Wednesday, July 13, 2011

less is more

It's a busy, busy summer. I have been eating, cooking, traveling, reading food blogs and cookbooks, and sampling friend's specialties at backyard barbecues. But, I haven't been so thorough on blogging about it. So, I am taking the pressure off of myself to craft a post with wonderful photos, thought provoking, descriptive entries full of discoveries, research, successes and failures. Instead, I'm saying it's A-OK to blurt out a little something, one line perhaps and throw in a so-so picture if that's all I have, or not. Always keeping the focus on good food and its pursuit, just not stressing out about the documentation. Less is more. Right?
Now that I got that off of my chest, here's a long blurb about the gumbo I made last weekend...
Though the photos don't show the final product, they show the preparation, and frankly, the roux is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING! And most time-consuming. The last photo shows the clock at nearly 85 minutes. I learned that my clock stops at 99 minutes. In the end, I stirred this roux for approximately two hours. And it still wasn't chocolate brown! I was tired, hot and ready to be done with it and go on to phase 2: the rest of the gumbo cookin'! The final result was pretty good, not great. I brought it to a southern friend's bbq, and I heard someone comment that it tasted like gravy. I think that was a good thing (?) Everyone seemed to really like it, and it was tasty the next day too. I just know I've made better, and I know that it starts with the roux.
Last time I made it so successfully, I definitely achieved that dark brown color, and it was thin, liquid-y. This time, I gave up too soon because I couldn't stand it - and the result was much thicker, and not as tasty. Two things to try next time: 1) slightly higher heat, especially if I have a fan on in the kitchen. And 2) BUY a proper stool- geez! I sat for two hours on two phonebooks on a kitchen chair (low rent). I love gumbo, thus I need the proper tool to make it- a stool. Will post pictures when I find the perfect one!

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