Meet my MaMaw Emma


My grandmother Emma always had a pot on the stove.  She said one of the worst things that can ever happen is you don’t have anything to feed company, that includes expected and unexpected company when they present to your house. Her Rule:  Feed quest whenever they arrive.  To this end, she frequently served my favorite gumbo, dried shrimp and boiled eggs.

Gumbo is a spicy stew with one basic ingredient which is roux.  What’s unique about gumbo is gumbo has layer after layer of flavor.  Here’s the recipe for my favorite gumbo, loosen up your belt and get ready for a delicious bowl of gumbo.

Ingredients:  1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup self-rising flour, 1/2 cup chopped white onions, 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 crumbled bay leaves, 1 (3 oz.) package dried shrimp, 1/2 cup frozen black-eyed peas, 12 large eggs, 2 tablespoon crushed red peppers,  2 crumbled bay leaves, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon, 1/4 pound okra, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices,  4 cups water.

In a pot boil eggs, when done peel and set aside. In a large heavy pot, never use cast-iron, add cup butter and cup vegetable oil, heat up to smoking hot gradually add the flour.  With a whisk, stir continuously until the flour is a chocolate brown.  Making the roux might take 30 – 45 minutes. Be extremely careful not to burn the flour.  Reduce heat to medium add the holy trinity. The holy trinity is onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Stir in crushed red peppers, bay leaves, thyme, and bouillon continue to cook. In a skillet add 2 tablespoons of butter, fry okra until it is no longer sticky or stringy, add okra to the pot.   Gradually add water,  black-eyed peas, eggs, shrimp, and eggs.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook another 30-45 minute.   Reduce heat again to the lowest eye cover the pot and serve with rice whenever company arrives.

Do you have a perfect gumbo or stew?  Share it with us. Here is a list of some of my favorite gumbos:  Seafood Gumbo, Chicken Gumbo, and Catfish Gumbo.

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