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Traditional Louisiana Gumbo from Doxology author, Brian Holers

I grew up with a wonderful set of parents, I was one of the lucky ones. So many stories surround the dysfunctional aspects of childhood, the damaged people who survive and their fight to find themselves and find their way back to a place of balance. Many of these stories involve the journey to find the love of their lost faith, Doxology is one of these books.

This story is about more than simple familial dysfunction. It is tale of fathers, sons and brothers and a journey back to home to find the lost ties that are of this faith that is so deeply rooted in family. It is a story of these men and the ties that bind them together. Living with a southern man, I can say that food is one way that has always bound his family together. Geoff is an Atheist so faith and belief do not play a part in his life. But come Sunday evening when he is with his family, even if he was not at the church pew that morning,  he can be found breaking bread with them all.

It is the same with my family, we may not agree with our varying beliefs and how we practice them. Or agree with how to raise our children or how we live our lives. But we can all agree to sit down and share a meal. To share our love for each other, to feel the warmth that is not just in the bread we are breaking but in our hearts because despite it all we are family.

Brian Holers mentions one simple hymn that I carry with me from growing up. One that we repeat when I am sitting at the dinner table when I am visiting my family back home, or I hear when I go to church with my parents. A hymn I love to sing, despite the fact I do not practice an organized religion, I do have beliefs and I do have faith. I think this simple hymn, which Brian says “reflects” his “lifelong attitude about life in general.” “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”  is something most of us can find a way to fit into our lives.

None of us will ever agree explicitly and in exactly what way is the right way when it comes to religion and beliefs. It is to personal for each of us, including Brian. But for me the one thing I have learned that no matter WHAT is going on in my house, no matter who is mad, or what child hates the other at the moment, the one place I can get everyone together to sit and talk, to share, to laugh and love is has been the family table.

In the spirit of this, join me sharing a recipe that Brian has graciously shared with me from his kitchen. In the flavor that can only be of the Louisiana nature, GUMBO! I have not tried this yet, but considering this is one of Geoff’s all time favorites for me to make (and comparing the recipes I think mine is going to the bottom of my recipe box) I will be making this soon!

Traditional Louisiana Gumbo via author Brian Holers Kitchen
The Louisiana state dish is Gumbo. The dish combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including French, Spanish, German, West African, and Choctaw. Traditions and beliefs from cultures were put aside to be combined in this amazing traditional dish
Serves: 12 large servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of cooking oil
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 8 stalks if celery, chopped
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • about ½ cup of parsley (optional)
  • 1 lb of sliced okra (Brian's recipe says optional but let's face it folks TRADITION stands! The name gumbo has it's roots in Okra so... Let the Okra stand too!)
  • ------------
  • ½ cup of Chicken stock
  • Tabasco sauce& Worcestershire to taste
  • 2 QT of chicken stock (you will be adding chicken later so make your own and put the meat in the fridge for the last step in making this dish)
  • 2 QT of water
  • ½ cup of Catsup
  • 1 lg tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 lb of sliced & browned sausage.
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp of thyme
  • ¼ tsp of Rosemary
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • ------------
  • 2 cups (or more) of cooked and chopped chicken (I will be using the chicken I cooked to make my chicken stock)
  • 1 lb of sliced sausage
  • ------------
  • 12 servings of cooked rice (you can cook this before serving the meal)
  • (To be started a day or two ahead of when you plan on serving it)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large heavy iron stock pot over medium heat. Add flour very slowly, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until flour is medium brown (making a traditional southern rue for soup and stew folks)
  2. This should take about 30-40 minutes. Add celery, onion, green pepper, garlic and parsley (if you opted for this and I suggest you do) cook an additional 45 minutes stirring constantly.
  3. Fry okra in 2 tbsp of shortening until brown. Add to gumbo and stir well over low heat for a few minutes
  4. THIS IS A STOPPING POINT. It can now be refrigerated and finished the next day (start cooking 5-6 hours before you plan on serving)
  5. Add chicken stock, water, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce, catsup, chopped tomato, salt, sausage, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and red pepper flakes and simmer for 5-6 hours (yes the recipe says 3 but Brian has told me he does it for 6)
  6. About 30-60 minutes before serving add the cooked chicken. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
  7. Finish cooking for the 30-60 more minutes
  8. Serve over hot rice
  9. (As Brian has noted and as I have also shared, boil or bake the chicken or turkey and use the broth from that. If not buy low sodium broth at the market)

Tomorrow the February Event for Win With eBooks starts! DO not forget there are 20 books, including Brian’s book Doxology (read about it in a guest post from Brian). I have been sharing a few of these great books and authors with you along with recipes too! I am going to be sharing more in during the days of the event, February 12-15. Join us over at winwithebooks.com and learn how you can win a Kindle Fire and get some of these great books for only  99 cents!

Read the Doxology synopsis here.

Read about how the book came to be here.

Get Your Copy of Doxology through the winwithebooks.com event! It is one of the 20 books featured HERE go forth, get it for $.99 cents now through the 15th! 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Wow Kriss what a great post. It was wonderful. Thanks for writing this.

  2. Hey girl thank you, this is phenomenal and I am eating some of that gumbo right now

    • You are MORE than welcome. I sent my lovely fiance to work with a list so I can start this tonight for our family dinner this weekend! Thanks again!

  3. okra or gumbo is a great source of dietary fiber. thanks for sharing this recipe.

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