Gumbo is a dish that's been a part of our family for as long as I can remember.  It’s a special occasion meal, as it simmers for a minimum of three hours, but when it’s finally ready we eat it for days without complaint. My love for gumbo originates with my mother. She was an Army brat, like me, so she moved around frequently, but always kept close ties to Louisiana. My family's time spent in Baton Rouge and New Orleans always involves a party and a lot of food.
While there are many dishes that I love, gumbo was my chosen topic because of how it's made - slow and steady!
Gumbo is a stew that has many variations, but the way we usually make it begins with a dark roux (flour based stock.) We then add sausage, chicken, tomatoes, onions, celery, peppers, and many bay leaves then let it simmer all day. The dish originated in Louisiana but has ties to French, Spanish, German, and African cultures. 
 I relate to gumbo in that I, too, come from a strange conglomeration of nationalities. Growing up, when discussing our family’s heritage and our own backgrounds, I would proudly exclaim, “I’m like nine different things!” Listing them would take a half hour, but in summation, I'm mostly European and a little Cherokee Native American.  I’m an American and I am truly a mutt, but I believe the food we eat and share with our communities can break the barriers we place between one another. I also believe that no one can resist a delicious bowl of gumbo. 

Place(s): Louisiana, France, Caribbean

– Jackie O'Shaughnessy

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more