Granny’s “Gulf” Gumbo
I have been trying to decide how to approach this post for the last week. Should I just graze over the subject of the oil spill in the Gulf? Should I go deep and tell you exactly what I think? Should I badger you with tons of photos of the animals and people it is affecting? Should I talk about it just a little and then move on?
In the end, I came to the conclusion that there is no good way to go about this. It is something close to my heart and an issue that can easily get me “hot under the collar”. So, I figured I will just talk to you from my heart.
The stunning Gulf Of Mexico a month before the Oil Spill
My family lives all around the Gulf Of Mexico…all the way from Galveston, Texas to Tampa, Florida. My grandmother was born and raised in Louisiana and my grandfather in Mississippi. My mother was born in Louisiana and raised in Texas and I was also raised in Texas, and now live in Tampa, Florida.
To say the least, our lives have involved the beautiful beaches surrounding the Gulf forever. Almost every single vacation we took growing up was one to the Gulf. Eventually it became a ritual, for our entire family, to take a week vacation to stay in one of the beach houses on Galveston Island. We would fish, eat, sunbathe, boogie board, walk looking for shells, build sand castles and just generally enjoy our time there and each others company.
These days, now that I live in Tampa, just as many of my days are spent at the ocean. We spend weekends upon weekends out on the beaches, snorkeling the flats and fishing the Gulf. One of my favorite places in the whole world is Anclote Key. It is a beautiful key off of Florida that is only accessible by boat. Whenever I get the chance, I go with my family out there and we have the time of our lives.
These beautiful beaches will be filled with oil. Can you imagine? I can’t. I also can not even begin to fathom what the people of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi feel like. The oil has been detrimental not only to their coasts, but to their people, wildlife, and livelihood.
Take for instance the P&J Oyster Company, in New Orleans, that has been open since 1876. Thanks directly to the oil spill, it is now closed. A 134 year old company, done.
And that is JUST oysters! That is not to mention all of the other marine life living in, and along, the Gulf Of Mexico. Or the tourism money that some of these coastal cities rely on. To put it in a different perspective, this is the equivalent of a giant sinkhole swallowing up the Midwest, and for years farmers not being able to use their land to grow anything. Instead it would just sit there. No money in, no money out, and no true hope in sight.
This is still happening. It has not gone away. And it is not going away any time soon. But it will, in time, get better. And eventually, hopefully, be a thing of the past. I am writing this post, and sharing my thoughts, feelings, pleads, and Granny’s “Gulf” Gumbo recipe with you in hopes that it reaches people who are not living here along the Gulf Of Mexico.
I can understand how it could become easy for someone living far, far away from the Gulf to forget…or to become numb to the pictures on the news every night. But don’t let yourself fall into that. It is still very, very real. And the animals, marine life, and people still need your help.
I am just one person. And you are just one person. But if we all stand together and help each other, we can all overcome this and help save the Gulf. There truly are no beaches like it in the world. There are no people, as kind, as true, as welcoming, as you will find in the coastal cities. There are no tastier shrimp, oysters, or fish. In other words, there is only one Gulf Of Mexico.
Usually when FoodBuzz does these 24X24 posts, they pay the blogger $250 dollars to help pay for the costs of the party, the Taste Of Sarasota, or whatever the blogger may do for the event. However this month, they approached bloggers with a new/different idea.
Instead of the money being given to us, the bloggers, the money will be given to the Greater New Orleans Foundation. And if you were not chosen as part of the 24 bloggers to participate in the 24X24 event, if you still blogged about something pertaining to the Gulf Of Mexico they will donate an additional 25$ in that persons name. Isn’t that just amazing?
Now let’s lighten the mood! GUMBO! My Granny’s Gumbo to be exact! I wish I could call it Granny’s “Gulf” Gumbo…which is normally would be since it would be all fresh, delicious seafood from the Gulf…but with everything going on I had to use frozen seafood. My Granny has been making this recipe forever. Ok, so maybe not forever, but for as long as I can remember…and as long as my Mom can remember…so a long time 😉
Granny's "Gulf" Gumbo
And I will leave you with this…My Dad…on his 3rd bowl of Gumbo!