"Do you need to go home soon?"
"No." I pulled on my beer.
"Do you want to go to the dog park?"
"I like dog parks."
"That's the hippest."
"Hey, if you don't need to go home, we should cook some gumbo."
And just like that, it was time for round four of this evil weekend to ensue. Would it ever stop? Where were my stretchy pants? Was my liver ready for more fat and alcohol? Yes. Yes, it was. It has the tenacity of pigs devouring a lifeless body. After some time we went back to store for the second time that day. We listened to an album of our friend Louis from back in his High School days. It was hilarious. I cannot recall the name of the album, or the band.
Gumbo–a multi-species orgy of gastronomical delight. There are many schools of thought surrounding gumbo, ranging from outright orthodox, to free-formed liberalism. The purists tend to argue about the roux, and its color (each stage having a distinct flavor profile), the most. Others argue about proteins. We chose a sampling of animals for ours, representing land, air, swamp, and sea. Duck breast, crawfish, Gulf shirmp, and andouille sausage. I was excited. We picked up some collard greens, bosc pears, a nice variety of radishes, as well as some strawberrys, and dark chocolate.
Back at the North Buda homestead, Shaddely and I got to work. We started the roux. Slow and low, that was our tempo, like the song says. Prep work was done, veggies chopped, sausage cooked, duck breast seared off and alcohol consumed. I slowly stirred the roux from time to time, as it progressed through several very distinct states of being. White, blond, almond, red, peanut butter, ganache... We weren't going for brick, so we stopped it at ganache. The stew was ready for its mate. It simmered, we drank; time passed, life was beautiful.
While we were at the store, YogaMarketingBrownieGirl took the dog to the dog park, and had returned while we sat and imbibed. The dog had been a bad boy, and she needed to relax. The house smelled warm and inviting. Acro-yoga was performed.
Eventually it was time to start working on our sides, and desserts. Rice, natch, collard greens and bacon, red wine poached pears stuffed with goat cheese, radishes cooked in duck fat, and chocolate covered strawberries. After several hours of slowly simmering, the gumbo was ready. It was time to saute the shrimp and add them in, and break out the Tabasco. Ellen of Greenwood had come over, and the four of us sat down and ate this delightful meal.
The spittle is everywhere in rage...
We drank. We ate. Eventually, we had dessert consisting of strawberrys, chocolate angel food cake, fresh whipped cream, and the pears with goat cheese. It was a great meal spent in good company. The gumbo did not disappoint, its flavor deep and rich. The duck and andouille paired nicely with the flavors of the shrimp and crawfish. For some strange reason, perhaps it's just conditioning, I think that the flavor of gumbo is only complete when Tabasco is added. Full, buzzed, and completely satiated, this weekend of decadence and depravity had drawn to a close. All survived.