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RV Cooking: Steamy gumbo by the fire

Gumbo by the campfire is a perfect way to chase away the winter blues. (Leslie Kelly)
Gumbo by the campfire is a perfect way to chase away the winter blues. (Leslie Kelly)

We recently took a quick trip to Whidbey Island, where we enjoyed a sunny hike around Ebey's Landing and a beautiful waterfront campsite. (More about all that in Friday's column.)

After the sun went down, the temps dropped dramatically, but we were ready.

Gumbo's one of our go-to faves during winter, especially when we need to warm up. I'm a firm believer in cooking most everything from scratch, but gumbo's beyond me. You've got to have patience to create that just-right roux, stirring flour and butter until they're a shade of mahogany. 

That's why I truly appreciate the gumbo mixes from Zatarain's and Tony Chachere, especially when cooking the tiny kitchen on wheels. You make these shortcuts your own by adding on. For me, that's typically Hempler's Andouille Smoked Sausage and some kind of seafood. Usually, that's shrimp, but I got extra lazy and pulled a couple of salmon cakes from the freezer to fry up for the finishing touch.

And, yes, that's slaw on top of this one-dish dinner. In New Orleans, some restaurants actually serve a scoop of potato salad on top of gumbo, so I thought this cabbage salad could work. It did. And the diced Honey Crisp apples from Washington state gave it a Northwest twist. 

We're compiling a list of the best meals for winter camping and this one is definitely in the Top 10. 



Leslie Kelly
Leslie Kelly is a freelance writer.