Gumbo Meditation

I have never been able to sit on a cushion and stare at the wall. I’ve tried, trust me…over and over again. I thought it “would be good for me.” Finally a teacher told me that there are many ways to meditate, many ways to practice mindfulness. Perhaps I would do better with a moving meditation?

I haven’t sat still since!

I used to bake fresh bread as a form of relaxation and meditation…kneading the dough until it was as supple, smooth and soft as a newborn baby’s ass. The whole kitchen smelled of yeast, honey and love! I’d set aside a whole afternoon, it was like a vacation day for me. Then I developed a wheat allergy, and all of that was out the window. (deflated sigh)

Last Tuesday I was at my friend Gina’s house for lunch and a confab, and while we talked, she made Gumbo. I have never made it…ranking it up among the things I deemed too difficult; like an elegant Crown Roast or a Buche Noelle. I have lived this long without needing to cook any of them…and then I tasted her gumbo.  Holy Gina Marie Lucia! Gumbo

I had been watching closely, asking questions and taking notes as she cooked. And as she did, we sipped wine and caught up on each other’s lives (yes, we were day-drinking…but it was wine. Doesn’t count) and when she finally put a garnished bowl in front of me – I was hooked on gumbo. This stuff is the ‘Crack’ of the soup world!

This Tuesday, I made my first pot of gumbo. I overcame my fear, and when it was finished and ladled into bowls with some fresh steamed rice, I was thrilled!  (I had to substitute a gluten-free baking mix for the flour in the roux, yet it was still delicious.

I realize that I am rewarded every time I take steps to overcome a fear. And I’m  reminded that cooking is a lesson in staying present, a form of mindfulness meditation. From organizing the shopping list; remaining patient through all of the cutting, chopping, and measuring; and slowly, slowly browning the roux. The payoff  is not just in experiencing a delicious meal, but feeling both love and gratitude as I sit at the table and eat.  Gratitude that I have such healthy, delicious food to eat. Love for the partner I prepared it for (who adores gumbo), and for the dear friend who shared her expertise with me.

I can’t wait to make another batch!                   Want the recipe? Let me know in the comments!

XO Donna

13 thoughts on “Gumbo Meditation

  1. Kim Straub

    Wow! I cant wait to tell Joe that all those times he was making gumbo, he was actually meditating!! Ha! In the words of the late Cajun chef, Justin Wilson, who taught Joe how to make it, “It’s good – I guarantee” (said in that beautiful Cajun accent). Bon appetit y’all!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Very nice. Enjoy your emails. Also I love the way you do Rondella’s hair. Very sincerely Nancy Yocum……………..(Rondella’s mother)

    • Laurie,
      I was sure I did a special follow-up post with the recipe, but can’t find it. Will make gumbo, take photos, and post it next week. I am SO SORRY for not giving you this deliciousness sooner!

  3. Denise Jones

    I would love your gumbo recipe. We make it but I know there is always something to learn from other recipes. Another great post by the way

    • I thought I posted this recipe as a follow up years ago… and now I don’t see that I did. I will make it and post it for everyone next week! Glad you enjoy it too. It may not be authentic, but it is delicious!
      Big Hug to you both.

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