Full stomach, empty calories

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I enjoyed the discussion of chili! Now, on to an even more complex subject, gumbo. Here, the season’s first pot of seafood gumbo isn’t far away. Let me tell you my favorite gumbo story. I was in the check-out lane of Delchamps supermarket in Pass Christian, Mississippi. (Remember Delchamps, third-coasters?) I was assembling the ingredients for seafood gumbo that day. I was leaning on my cart, double checking my grocery list, when an African-American lady in line ahead of me said, “Mmmmm… looks like somebody’s making some gumbo.” I was quite pleased with myself and perked up immediately. Not to generalize, but I knew if she were like most in her community she had an innate understanding of and appreciation for gumbo. I deemed it an honor she’d even broach the subject with me. I replied, “Yes, Ma’am! I certainly am!” Then she asked, “You’re not from around here, are you?” Somewhat puzzled by the seeming nonsequitir, I replied, “No, not originally. Why did you ask me that?” Matter of factly, she told me: “Because you have a list!”