NNWM/6: The Color of Peanut Butter

I have no idea what inspired me to make a big pot of homemade gumbo this evening.

The short answer is: I was craving it. But I don’t know why, because I have zero ties to New Orleans. In fact, Louisiana is one of the few states I have never visited. It’s not like my mom cooked gumbo every Sunday while I was growing up. Or ever. It’s just one of those dishes that I feel like making every couple of years, usually after enough time has passed that I forget how time-consuming the whole process is.

It’s all about the roux. Making it takes patience and an unerring commitment to stirring constantly for at least 45 minutes. The recipe I was using today told me it’d be done after 20 minutes, but THEY LIED. I have never had a good roux take less than three quarters of an hour, and today was no exception. I remember once it took me 90 nonstop minutes. I’m kinda surprised I didn’t end up with a torn rotator cuff that time. Cooking can be dangerous, kids.

The roux is supposed to be the color of peanut butter, but you have to cook it over very low heat so it doesn’t burn, which translates to what feels like a million years. At one point I actually grabbed a jar of Skippy from the cupboard and held it up to the pot I was stirringstirringstirring to compare the color, and deemed it “close enough.”

FWIW, the gumbo turned out delicious. Which means I’ll be ready to make it again in another 24 to 36 months.


Word Count Today: 1,059.
Total Word Count: 16,293.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

7 thoughts on “NNWM/6: The Color of Peanut Butter

  1. Mark, can you believe that I’ve NEVER had Gumbo?!? But it looks (judging from your photo) DE-licious!

    Things like soups and stews I crave this time of the year when it gets colder. I love “comfort food!”

    Have a super week, buddy!


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