My family’s origin is Louisiana. Both my mother and father’s parents were born and raised in Louisiana. Our gumbo bowls came with a set of china that was given to my mother’s mother by her boss, Ms. Frankie. It was customary that in Ms. Frankie’s family that whenever she got something new, she would give her hand me downs to my great grandmother and grandmother who worked for her. These bowls traveled from Louisiana to Los Angeles in the early 1960’s when my grandmother relocated here. The gumbo bowls were only used when my grandmother made gumbo. Gumbo is a well-known creole delicacy. It is a hybrid of a soup and a stew with a brown roux base with chicken, sausage, and shrimp, served with rice. Whenever my grandmother made gumbo, her house would be filled with people and eventually turn into a social event. Plates, bowls, red rooster hot sauce, saltine crackers, and a little filet would be the makings of a fun family event. Our family loves to eat, and every holiday, birthday, social event is an excuse to gather and celebrate. Just like the gumbo, our family is a rich mixture of culture, history, and diversity. After my grandmother passed away, my mother took the bowls from her house, and when she passes away, each one of my siblings and I will get a bowl so that we can have our own tradition with our individual families.
– Marshall Charles