Step One: Cold Front
Step Two: Roast some chicken.
Step Two- A: Let folks eat some, but not all, of the chicken.
Step Three: Make a good rich stock.
Step Four: Make gumbo.
Step Four-A: Let folks eat the gumbo.
We have a freeze warning tonight, which is pretty unreal for mid-November in Houston. We turned on the heat for the first time since...February?
Steps 1-3 have been handled. Tomorrow the gumbo magic happens. Making the roux, which takes half of forever but is totally worth it. Sauteing the holy trinity of celery, onion, and green bell pepper. Some garlic. Spices, and that delicious stock. Okra and file (sassafras) to give it a little more body and a vegetal bouquet. Add some of that chicken you kept folks from devouring.
Serve with rice and cornbread expect everyone to go back for seconds. Maybe thirds. There may be licking of bowls, or at least licking of the fingers used to clean the bowls. It's totally acceptable when the magic is this good.