Hope #Life

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