Three years ago I went to New Orleans for a friend’s bachelorette celebration. It was my first and only time there, though I desperately want to go back and do more besides endless drinking. It was on this trip I fell in love with gumbo. I could have lived off it. Rice and broth and vegetables and southern goodness, I guess. It spoke to me in spice and flavor. Such supreme comfort food as I felt it put my soul back together, a soul I did not even know was broken in the first place. That’s the power of good cooking. That’s the power of food made with love and wholesome ingredients. I have not had any since, and it is killing me. When I came home from that trip, I put it on a list of things to do (to making my own gumbo), but never got around to it. It still sits on that list and I have forgotten it until now. It’s now summer, and too hot for gumbo, but perhaps as the weather bigs to turn to cooler fall, I will assemble my shopping list and go forth to make this triumph of a dish, and hopefully, by following a good recipe, I will do it some justice.
I miss the lightheartedness of the French Quarter. And the breeze by the river. And the palms on Canal. I miss the jazz in the streets and the murals and statues celebrating great musicians; These should never be taken down. I miss Church St. and District Donuts. I wanted to get to know this city so much more. But you can only do so much in 4 days. I recall the rainy day we left, NOLA on the outskirts of Hurricane Harvey, and our slightly delayed flight coming home. God, how I love a good storm, even when it puts me out somewhat. I want to go back to Cafe du Monde and get a nice big iced coffee and eat beignets with someone I love and care about. No matter the humidity or the heat. There are so many beautiful, wonderful things to do in the daytime. To me, it makes the night pale in comparison. And perhaps, that’s just who I am.
I could’ve lived off that gumbo. Buffets and restaurants. My favorite choice, my go-to. Chicken and andouille sausage. Tipping the jazz band to play “Dream A Little Dream”.