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I affectionately call the mom of one of my BFF's, "Mama Millie". Mama Millie is the business y'all! If you ever call to say you're coming to stay the night, the woman will fix her house up and have you feeling like you are staying in a 5-star hotel! Fresh sheets, soft towels, serve you breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Take your phone calls and messages while you're asleep and her advice would rival any Ann Landers or Dear Abby column! (Though it may be laced with a few expletives and some wild body language) - i LOVE me some Mama Millie!

I recall one weekend trip to Baton Rouge, LA (during my Xavier days), where Mama Millie took me to her stomping grounds in Lake Charles. There, in her mother's kitchen is where she taught me how to make gumbo.

Now I'm not just talking about any old gumbo recipe...I'm talkin 'bout, the real deal, ragin' Cajun, no cookbook in sight, making-your-rue-from-scratch and darn near going in the bayou to catch the shrimp yourself-Gumbo. This was serious business. I'm sure the house had A/C, but it was 'sho hot in that kitchen! Stirring a stock pot the size of the suitcase I'd brought, Mama Millie was talking a mile a minute as she instructed me on what do: "Okae now ya gotta keep stirrin ya flour and when ya see it turnin' brown, that's when you start puttin' ya water in." Her Louisiana accent just as thick as the rue...The hours I spent with her in that kitchen learning how to make Gumbo were priceless...*smile*...oh the good 'ol days!

Funny - I remember thinking how I couldn't wait to impress my husband one day, by having him come home to pot of gumbo simmering on the stove! But I don't even remember how to make it! LMAO! I tried the box of Zatarain's Gumbo Mix once....and let's just say that didn't work out to well...*smile again*...

But what I do remember is that Mama Millie used to put everything in her gumbo! Chicken...Shrimp...Crab...Sausage...Okra...everything! In fact, that's one of the best things about gumbo - it's the perfect mix of a little of *this and a little of *that, plus a whole lot of spice!

You're probably hungry from reading this now - and since I can't whip you up a pot of Zatarain's, I'll give you what I can...A list of my favorite dishes. Try one this weekend!!!

Nola's Top FeelGood Foods:

Fried Catfish and Cheese Grits
Taco Salad with Ground Beef or Chicken
Loaded Fries from Bar Louie
Cajun Turkey Sandwich with Pepper jack cheese
Chili-Cheese Hot Dog with JalapeƱo peppers
Steak and a Loaded Baked Potato (well done, no sour cream, please)
Lays Classic Potato Chips with sprinkles of Louisiana Hot Sauce (don't act like you've never tried this...!)
Boiled Crawfish, Red potatoes and Corn
Fried Chicken (tossed in Hooters sauce)

Now don't get me wrong! I may not remember how to make Gumbo, but I still get down in the kitchen!!!And yes, I wear an apron. I got this Louisiana apron right out of the French Market in New Orleans! You won't catch me over the stove without it!

Look at Mama Millie enjoying one of my fav foods: Crawfish, Corn and Potatoes!

Yummmm...Tell me, what is your favorite comfort food?


Yuca said...

HOW CAN I BE DOWN?!?!?!?!?!

silverfox428 said...

Grandma Dearie, grandmom Vivian's stepmom, made the best banana fritters ever! Makes your mouth water just to smell them cooking!


Auntie Liz

kellis said...

Now why did you have to go and do that!? Now I will be craving New Orleans until 2009...:(

Memories That Last