This year I’m not up to making the traditional Christmas meal, but I was just looking at the cookbook that has my gumbo recipe. Gumbo is our tradition. Looking at the cookbook brought back memories.
I bought my cookbook at Don’s Seafood & Steakhouse one day when a friend and I had lunch there. The year was 1977, and I paid $1.95 for it. There are some good Creole recipes in this book and we like the Shrimp and Okra Gumbo. We only use fresh Gulf shrimp after trying that farm stuff and finding out it has no flavor whatsoever. I don’t think there’s enough crab boil in the world to help it either. I also make the roux according the cookbook directions.
Another thing we traditionally have is Key Lime pie. The recipe I use is not the real way it’s made with eggs, but it’s really fast using whipped topping, lime juice and condensed milk. I wondered why I stick to that recipe when the cooked one looks really good? I think the reason is tradition, and the recipe came from the same lady I was with when I bought the cookbook. I think of her every time I slice into the pie. Oh, I did make her pie today. It’s in the fridge waiting and we’ll dig in after tacos and tamales tomorrow.
There’s comfort in our traditions. I like being reminded of my friend. And I don’t think there’s a problem at all with food being a comfort to eat. I think it’s a gift from God that we ought to rightly use and enjoy. Funny how a friendship can influence a family for years.