I shall begin by stating that I love the name Yalumba. How exotic can you get! Does it refer to an African war cry? A South American river? A region of Australia? No matter: I love the name. But more on that later, as I now turn to the topic at hand (even if it was a few days ago).
The fact is that this past Saturday was a lovely day. (So was Sunday, and so was Monday, and so was Tuesday. But surely that’s not the point right now. And don’t call me Shirley.)
On Saturday, the sky was that vibrant bright blue that often blankets the Greater Daglan Area in October. My aqua fitness class in the morning was excellent. The lamb curry lunch that my wife Jan had prepared was excellent. And then we were off for a shopping trip to Bergerac. It was all, shall we agree, excellent.
We were headed to Bergerac to shop at two places I’ve mentioned before — a wine shop that sells wines from outside our region (Hurrah!) and a food store that sells stuff you just can’t normally get in our local supermarkets. (See “Bergerac: A few good reasons [to visit],” posted September 7.)
Here’s my comment on the wine shop, from that blog posting:
I’ve found a wine store in [Bergerac] that doesn’t focus on local wines. There were shelves with wines from all parts of France (clearly marked and well organized) and — get this — wines from other countries. Yes, countries that most French wine merchants have never heard of, like Italy and Australia. As you can imagine, Jan and I are planning a major dual-purpose shopping trip, to Grand Frais and the comptoir des vignes.
So that’s where we went on Saturday, the wine store and the Grand Frais market. I’ll come back to the wine later, but here’s why we were so excited to be shopping at Grand Frais — a chance to buy the ingredients for “crawfish gumbo,” as our recipe calls it. (Personally, I would say “crayfish gumbo,” or just jambalaya.)
And when we got home, Jan started preparing the sauce. The starting point was chopping up these veggies:
Veggies form the base of the sauce.
Then, Jan made a roux of butter and (gluten-free) flour, and cooked it thoroughly, until it was a fairly dark brown. Next she added the veggies shown above, a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes, and quite a lot of water, plus a variety of spices, including cayenne pepper.
To finish the sauce, Jan cooked it all down until it was a bit reduced, and then added slices of okra — an ingredient we have found only at Grand Frais. Here’s the okra, going into the pot:
Did you know? Okra in French is gumbo. Yes!
On Sunday, Jan finished the dish — adding the seafood that we bought at Grand Frais, including crayfish from Louisiana (how amazing is that!) as well as shrimp. Here’s the seafood, ready to hit the sauce:
Crayfish — all the way from Louisiana!
And so, for Sunday lunch, we had this crayfish gumbo, which is quite spicy (because of the cayenne pepper) and really delicious when served over rice, which is how Jan served it. Here’s my plate:
All set for me to dig in.
And what, pray tell, did we drink with the jambalya? Well, think Yalumba for a starter. And more will be revealed in my next posting.
I can hardly wait!